Monday, June 18, 2012

The Final Countdown

"We're leaving together, but still it's farewell", as Joey Tempest sang shortly before one of the most bombastic keyboard riffs in Euro-rock history was unleashed to the delight of poodle-perm dudes everywhere. This actually has nothing to do with what I wanted to write about, so apparently I have digressed before I even got started... which must be impossible if I haven't started anything from which to digress. Now I am confused.


On thursday  I "taught" my final lesson and on Friday helped invigilate the English exam which will determine the future (immediately at least) for my students. Less of a grand finals and more a fade to black really. Still, it was a relief to have made it to the end.

Friday also was the day of the school "riot" which took a little explaining to me, but was essentially a big end of year party for the students culminating with cream-pieing the teacher of your choice and a water balloon fight. The sterner elements of the school administration apparently tried some passive-aggressive sabotage tactics including locking the places we needed to get into to prepare, and performing some intense scowling at the proceedings. Lina managed to hold the whole thing together with the help of our Canadian principal who was sympathetic to the cause. I was charged with preparing a motivating playlist of music that might appeal to Chinese teenagers. This intimidating task came off fairly well, though I don't know if they know who AC/DC or Primal Scream are...

Riot over, Lina and I scurried off for the bus station and our last trip to Chengdu to spend the weekend with the Chengdu Panda Hash.

We got to the meeting place in good time on Saturday morning and snoozed our way out to the scenic area which had been chosen for the weekends hashing activities.  There were some faces we recognised, and even a few who remembered us. I love the eclectic crowd at these things, including a surprising majority of Chinese. The foreigners this time included a representative of the US consulate, a pilot, a German nuclear power engineer, plus the usual compliment of oil-industry big wigs and financial types. After lunch (and some warm, weak, Chinese beer) we set out in the rain on the first hash run of the weekend. The inclement weather made things slippery and washed away the flour markings of the trail, but we had a great time splashing and sliding our way through the forest for an hour or two. More beer, some organic farm food, and a short bus ride later, we were back at our hotel for the night.

Beware the false trail

"On on!"

Organic shoe-washing
Sunday was started with typical Chinese breakfast (mostly the same as dinner, but with some strange pickled things and soy milk). We were then back out running I the the damp forest again, with some atmospheric mists swirling around us... though none of the spectacular views were available for viewing. Lunch, beer, bus, beer, and beer brought us to the railway station where have successfully managed to buy sleeper tickets on the train back to Yongchuan. We'll arrive in YC at three in the morning and then hopefully get ourselves into work on time for some invigilation of the final exams.

Warm "Snow". The beer of champions at a robust 3% alcohol.

CPH3 - an institution we will miss