02.11.2011 20 °C
Sadly it seems impossible for me to lie in anymore - a combination of being used to waking up early and the school bell sounding at 6am, even at the weekends, followed by classical music and then a song by Blue, of all bands, which plays at 6.10am every. Single. Day. So my long awaited Saturday lie-in didn't quite go to plan, however it was nice to know I was free to bum around my room for a while, drinking tea and more tea (or at least my Chinese version of this).
Around midday, Kat and I made our regular trip to Ningbo, taking the hour long bumpy, sweaty bus, where we each have our listening to music, zoning out and reflecting on life in China regime, which possibly makes people wonder if we really know each other at all.
Arriving in Ningbo, we went for our sneaky Starbucks 'I've been a teacher all week I totally deserve this' reward and then wandered around the market, picking up some last minute essentials for our Halloween costumes - the reason why we were there.
After a noodle dinner (this time a success!) it was time to crack open the beers and start getting ready. Initially Kat and I had planned to be Simba and Scar from the well-known classic, The Lion King, however due to a lack of Home Bargains and Primark in China and not much to work with, this slowly just became lions. I was glad of the pre-beers as my costume mostly involved me wearing a nude coloured pyjama suit. I managed to add a few jungle accessories though to lion it up a little more, and I must say, I was very impressed with mine and Kat's effort. With Annah returning from work and transforming into a panda, bamboo leaf and all, we headed outside to find a taxi, singing a wonderful rendition of the lion sleeps tonight as we went.
The short taxi ride to the bar street was possibly one of the most hilarious taxi journeys I have ever taken. The driver was exceptionally excited to have three Westerners dressed as animals in his car, however due to the little issue of a language barrier, he could only communicate this by going round each of us in turn and making the appropriate noise to go with our character whilst making clawing actions with his hands. Naturally, we responded with similar noises and gestures and this growling and chomping conversation went on for at least five minutes, along with him beeping his horn at other cars, winding down the windows and encouraging us to growl at other drivers too, most of whom found it highly amusing and even gave little lion clawing waves in return. As the conversation began to get repetitive, the taxi driver then put on his most favourite Chinese dance song and began demonstrating his wonderful moves, which we did our very best to copy, all the way until we arrived at the bar street.
The bar where the party was at was very crowded although it soon seemed apparent that most of the people standing outside on the street were actually just Chinese tourists taking photos of all the crazy foreigners. There were many of the usual Halloween characters in attendance inside but I would like to think Kat and I won the prize for the most effort. We began the night by entering a drinking out of a pumpkin competition and then danced and talked the night away before it was soon 3am and time for vegetables on sticks...
I awoke the next morning in my usual position on Annah and Lindsay's couch, still in my lion suit, which handily doubles up as its original purpose of pyjamas. I had also successfully taken my make-up off yet I had clearly decided I liked my lion nose too much and that still remained, an excellent addition to my hungover face. Kat went to the shop to buy supplies for cooking scrambled eggs, however sadly it didn't taste quite the same without butter and milk and didn't really work with bread that tastes like cake.
Monday was officially Halloween and so I decided to use this as an excuse to give my classes the bit of fun they deserve. I had told the class of boys about Paranormal Activity last week and they had seemed excited to watch it, however only five minites in and no scary opening moment in sight and they decided they didn't like it and chose to watch the Grudge instead - poor them and their terrible movie taste.
As my other class are much more enthusiastic, I had them doing plays dressed as ghosts with their jackets pulled up over their heads for effect, snaking round the classroom as zombies for zombie musical statues and doing crazy things just to receive sweets. It was lots of fun, apart from now they tell me they want to do this every lesson.
I am now officially half way through my time here and I can't believe it is November already. It is slowly beginning to turn cold here now with the leaves turning a pretty orange and I have had to say hello to my good friends tights and boots...