Time for trivia

It was a day much like any other.

I’ve been informed that we’ve had a couple more aftershocks in the past twenty-four hours, but I haven’t noticed a thing. There were some people outside the school gate today selling cuddly toys probably to make money to help the victims of the quake, and we’ve had the occasional convoy of ambulances passing by. Work is continuing in the affected area, but the more time that passes, the less likely it is for survivors to be found in the rubble. The official death toll has now passed 50,000, and could be up to 80,000 since nearly 30,000 are still missing.

For most of us, life seems to be back to normal. There are some, though, who are still camping out in tents. I wonder how long it’ll be before they pack them away and head home.

It was Quincy’s turn to take the IELTS class for their IELTS lesson today, which meant that I was saddled with the GE class. Class 6 were actually all right mainly because the biggest nuisances in the class were absent. The curious thing is that we’ve suddenly got kids who are applying to go overseas, although they’ve never said anything to us and most have never treated our classes as if they’re an opportunity to experience real, live native speaker English. One of the kids in Class 6 has disappeared, but I’m not sure it’s quake-related. It wouldn’t be the first time that no one’s informed us of the departure of one of our little darlings.

Class 5 was another matter. For some reason, they were late. Linda had come up to observe the classes and told them off in Chinese, after which they were reasonably well-behaved. Actually, I was very tempted to grab one of the dimmer bulbs in the class who was talking while Linda was talking, bang his head against the desk until one of them broke, and then claim it was earthquake damage. It makes a difference when you can admonish them in Chinese. I could do it in English, but you may as well breathe irately for all the good a verbal tongue lashing would achieve.

Quincy has just about had enough of the GE halves of our classes. As long-term readers will be aware, it gets to a point where enough is enough and you can no longer maintain the pretence that the little buggers are behaving and working satisfactorily. Compared with kids I’ve taught elsewhere in the programme, the ones here are slightly less stupid than they are lazy, although obviously there’s the usual range of inclinations. Or disinclinations.

We consoled ourselves afterwards with some DVD shopping, although there’s not really much worth getting at the moment. Quincy said he didn’t buy anything he had any great desire to watch, which is a milestone I passed long ago in China. I did grab a copy of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which I haven’t seen since it finished. It’ll be interesting to see whether it’s still watchable or whether it no longer has the same resonance it did for me back in the day. I’m going to have to wade through a lot of crap, though, because it wasn’t until the Dominion reared its ugly head that the series got into its stride.

And then it was off to Zoe’s for lunch, where I had a chicken burger with feta cheese. It was a fat burger out of which everything kept slipping. Unlike the other night when I was almost the only customer, the place was quite busy.

sadpowder Let’s finish this trivial post with some Chinglish. I spotted this sign when I was on my adventures on Sunday. Linda tells me that it’s meant to mean the food is so spicy that it makes you cry or, at least, tears stream from your eyes.


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