Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Day in the life of Ding

Usually my posts are related to something specific that stood out in my day. I thought it about time (actually it was Celine's suggestion) to describe exactly what I do on an ordinary day, a day like today, where nothing amazing happened.

My alarm blared at 6.30am which is a painful concept for a Sunday morning but is the reality of a being an ESL teacher. Usually at this time I am arriving home after a night out but the tides have changed since moving to Asia. My classes on Sunday morning start at 8am and my boss needs (don't know why) all teachers at the school 20 minutes before classes start. That means I have to be out the door no later that 7.20am which is why I have to set my alarm on a Saturday night to the ungodly hour of 6.30am. I shake my head now even thinking about the idea.

Anyway, after hitting the snooze at least once I jumped out of bed to shivers. Yep, it is bloody cold at the moment. I leave the house in a scarf that one of Celine's students made her and a jacket. Half the time my motorbike doesn't start because it is too cold so I spent my usual few minutes swearing at the bike as I tried to start it manually.

Once on my way I left my village (Nghi Tam) passing between the Sheraton and Inter Continental Hotels. I drove along a street called Yen Phu which is a constant stopping place for Celine and I in the evenings. I turned onto a main road with two different lakes on either side. This is my favourite part of the bike ride as the morning views of the lake are so tranquil. Men are up early fishing while women are doing their exercise; meanwhile the traffic is acceptable which is as good as you can hope for before 11pm at night.

After driving through the lake I soon passed the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum which again makes my trip pleasurable. The massive Vietnamese flag flaps in the wind as guards man all corners of the area. About 10 minutes later I arrived at school where I taught two classes of one and half hours each. They are both teenager classes. The first class I taught about identity using personality adjectives as the main lesson point. I borrowed one of Celine's ideas by taking pictures of the kids while they hold up a name card.......It's the only way I can remember their names. The second class I taught a lesson on music styles, mainly because i know so much about the topic.......ha ha.

On my way home I stopped at a street restaurant for lunch. It is buffet style where I picked a few dishes from about 10-15 options. With a massive serve of rice I had some pork, beef, beans and tofu. You can take it away which I did and it all came to all a whopping $1.80. I mean seriously, how good is that? The guy spoke French so I practiced with him and was happy to know that I understood a lot of what he was saying.

I enjoyed my lunch at home in front of the TV, watching the replay of the latest Arsenal game, while preparing my afternoon lesson. I left the house at 1.30pm for a 2pm start tutoring one of my students. Today I helped him with his Physics in English (yes I am tutoring Physics) which was as educational for him as it was for me. I lent him a book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that is a summarised version of the classic (5,000 words) with some questions to answer. After a discussion on family in the home and the different roles we have we ended the lesson with a game of scrabble. Before you ask, yes he won and yes i was trying..............Shit!

I drove home and arrived at close to 5pm. I cleaned the house a little and checked my emails. I am hoping to find a few more classes for January to save a bit more money for our travels, so I looked at a few options. I then procrastinated about writing my latest article and decided to write this post instead. I am waiting for Celine to get home from her busy Sunday at work. We will go and eat somewhere (most probably street food) and then relax watching a movie. I have my first class of my second level of French tomorrow morning - Elementary 1 - J'adore le Francais....I should go and practice......

So there you have it.........A normal day in the life of Ding......

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