Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The musings and happenings of the last week or so...

So this week has flown by. It's also been pretty cool as I've managed not to cry ;) Things in the classroom have been pretty relaxed and I've had some nice classes. I've been teaching about a third less classes than I have been in recent weeks and it's a much welcomed change! Nothing out of the ordinary has happened really but I've been in touch with a charity and I've been cleared to visit after Christmas to see what goes on in an Indonesian childrens' charity, so I'm actually pretty stoked about that!... Luckily it's Christmas next weekend and the schools will be closed for nine days which gives me the opportunity to see a bit more of Java before I leave. Time is passing so fast and once I return to work in the new year I'll only have a few weeks left on my contract. The year has just flown by!...

This week I was sent a parcel from home with some pretty cool presents. Most of them are personal jokes amongst friends and you really have to know the intricate details of my sordid past. Not that there are any deep dark secrets or anything, no secrets at all, just embarrasing events really. I'm really grateful for all the gifts from Tom, Paul, Jo, Gaz, Kelvin and Lewis. I'm now the proud owner of a Mick Foley action figure and I have to say Kalves that all the kids and teachers absolutely love the fart putty! It was also pretty cool to have a Christmas card from someone who wasn't my mum too! Although the best Christmas card I've received to date was from a seven year old called Darrell. He's a bit special and a real pain in the arse... but everybody loves him... by everyone, I actually mean me... and by love I actually mean I think he's the funniest person I've ever met... ever! He's a little shit though. But awesome. He's the kind of kid that nobody can teach and all the teachers dread. He's amazing! The card he wrote me was pretty funny – I have a running joke with him where I call him 'Gappy' as he has lost his front milk teeth, I think he might still be waiting for the tooth fairy to deposit the cash... he's pretty mad! - the card reads "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" on the front (apparently he loves the song) and inside it reads "Mr Lee Punya pacar... (has a girlfriend, not true may I add) and bau (stinks). Thousand years of death!!!... Merry Christmas, Darrell"... He's my hero!

My business lesson this week consisted of killing enough time using the course book so that the students still felt like they'd learned something and the rest of it was spent doing Christmassy things. I made a wordsearch, crossword and quiz and awarded a prize for the first team to finish each activity successfully. Unfortunately the same team won everything! It wasn't all bad though, we made them share some of it though although one of them got pretty precious about sharing the good stuff... "n'gak boleh" was what I heard her repeating "ini n'gak boleh" or something close to that – I'm pretty turd at spelling in Indonesian – "this is not okay", she was basically just saying we could share the Dairy Milk but the Ferrero Rocher was strictly for home. I'd spent a reasonable amount on crisps, cake and drinks to have in class and used Youtube to play Christmas music... although I think some of it was lost on the muslims in the class... they are pretty cool and down with whatever really they just go with the flow and enjoy the atmosphere and all in all it was nice. Unfortunately Wizzard and Noddy Holder didn't impress them as much as I thought they would! (...
The only thing that dissapointed me was the reserved politeness... Indonesians will only really eat half of what is on offer – the old save it for other people thing later on thing – I was expecting them to pig-out with crumbs clinging to their chins... at least I was hoping for that. That would have been something closer to home. My Mum's a bit of a wimp in any conventional situation but if there is food involved she turns into The Incredible Hulk and clears the room of any competition... she can clean a buffet out in under ten minutes... so by her standards I was left a tad deflated! ;)... I'd also had to protect my stash from the office staff downstairs. Gaby in particular is a psycho when you hide the Chitatos from her. She must've screamed "Lee... I want Chitato!" at me 5 or 6 times before I'd even made it to the top of the stairs! I was then given the same treatment during my break and when I presented them with the other half of the leftover cake she just looked at me screeched "pelit!!!!!!" (Stingy) and said "I no like cake or chocolate I want Chitato... Pelit"... I realise that I make her sound like a mental patient but I'm scared that she's going to try and eat me next time!!! It felt like I was Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance when he's walking through Harlem in New York with an "I hate n****rs sign"... Luckily I'm safe and sound and she was momentarily dazed my the smell of half stale chocolate brownies! =p It was that intense!! "Pelit!!!!!..." It was cool though the class got together and bought me some posh style Indonesian nosh. While not my favourite snacks, it's the thought that counts...

This week also saw my first experience of an Indonesian wedding. It had a bride and a groom and lots of people but it didn't really have the aura of a wedding reception to me. By that I mean it was nothing like a British wedding... there was no shit disco, the buffet was of a really high quality, nobody was pissed and there were no family members fighting for some bullshit reason... It was pretty pleasant and there were lots of people from work there. You basically stand in a big room with lots of other people and no tables and chairs. The bride walks in to the waiting husband and they have a smooch – which is well gay! Urrrr.... - and then make their way up to a stage and people congratulate them. After that there is some organised photo taking followed by a ruckus to the best food. One of the plump office girls at work made a beeline for some rice dish from Bali... I decided that she knew best and decided I'd go for that too... it's pretty intense as Indonesians don't really do public courtesy very well so queueing for the food was less than civilised, akin to that of a school dinner queue when the turkey twizzlers are being taken by all the younger kids... Indonesians are very hospitable if they are hosting you but in public – and this is a massive generalisation – they don't seem to give a fuck ;)... and the prevailing ethos in this situation seemed to pretty much be "foooooood... me first...."... Other than that it was cool to spend some time with the Indonesians at work as I was the only honkey from EF in attendance. In fairness, Nana – the bride – looked absolutely amazing and overall it was pretty cool if not a bit short... Indonesian receptions only last around two hours!...

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