Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hi guys

Hope Canada's treating you well. So, I came to the conclusion that it's going to be very interesting when I come back to Canada, because I'm going to be trying to order food, shop, greet people, and ask for directions in Chinese. Not that my Chinese is all that great, in fact it's quite poor; but I'm working on learning sentences that would be useful to me such as “my name is Brodie” and “I want a hamburger”. The most recent one is “do you speak English?”............ If I was a smart person, (which evidently I'm not) I would have learned that first; but instead I waited till my fourth month  here XP. Today Kenzie sent me to find a pack of Pokemon cards for one of her students. She had promised him a while back that she would bring some and they'd play, but so far she had no luck. The reason why.. THERE ARE NO POKEMON CARDS IN GUANGZHOU!!!! I looked all morning in a dozen shops. NOTHING!! it was ridiculous. I wound up getting annoyed, frustrated and bored and broke down and bought Yu-Gi-Oh cards instead. Kenzie said those will work as well so I deem today as a success. :) 
     The school gave me my pay cheque half way through the month last month, so this month I only got half a pay cheque which came to about ¥4,000 subtract ACT tuition and other miscellaneous deductions I brought home about ¥1,700.....kind of depressing after all the trouble over the new years play. So Kenzie and I came to the conclusion that we'll be eating a lot of crepes and home made pizza pops for a while. 
      Kenzie got mine craft on the computer and she is super excited and addicted to it lol, she'll play it on the ipod when she's between classes at work, then she plays it on the computer at home. Very fun game. I hear she bought Lego Lord of the Rings, and I think I might go to Liede in my spare time to play video games lol.
      I think I'm getting a good grasp of Chinese phonetics. The “E” makes an “uhh” sound, so Liede (which looks like Lee-dee or Leed) is actually pronounced Lee-ah-duh, and Agile where my kindergarten is is pronounced Ya-jeh-la. When you see “ZH” it makes the sound of a “j” so Guangzhou instead of Go-ahn-zoo it's Gw-on-Joe. The “u” makes an ooo sound like tooth. So “Wu” is “Woo”.

Wow I totally forgot to finish that last one. Oops!

Lets see what has been happening lately. It's getting close to the spring festival (A.K.A. Chinese new year) when all the Chinese people go home to visit family. Kenzie and I thought about going to a lot of different places like seeing the great wall and the terracotta soldiers (we have single entry visas so if we leave the country we have to get new ones. So any traveling would have to be within China). Then it occurred to us that EVERYBODY will be trying to travel at the same time and its going to be a mad house in China till after the break. Plus after not getting a full paycheck last month due to some confusion and the date I got paid the month before, I'm a little reluctant to spend more money than I need to. So we're going to stock up on food and movies, buy a DVD player and a toaster oven, and spend two weeks locked in our new apartment just relaxing, which sounds glorious! We're both very excited, especially Makenzie because she's been a busy little bee lately working at the training center and subbing at Mayland kindergarten. So having two weeks of doing nothing sounds like a fantastic vacation for us. We still want to travel though so we're planning on booking time off in a few months when its not so busy, and traveling then.
 OH! And Kenzie has come to the conclusion that waking up early to teach at a kindergarten then working at the training centre has helped her enjoy her day more because she’s not bored and alone all morning. The only problem is that Mayland is so far away she's coming home very exhausted (she's basically becoming me when I worked at the night school several times a week, but she complains less lol) so we're in the process of seeing if she can work in Agile with me. 
They're a few new teachers that are going to start working at Agile next semester. One is a friend of ours named Brittany, and the other one I met is an Italian guy.
Its difficult keeping the apartment clean. I mean, of course there's the normal Kenzie and I are messy as hell problem, but on top of that, it just gets so dusty. I'm having trouble keeping up with it, I avoided going near Kenzie’s room because the floor was coated in dust. I'm also developing a paranoia with this house because it's brand new...I don't want to break it. It's not like there were previous tenants that we could blame stuff on. Anything stained or broken in this house it totally our bad XP. So I'm trying to keep it as clean as I can. I swept and mopped most of the house, but it seems to be a never ending battle. I enjoy coming home and tidying up the place when I can pick a job and chip away at the house though, so its not to bad.
I've started making a lot more home cooked meals for supper. Kenzie’s gone most of the day so I wind up watching TV shows on the internet. Lately I've been picking random stuff like some anime, I watched three hours of Ben 10 yesterday, and for whatever reason I keep feeling the need to freak myself out by watching ghost shows called “my ghost story” and quarantine; but after I scare myself I'll watch cartoons. I've been cooking some of the packages of mashed potatoes and that other potato thing that we got in your care package (thank you so much they're delicious.... kind of an acquired taste but we like them). I discovered that if you wash lettuce, chop up an apple and grate some cheese in the mix, the apple and  cheese is enough to add some flavor to the salad and you don't need any salad dressing. So I've been making some of that every night to go with the rest of supper. I noticed the other day that I like to mentally plan out little things I'm going to do that day, way before hand so I don't have to think of it on the spot. Like, what game am I going to play in class today? I noticed that I think of what I want to make for supper as I'm walking to work at 7:30 in the morning lol. It's fun. 
We bought Abraham Lincoln Vampire hunter and the new Batman movie on DVD... unfortunately our new apartment doesn't have a DVD player *sigh * oh well, we'll be buying one before the break hopefully. Till then the movies sit there on the shelf... mocking me. (-.-)
If you get a chance look up the website Youku (its the Chinese version of YouTube) and look up “Cat Mario”. Find the one with the Australian guy talking in the background. The title should have something like “part 1” or “level 1” or something. There's 4 videos and they're hilarious! (theres lots of swears though I think so make sure kids aren't there) basically its a video of this guy playing some kind of Mario Bros. Spoof with this white cat instead of Mario. The thing about the game though is that it kills you in the most ridiculous ways, and the guy talking gets so mad all the time, it's hysterical. Theres also a whole bunch of Chinese writing on the screen that I don't know what it means, but the guy who made the video figured out a whole bunch of text smileys using Chinese letters, and they just make the video so much funnier.
Kenzie and I have amassed a bunch of pictures and videos that we want to show you guys, but their too big to send. So what we're thinking of doing is burning it all on a CD and mailing it home to you guys. So we'll see if that works out.
I wonder when the construction is going to be completed in our garden. It's constant ever since we moved in. it's going to be very weird when they stop. It'll be quiet.... toooooo quiet! Lol.
I'm addicted to these weird beef buns that they sell at the 7-11 and sometimes make for breakfast at the kindergarten. They're gross and delicious and I love them so. ^.^
The people who moved into our old apartment are going through the bed bug problem. Damn those bugs! I thought we killed them all *shakes fist angrily* I suggested that they should get a steamer and steam the hell out of everything and boil their clothes in insanely hot water. That seemed to work for us. It's making me worried that maybe we brought some with us and they're just dormant until summer time.... makes me want to steam my clothes......again.....for the hundredth time......OK maybe it's only the third time..... but still.
Tomorrow the staff is going to a restaurant and putting on performances. The Chinese staff are doing some kind of Titanic play and the foreign teachers are going to do an improv show where two or three teachers know the words to a song in Chinese (supposedly its a popular Chinese song.i don't know if it'll be gungnam style,but we'll see) the rest of the foreign teachers takes turns pulling paper out of a hat and reading Chinese pinyin from the paper. The whole point is that we do very bad at it so the show will be very funny. I'm going to try to record both of them to show everybody.
I officially finished my theme board...took almost the whole month, but it looks awesome. I painted large cut out pictures of all the animals in the Chinese zodiac, and each one has a letter on them so when their lined up in the order of the zodiac years, it spells “happy new year”. And I have sentences on the board saying “what's your resolution?”, “it's the year of the snake.”, “we light fireworks on new years.” and Jenny made a plastic jar, look like a fire cracker, and she found some of those red envelopes people give on new years and we put all that up. Plus it looks extra cool because the bottom of the board is for sticker boards (A.K.A. Pieces of paper that the kids stick stickers that they earn in class, to. Every month my class gets to make new sticker boards for the new theme. Usually I get some paper, they draw stuff on it and cut it out into different shapes and we stick it to the board.This time I was confused because Jenny did a craft with the kids that looked an awful lot like the sticker boards, and hung them up on the sticker boards spot (the day before was sticker counting day when the kids count how many stickers they earned that month and get prizes) I hadn't had a chance to get the kids to make new sticker boards yet, and Jenny was worried that San the principle, would come and see that there was no sticker boards and get mad, so she disguised that fact by putting a random craft the kids made in her class, up where the sticker boards go... and it fooled me. I was planning on making sticker boards that morning, and I came into class and saw what I thought to be sticker boards already made. So I was like “ok? I guess I'll have to do a different craft in theme class”. I wasn't mad, but it totally threw off my plan for that day, so I spent the first half of the morning desperately trying to figure out some kind of new years related craft to do. And right at the last moment I found paper plates, so I made up a snake craft by cutting out the edges of the plate and coloring it so it looks like a snake curling in a circle. Jenny saw it, thought it looked cool, then asked why we weren't making sticker boards. I was like “whaa??” and she explained the situation. So then I'm standing there, holding a useless snake thing when I could have made sticker boards all along, and thinking “Jenny why do you do this to me?” lol, so Jenny had an idea of tying some paper cut into shapes like stars, squares and hearts, to the center of the snake where the rest of the plate used to be, and making this craft into the sticker boards. It's a bit less efficient then the normal sticker boards, but they're waaaaayyy cooler. So that's how I got the coolest theme board ever! XD My job is so fun, it keeps me on my toes.
Well that's all I can think of to say. If you want to Facetime or QQ with us we have two weeks that we don't have to work and can talk to our hearts content. ^.^
Bye bye, love you all. Talk to you later.
PS Thank you mom for all the random pictures you send. I always get excited when 10 or 15 random emails show up out of nowhere. it makes me laugh. :3. love you lots.

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