Xinnián kuáilé

I know I promised you interviews with the students, and they will comeas soon as I take my time to do em all.

Xinnián kuáilé everybody, (happy new year), yes here in China we just celebrated New year, which makes this year, the year of the fire monkey.

The fire monkey is full of energy, creative, clever and entertaining. This year risk will be rewarded and the air is buzzing with opportunity, so are you thinking about starting something new, now is the right time to do it.

Before writing more about our new year celebrations, I am going to write about our cleaning week up to our new year´s vacation week. I call it cleaning week, because Monday we were told we needed to clean because we forgot Friday, and that is fair enough, but Wednesday we suddenly had to clean again for some reason, and Friday we cleaned once more. Could the school get any cleaner? – I think not hehe. To be fair the Friday cleaning was a bit different given we had to clean under our beds and dust spider web everywhere. We clean the spider web with the wonder-broom. What is a wonder-broom you say.

Have you ever seen those television commercials about some stupid invention that magiacal clean everything almost just by looking at it? This is where wonder-broom comes in. A spear and broom in one. – Have you ever had to fight of a burglar in the middle of cleaning, and the broom was simply not enough and you lost everything. – Well no more, wonder-broom is a broom tied to a spear, which makes it possible to clean and fight of a burglar. If you order now you get a DVD with moves and action for the wonder-broom.  – wonder-broom the perfect gift. Okay maybe it is a bit of an inside joke here at school, that only we found hilarious, but nonetheless very funny

 

Mona our beloved translator quit her job and therefore, we wanted to go out for a small farewell soiré. Luckily Mona decided to stay another six months, which makes everybody very happy. I personally is very happy that Mona stays until I leave myself. I mean who else can I joke around with all the time – she calls it being mean, but I am never mean hehe.

So the BBQ “party” became a We are very happy you stay, and a goodbye to The happiest man in the world, Paris. The school really loses a cool character in him, but he has things to go home to. One thing is for sure, he will be missed here.IMG-20160206-WA0001

On our way to the BBQ place we drove in two caps because we are so many students now, and we just sat there talking and suddenly the other taxi driver came walking up to our driver, leaving his car behind with an open door in the middle of the road, that was a fun little thing, and these things happens a lot in China, so the saying only in China is used a lot.

Before starting our vacation master do talked to us about training in the holiday, first it sounded like we had no holiday and everybody had to train, but what he meant was – we should do some training so we didn´t forget our forms etc. I couldn´t really help myself and said out loud. yeah not gonna happen hehe. I didn´t plan to train at all in my vacation, well except some running, I still have a marathon to complete the 21th of May.

So what is new year in China? There are a lot of traditions, just like so many other countries. The first example is the red envelopes with money, which are given to the kids in the family. The Chinese celebrates new year in their home with their families. Also you actually celebrate new year´s for a whole week, so the first two days they stay home and

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The new years menu, we got dumblings after eating this

20160207_201846then the rest of the week there are games and things happening around the bigger cities.

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new years decoration

 The weird thing for us foreigners is that the date changes every year, also their birthdays are not the same date every year. If it was me, I would forget it every year hehe

Traditionally you eat dumblings, so of course we had dumblings here at school, and we love dumblings here. There were so many dumblings so a game was born. It was called dumbling roulette. We were full and couldn´t really eat more, but mama Bao came with another bowl of dumblings, so someone span the table around with the bowl and the game was born. If the bowl landed on you, you had to eat a dumbling, and let´s face we were to full to eat more. Nonetheless we had a good half hour of fun, and the bowl got eaten. On our third day of dumblings we had fried dumblings. OH MY GOD, that is the best thing in the world.poker

After the dumblings we had a game of poker and then a bonfire where we of course also had fireworks.

 

 

Okay the big trip well at least for me and four other guys was our trip to Xuzhao Wednesday to Thursday. We were five guys who wanted to go celebrate the Chinese new year.  Okay Okay, we wanted to go get drunk and go clubbing. So we did.  The train ride was a new experience. We didn’t get seats this time, but bunkers. Yeah bunkers as in sleeping bunkers. Me and Greg had bunker each. To get up

mig i bunkbeds
putting your jacket on is not easy at all

in these bunk beds, there was no stairs or anything so you had to climb. There was like no space in the bunker at all, and don´t get me started about how stained they were. Nonetheless it was a fun train ride. The Chinese people won´t bother climbing up, so they just use the lowest bunkers as seats instead.

 

We arrived at the hotel after getting lost one time, because the maps in China is written in Chinese characters, so we couldn´t really read it.20160210_095844

We had booked a four star hotel, with Jacuzzi, sauna and massage in the hotel, which we wanted to make use of as soon as we arrived. I20160210_135033 have had so many experiences with things not working here in China, so for me it has become a typical thing. When we wanted to use the Jacuzzi etc, they told us it was closed because of renovation. Very typical, so what does five guys walking around in their robes do? Well isn´t obvious? We start drinking at 3 pm.
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In the evening we played a lot of drinking games and got a lot of alcohol before going out. When we came to the place where all the pubs were, everything seemed closed, but upstairs we saw people and we went there. We came in to a small bar where we met

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Matias, Me and Brage in the bar

Marcus a british guy from Newcastle. How cool was that to actually have a laowei bartender. We stayed there for a while, and asked Marcus about the clubs and people going out in China. He said that they didn´t go out when it was cold. Okay he also told us that there only would be a bit more people at muse, the club we wounded up in, and it was packed. For us it seemed a bit weird that things were closed and nobody were going out in their vacation, but it didn´t stop us. Off  we went for the club muse.

 

  • A bit of a side story, okay before we went to Xuzhao master do said… you are going to Xuzhao? There is a nice park there. “-As if we should train there”. Hehe,well he also said if we came in to trouble we shouldn´t run, just find the exits at the clubs when arriving. We know what he meant but it was funny.

 

So we had this deal between the guys that we would stay together, not get lured into a closed room with only one exit, and always have eachothers backs. So obviously the first thing to do when arriving to the club, was following a Chinese guy into a small room with only one exit. It looked like a girls kindergarden with their fathers. It seemed very weird, so we got the hell out of that place again. Went downstairs to the club, it was amazing, andIMG-20160212-WA0004 there was packed with people. Most men, but a good amount of girls too.

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We felt like celebrities in there, everybody wanted to touch us, take pictures with us or have us sit at their table. Chinese men spend a lot of money on alcohol and leaving on the table so it can attract girls, well in my case attract me, who doesn´t like free alcohol. I was drinking for free all night, everywhere I went I got drinks or beers. It was awesome.  20160211_005914Okay, the touching part, was a little bit too much, Some of the guys found that people reached for their pockets and I well I got touched because of something else hehe. At some point a Chinese guy skinny´er than my finger asked if he could kiss me, so I knew why some guys touch me. Fun experience though, but I had to decline and quickly moved to the dancefloor to join the guys.

It was an amazing party we had and Brage, Matias and I where the last toleave the club, because it closed. So at 3.30 am we were on our way back to the hotel, and I had been drinking  for 12 hours, typical me.

The day after, I felt the 12 hours of alcohol, it was good the first hours, but then it began.

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I felt horrible

My head was killing me and my stomach even worse, and worst of it all we had to go shopping, because, we wanted nutella and some of the others wanted to eat.

 

It was an amazing trip, and definitely something we are going to do again. Tomorrow it is time to train again and the alcohol will of course have ruined a tiny bit of the form  but it will come back, I won´t be drinking anymore before after my marathon.

In other news, we will get a lot of students the next period of time, this month at least three, next month one as we know of, maybe more and in April a bunch. We are excited every time there is new people arriving.

More to come

The year that went by

New year, Christmas in China, new student and reflections about the year that passed me by.

This is the year of 2016, and I am still living in china and I still love it. There is not a lot of new stuff going on here, besides for the giant pond20151231_165545 they are building outside. You see, we have heard rumors about master Bao wanted a pond outside, but when we saw the digging, it looked like a small pool instead. It has gone by so fast20160103_101057, it has actually only taken them a week to build it. They are not done yet, because I saw some drawing in the dirt out there which imply that they are going to do some more work around the pond.

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Christmas eve came a little bit as a shock for me, given Kayvon and I had nothing planned for the dinner. The thing was, all the other students were in Xinyi city, so we thought that we would wait for them, so we could eat dinner together. When it was dinner time, I went to Kayvon´s room to get him. Master Bao came and asked if we were ready? Ready for whaIMG_0081t? We had no idea that we were going out to dinner. We were confused given we didn´t prepare clothes or anything. In our hurry to put clothes on to
go outside, Kayvon yelled; -shirts”? and it ended up with us wearing our shirts and pants, that we got from the taylor for modeling.

It was a good evening, where we were allowedIMG_0076 to drink rise-wine, some drank a little more than others. Usually we are not allowed to drink alcohol.

We started to go around telling how we celebrate Christmas back home. This was fun because first of all, the gift unwrapping happens in two different days. Some does it the 24th in the evening others the 25th. The traditions in my home are that we each Christmas stay at my home and have people come to us. We eat gread made from rise first and then we eat duck. When the eating is done, we prepare to dance around the IMG_0078Christmas tree while singing Christmas carols. The oldest in the family pick the song first and then the second oldest etc. After two songs, the one who picked the song finds one present for everybody to unwrap. This continues until there are no more gifts.

The other studentsIMG_0079 and masters never heard about dancing around the Christmas tree and found it funny.

New year´s day we went to Whongchun (not sure of the spelling), to buy fireworks, but it was either too expensive or there wasn´t any. We lit a bonfire in the evening which we all sat around for an hour, before everybody but two students went back to their rooms. We actually didn´t celebrate new year´s and most of us weren´t up when it was midnight. For me it was with relief, to not do anything. Not to think about where to eat, party and stay for the evening.  In general it has been very nice not to celebrate Christmas or new year´s for once. Now I am looking forward to see how the Chinese celebrate new year´s eve. That will happen the 8th of February.

2016 has now begun and we are expecting 8 new students over the next 14 days, hopefully everybody will come. I am looking forward to get some more students around here and also there will come a couple from Denmark, so we will have a small Danish colony again haha.

Usually I end the year with a –“the year that went by” blog, reflecting about my year, so this will be part two of my blog, where I write a little about my year that passed by.

This is inspired by living your dreams and the movie Paper Towns. In Paper towns a group of teenagers set of to find a girl who disappeared again. In the beginning you are told that she sometimes disappears leaving clues behind for her sister, so she knows where she is and that she is okay. The group is lead by a guy who is a little bit in love with the girl who is missing. It is not one of those amazing movies about life journeys as we know it from The Way or The Shawshank Redemption, but more or less one of those movies which has a strong message.

“Maybe we won’t all win the lottery, marry royalty or make that last second shot but that doesn´t mean we won’t have amazing adventures, meet exceptional people and make endurable memories. The trick is to notice before it´s too late”. – Paper towns

“Sometimes to find yourself, you have to get lost”.  – Paper Towns

My 2015 has been amazing, kind of like my 2013 where I lived in Ghana and Singapore for two months each, to do my teacher practice. This year a lot more amazing though, and the best part is I am still living my dream the next 7 months. I am as you know sitting in China right now and I am reflecting about how this year has been for me. I completed a half Ironman and to those who do not know what it is. It is where you swim 1,9 kilometer and then bicycle 90, just to finish with a half marathon, running 21,1 kilometers . I completed my education and became an English, Physical education and special needs teacher and moved all the way to China to live my king fu dream and I´m not done living my dreams at all.

Also this year I have renewed some old friendships and took care of my old friends before I left, so I didn´t leave anything hanging back home.

It was hard to leave everybody back home and go here, but as he says in Paper towns: “It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

He is right in so many ways, because-“ yeah, it was hard to say goodbye and all, but when thinking about it, it was just saying: -“it will be a little longer before I see you again”.

My journey here gave me the possibility to go around to say goodbye and in general to use some time with my friends who I do not see that much, because of the 300 kilometers between us.  Something I order to do every year but the time and money has been an issue. My time here in China also made me think about all the friendships I neglected over the years , and the people in which I wanted to be more acquainted with. Something I will think about when I come home again.

This year has given me a lot of new friends too, given there have been amazing people at this school throughout my time here and there still is amazing people here. Hopefully I will continue to gain new friends given there is 8 new students on the way to join our kung fu family. I am very excited about that, because we need some more people here, so we can have more fun and gain a lot of new friends.

Even though I live my dream now, it doesn´t end here, because when I am going home I will hopefully begin my masters in Physical education, if I get in off course. If I don´t I will try to get in as a journalist instead, so the new year will also involve an adventure. Hopefully the new subject I will study will take me to America to study, but yeah, we will see.  I still have seven months left here, and for the time being I don´t wish it to end at all. I truly love it here.  The year ended with injuries, but the new year will begin 100% fit

So all there is left to say is:

Happy New Year and thank you for following my adventure here in China