The screaming subsides for a little while.
03.09.2011 - 10.09.2011 25 °C
The train from Chengdu to Kunming was like any other, however I had a bed (win). So getting on the train, dumping my bag I look out the window at the revolting humidity of Chengdu and bid it farewell. It may seem that all I do is bitch about how humid Chengdu is, believe me it is, I'm not exaggerating in the slightest I promise, however it is one of those cities where everything is just so relaxed you just don't really want to leave, you know?
Anyhow, train was uneventful. Half a day and over night. Boring.... Anyhow, such was my excitement of getting back to my home Provence of Yunnan that I was awake at 4am and bouncing, ready to go home. No longer did my now familiar friend of complete and utter exhaustion, irritability and slowly consuming depressing thoughts of "screw it just go home now" sprawl across my shoulders but instead decided to bugger off for a while which was absolutely lovely. Was like coming alive again. Anyhow, got to Kunming and forced myself to buy my train ticket to Xi'an for the following week, (not a nice thing to have to do first thing in the morning when you are utterly elated to be home) then meandered down to the bus station and got on a bus to E'shan. I should point out that most bus drivers in the area know who I am and where I live, so when I got on the bus and the driver yelled out "Meixian nihao! qu minzhong-a?" (Hello Meixian! Going to Minzhong?) I couldn't help but smile HUGELY and laugh in agreement, saying that it was time to go home. He found this quite funny. So on the bus and I managed to fall asleep for majority of the journey, waking up when the driver had stopped the bus at the school gate (a few minutes off the usual route to E'shan, so out of the way) and said wake up you crazy foreigner your home now! With one of those massive, yellow and toothy grins plastered across his face reaching all the way to his crinkled eyes which now seemed fully closed in a smile. lol.
The security guards were like welcome back Meixian. It was good to be home. All the students were in class (thank god for that) and I made my way up the small hill with my back pack to our little brown door, struggling to find the keys, having a mini freak out when I couldn't find the key. Finally found the key and opened the door, dropping my bag on the tiled floors and peering around, breathing in deeply the smell of home long locked up. Then it dawned on me when I looked at Nat's door; it's not the same, she isn't here. *sniff sniff* little depressing that revelation.
Dumped my stuff on the floor of my room, up ended my back-pack on the bed and loaded up the washing machine (that god-damned thing) and headed straight for the shower whilst sending off messages to my Chinese family that I was home for the week. Got out of the shower (soooooo good to used a proper towel and not a travel towel!! the small comforts of life I suppose). Next thing Helen knocks on my door and comes in with her friend, "Welcome back Zoe!" well you can imagine the smile now pasted on my face like a moron (as it is right now at this recollection) then went out into E'shan with them for a bit of dinner. It is the same town but it just felt, looked and seemed different. Not quite right, but it didn't matter, I was home, people were muttering "Meixian hui laile!" (Meixian's back!) under their breath, new grade one students from Minzhong and E'shan Yizhong were like "waaaaa waiguoren!" the people in the juice shop (our local lol) were happy to see me. It was good to be home. So who wants a drug induced high when you can have something like this which is about 10,000,000 times better??
After seeing everyone I was pretty out of it, brain was buzzing and face hurt from smiling. It was good to be home. Mr. Wang came knocking on my door to give me my timetable for the week (such a love, he is so shy) before riding away on his bike.
The following day I had my first class with the new grade one students and butterflies is an understatement!! Think more along the lines of kick-ass sized beetles skittering around in my stomach (ewww). Was utterley terrified! Why I don't know, I taught the older levels so this should be a piece of cake right? All we are doing is playing games. Anyhow, these little thoughts taring around my mind at a million miles an hour as I walked over to the Grade One building I hear "Meixian!!" and running footsteps. I look up in time to see Lucy breaking her usually regal and refined air to come rushing over to give me a massive hug. Much unexpected!! Family was complete. Smile and laugh, that was about all I could do whilst we caught up on the way over to class. Ahhhh it was good to be home.
Class was utterly hilarious and I realised how much I missed standing in front of about 60 students and making an utter fool of myself explaining how to play games then watching them all get so involved and competitive as the noise level steady rises. It has to be one of the best tension releases known to man. The new kids were great, they seemed a lot younger and less serious than the last group of Grade Ones. More like fun kids than serious Senior Middle School students, preparing for the dreaded Gaokao in 2 years time. Soooooo good to be home.
Tuesday night was made up of the usual shenanigans of the English department. But this Tuesday night there was two reasons to celebrate; two new English teachers were joining us fresh from Uni and me coming back. So it called for the 50% baijiu and 22+ dishes of food on the table at any given time. It was loud, it was funny, it was great. One of those things you don't forget. Sheer alcohol induced hilarity as the decibel level grew to a low, deafening roar. I think at one stage I smoked one of the famous Yuxi cigarettes... that's about all I can pin the taste in my mouth the following morning on... *shudder* but I remember most of the night, I also recall sending a text message to friends that if anyone knocked on my door before 12pm the following day I wasn't going to answer so don't bother. lol. Lets just say that hang-over was an understatement. Didn't feel sick, just like my limbs had been injected and encased in lead, was very happy that there was fresh coffee in the fridge and my only class for the day wasn't until 4:10pm. mmmmm.... amusing.
The new English teachers, and the rest of the new teachers were all really sweet. Young and funny, I think they will fit in just perfectly. I hope everything goes really well for them.
Fast forwarding to the last day and it was sad sure, but not as sad as the first time, it was both easier and harder than the first time. But I won't bore you with sad good byes, instead; a look back at my time in Minzhong...