Hopefully over the next two years I'll be sharing some amazing stories and photos, from what I know is going to be a life-changing experience.

This Is China

Reminders that I'm not actually in a western country...

My computer's hard drive died.  It was going to cost approximately $80 to replace, but I could only get Windows 7 in Chinese, unless I wanted a pirated copy of the English version. (Getting it fixed in Canada was going to cost $430....)

My friend Monica lives on the 19th floor of her building.  The elevator only goes up to 18, so she still has to take the stairs.  Her building also doesn't have a floor 2, 3, 4, or 5.  The reason for 4 I know (sounds like 'death') but why the other ones?  And why is 12, 13, 14 and 15 ok?

City buses have TV's in them, even the buses that look like they're 30 years old.  And they cost 1/6.5 of a Canadian dollar to take.

Taxis regularly make U-turns across 8 busy lanes of traffic.  So does the school bus.

Only imported milk comes refrigerated.  If it comes from Australia or New Zealand, then you don't have to refrigerate it until you open it.

Last week a co-worker took an elevator ride with a baby goat.  Apparently her neighbours have a new pet.

Fireworks.  Lots and lots of fireworks.

Traffic lights, signs, lanes and crosswalks are merely suggestions.

Eating out is deliciously cheap.  Splurging at a western or nice Asian restaurant costs me $15 max.  Although Starbucks seems to cost almost or just as much as back home... $3 for a tall London Fog, $5.50 for a tall mocha.  They don't carry quite the same selection of drinks or baked goods back home.  I have seen yam cupcakes though.

McDonald's has reasonable portion sizes.

I'll let this picture speak for itself...

Awesome things said/written by students....
Question on a Planning 10 assignment: What volunteer experiences could you participate in now that will help you with your future goals?
Answer (not a direct quotation, but just about):  I would like to volunteer in a elementary school cafeteria.  Because cooking is just cool!  And cooking and looking after young kids are good skills to have for my future as a house wife.

Here's a picture I drew for you Ms. Ferguson.  You can bring it home and give it to your husbands. - K student

On a card: Merry Christmas Ms. Verguson! from a grade 5 student  When asked - turns out the student had thought my name started with a V for 2.5 months.  To be fair, I never did write it down for them.  And he did spell the rest of it correctly.

"Ms. Ferguson....can I sleep?"  "No." - conversation we have EVERY day, at least once, Grade 6 student

"It'sokayyyyy" - response to everything, taken about 2 seconds to say completely (same student as above)

"Oh Snap!" - response to anything this Gr. 1 student doesn't like - being told it's time to do work, given the option between sitting at his desk or the table at the back of the room, being asked to get his jacket, something falling over.... this kid cracks me up every time.

"Miss 18??"  - Grade 2 student
"Yes, Mr. Pineapple?"
-why does he call me Miss 18?  NO idea, did it once, and then it stuck, and I'm not even sure he knows why.  Why do I call him Mr. Pineapple?  Because he calls me Miss 18.  Baffles the rest of the students (as it should).