Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Well this is awkward

While my School goes on a whole two-week summer vacation, I have been temporarily relocated to another school to teach. Currently in Shanghai its been in the mid 90’s every day but the heat index puts the weather around 105 degrees making it extra hot because of the humidity. As I sat in the blazing hot computer room with 3 big air condition units surrounding me, I ponder to myself why the Chinese are so cheap and all show.  In an effort to save on  theelectricity bill they have turned off the air-condition units and hid the remotes so that only an elite few can use them. With the rickety  old metal overhead fans going, I sat with beads of sweat dripping down my face as I try to write my thesis. Suddenly, one of the teachers comes in with the precious remotes and turns on the air conditioner and relieving me of this heat; I think to myself how nice she is.
            Little by little teachers start to storm into the room and I begin to realize the air condition was not turned on for me but for them. Figuring there was a meeting about to happen I sat quietly at my computer typing away trying to go unnoticed as long as I am quite. With the room filled with about 30 teachers and staff from the school, some random elderly lady who was not the principle grunts at me pointing to my computer. I closed my computer and gathered my belongings and started to head out of the room and back to the “office”, but on the way she insists that I stay for the meeting. Waving her hands for me to take a seat, the teachers tell her that I am the English teacher, but that did not matter as she was determined for me to stay, grabbing my hand as I tried to exit the room. With all the staff watching and trying not to make a scene I put my things down and take a seat.  I sat there and watched as she rambled on for about 20 minutes continuously without out a peep from anyone. Bored out of my mind, I watched the other teachers look at me and smile, using there facial expressions to try talk with me. Finally the lady takes notice of this and stops talking for a minute to ask what’s so funny. The teachers laugh and tell her that I am the English teacher and don’t speak any Chinese and have no idea what she is talking about and I shouldn’t be in the meeting. Embarrassed and turning red, she insisted that I leave the room since I did not need to be in the meeting, exactly what I was trying to do 20 minutes earlier. I stood up and smiled and nodded good-bye to her and escorted myself out of the room as the teachers all smiled and laughed… whelp that was a bit awkward. Just another day in China.

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