Some Pictures

Since I’ve finally got a free moment to breathe, I thought I’d post a few photos I haven’t gotten around to sharing.

From what I can tell, the translation should be something like “Golden Kernel”… “Gold Embryo” may not be the best name…

Liuzhou’s Christmas tree. Natalie cracked us up by saying it was “very Chinese”… yes, Natalie… it’s very Chinese. As they apparently say here, we wish you a MSAMERR!

The doors to the church where we attended the Christmas mass.

Typically it would seem odd to sell grenade-shaped containers of alcohol in a post office, but not in China!

The school continually had to suspend classes for students so they could be involved in “theatrical” performances — which as mentioned before were constructed for no reason but to attract new students by showing off memorized (and not comprehended) English dialogue. I guess the school decided to turn it into a specialized program: “hey, pay us and we’ll use your children for marketing!”

For one of my classes, I played dumb about Chinese cuisine (not too far from the truth) and had the students write the name of a dish in Chinese, then describe its ingredients and flavors using English words. Then, to make sure it wasn’t just a silly exercise, I made a point of photographing the whiteboard for my own personal reference. Great lesson, but of course everyone here is drawn to cameras like moths to a flame. I almost got tackled several times by a bunch of kids, so in the end I gave in and actually got a photo of them.

This is exactly the sort of thing people think of when it comes to Christmas-themed decorations, right?

One day Natalie came in with a New Year’s lantern she had made by herself. Why, you ask, is there an Apple logo on it? The world may never know.

The accursed fingerprint scanner we all had to use to clock in and out. The boss at one point tried to dock our pay for being a minute late into the office to do nothing but wait around to hand out flyers, until he relented and tried to show it as doing a big favor to us. We thought that after we officially terminated our employment we should photograph our final clocking-out ever there. You can see William creepily staring down on the advertisements in the corner, which also still prominently feature Alex and Dessa despite them having left a month ago. I wonder how long our white faces will be plastered on their papers. Probably forever.

A mannequin with a giant hand for a torso greeted us every day right next to the bus stop near the school. Barely visible is the woman whose job it was to stand outside and, every few minutes, clap loudly to turn people’s attention to the store. I guess some jobs are definitely worse than ours.

Some photos from our last time with Tory and Natalie, giving each other some parting gifts in a local coffee shop. They really are the greatest and could always brighten our days. I will be on QQ with them regularly.
(P.S.: I have since shaved. Fear not world, the neckbeard was a temporary result of stress surrounding our preparations for departure and lack of proper mental faculties.)

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