Hope this e mail finds you well and in good health,as we are here at what could be 'fingers crossed" the start of Autumn, it is certainly becoming a little cooler on the evenings (lovely).I have been quite busy these last 2 weeks teaching it seems all the parents want their children to brush up their English before returning to school at start of September so i am at classes in the morning then again late afternoon.I timed myself walking to work this week from leaving the apartment to walking into the education centre its 7 minutes thats nearly as good as working from home haha.
There are some real characters among the children one of them is a 11 year old boy called garry who looks about 6 small,thin, large glasses, he is so bright he has already told me he is going to MIT university in the USA and i believe him, whenever I show him something or explain he says "OK" or "I know" even if he doesn,t haha.I took some lateral thinking puzzles in the other day and he got everyone of them right in no time at all,whenever the children give me an answer if it,s right I praise them and even if it,s wrong i would say something positive as feedback,so after Garry answered these puzzles he brought one in for me the next day and i thought about it for awhile and i thought i had found the answer so I gave it to him and he looked at me over his glasses and with a very serious expression said "Thats a very good answer but it is not the right one". Well i just about fell out of my chair laughing the tears were streaming down my face.
We went back to the western hills area the other weekend near to that village restaraunt I mentioned in a previous e mail,we visited Tanzhe temple that time so this time we went to the other one that is close by called Jietai temple which looks more like a fortress stretching right up a huge hillside a good walk up the many terraces a really beautiful serene place with hardly any visitors famous for its dragon trees 1,000 years old, I think most go to the more popular Tanzhe temple.We couldn,t walk around the whole temple it was to large and to hot.Then we went back to the village restaraunt and spent the rest of the day there lying in hammocks under the large trees listening to crickets and birds.Oh just to mention the usual driving updates on this day we were driving there on the expressway (think M1) I was in the middle lane and I passed a man in the fast outside lane reversing his car I only knew as i approached because i spotted his white reversing light on,he was i think reversing back to the last exit which was a good way back.And last week we had to travel to the north side of beijing and it seemed like everyone that day was driving really badly ( full moon as well) I started getting angry and upset as well the futher we drove, at one point i went into the inside lane ready to exit and a car joining the expressway came at me from the right at the same time a car on my left was coming into my lane neither would give way or slow down so I had to break hard to let them both ahead then the car behind me started blowing his horn and flashing his lights the car and van that were now ahead were still both not giving way to each other, utter madness.The really sad part to it all was that on the news the next day 40 minutes after we exited our turn off a van stopped there in the emergency lane to fix a puncture with 5 people in it and another van racing down the emergency lane to overtake crashed into them killing 3 and seriously injuring the other 2.
We spent a half day on a lake in one of the bigger parks near to where we live in a battery powered boat two weekends ago it was a lovely day there were little islands scattered about the lake and as we went around one there was a young woman with 2 children stranded on the bank in their boat waving to us looking very embarrassed the children didn,t know if they were more frightened of being stuck or this big foreigner bearing down on them at 2knots haha I managed to get them off and said to Jun under maritime law i should claim that boat as salvage haha.
The next day we visited chairman mao,s collective farm but most of it was closed and the parts that were not looked very run down,they had a very large restaraunt /museum all about mao even a life size model of part of his home village the food (all grown on the farm) was really delicious.