The Inner Mongolian China Brog

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Office Spaced Out

I believe the last time you checked in with me, I was divulging the sordid details of my wild and crazy nights on the town. No such news today. I write out of sheer boredom. Yesterday we were summoned by Dean Zheng at 9 AM for a tour of our offices, as class for Junior Middle School Grade 3 and above starts tomorrow. I, however, along with my primary school colleagues (Clay, Mike and Pat), do not start teaching until the 21st. Bearing that in mind, you can imagine our confusion when the 4 of us primary school teachers were dumped and abandoned in our office, the rest having gone on to other buildings. Turns out we were expected to be in the office all day for normal hours, 8:00 until 11:30, and again from 2:30-6. Who knew?

So there we sat at our empty desks, looking in one drawer and then out a wet rag, rinsed and repeated...stared at the wall a little...stared out the window every once in a while to mix it up...then lunch time at long last HUZZAH!

After lunch we moved the desktop computers our apartments were furnished with to our desks here, so I have now thankfully been blessed with the gift of Internet to pass the time. It's not even like I can do some lesson planning except for abstract brainstorming, because as the 1st and 2nd grade teacher, I'm expected to coordinate my lesson plans with the grammatical English teacher, who has yet to show her face in the office. I don't even have a copy of the textbook. For now I suppose I'll content myself with deep and meaningful instant messages, blog entries, email, my iPod and my book. Oh and because it's ridiculous and a girl gots to get her gossip. I also never knew I could sweat this much sitting still...

We continue to be wined (read: beered) and dined though, which is fun without fail. Our original companion in Beijing (other than Dean Zheng), Sunny, has returned to campus with interest in us to spare, so he took us out last night to a great little joint. As usual, we were toasted into drunkenness, though last night marked our first sighting of a Chinese keg! We are usually given the massive bottles of beer that are standard here, but last night a (plastic not so much a keg as cooler with a tap) keg was brought in and we were served our beer in legit beer steins, which made for a nice reprieve from the usual double shot-sized glasses that tend to be on the tables of restaurants here.

And today, back to the rat race, so I guess I'd better go rat. Or race, as the case may be.


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