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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sailing... sort of.

Over the last couple weeks I have managed to pick up some teaching work to get me by until I start my permanent gig at Yu Kan Hing Secondary School. On Tuesday, the 7th of October I tutored a friend and substituted at a primary school. On the same day I managed to sign the contract for my new place - one of a few small spaces that locals refer to as "cages."

The small room may be a bit ridiculous (especially for someone of my size) but so is the rent in Hong Kong. When normal rent is around 6-10k ($ 800-1200 USD), my place, at $ 2600 (about $ 335 USD), suddenly doesn't look so bad!

A couple days later I taught at a kindergarten in Tuen Mun. Far from my normal teaching experience, this was a rather strange and, at times, uncomfortable day. First, after all the little tiny kids arrived, we did an elaborate aerobic dance with them. After that, I thought my only job would be to teach via music - which I did, with singing and clapping hands to the same music over and over... and over. Just when I thought my job couldn't get any more silly and pointless, I was told to take the kids to the toilet. Of course, they neglected to tell me until just before that I would be supervising their toilet activity. Apparently, a couple of the boys needed coaxing to get them to pee and I was expected to watch them and make sure that they did. A bit apprehensive and unsure about what exactly I was supposed to say to these little Chinese kids, I walked into the room and was greeted by a line of about 15 little butts. As they all stood their huddled together with their pants on the floor I could only wait as, one by one, they presumably finished and turned around to wash their hands. When the two that had trouble tried to leave, I simply directed them back to the toilet to make sure they had given it a fair go. After a couple more hours I was finally allowed to leave and that would be the last time anyone convinced me to teach at a kindy.

The next day I went sailing with Tim from the church... well, sort of. Rather, Tim went sailing and I surfed behind on a surfboard. Of course, it would have been simpler just to ride in the dingy with him but, as it turns out, I have to be certified to sail before I can go along with someone else! So, in order to get around this little restriction, we grabbed a board off the beach and tied it to the dingy before heading out with me in tow. Surprisingly, it all worked rather well! We got a few strange looks from the lifeguards, and you could tell they were considering whether to send us back, but in the end they just laughed and waved. All in all, it was a successful trip - I even stood up a few times and properly surfed behind the boat!

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