Friday, December 31, 2004

First To BATA, Then To School

It's the last day of the year. In the new year, I shall be back to the same school, but with a brand new class to call my own.

Humans exchange the better part of their life for the dream to indulge their thereafter beaten bodies in the seemingly-well-deserved material luxuries.

Yet thankfully, there are some who seek justification for celebration and partying – such as the eves of Christmas or New Year’s Day. The eves have the greatest people-gathering, adrenalin-fuelling and according to the papers today, hormone-energizing effect because of that celebrated countdown from one moment to the next which seems oh so significant because the first second of the following day has been made special to the people both by tradition and commerce.

Sans the cynicism, I rejoice in the existence of a New Year’s Day. A holiday is a great way to open a new year. I suppose we all need markings in time. The title “new year” pushes for some kind of new beginning: whether it be a financial one (e.g. fiscal year, paying the year’s income tax, annual insurance premiums etc.), a new year by status (e.g. going from Primary 1 to 2) or usually more significantly, an occasion for reflection on the past 12 months and a reason to embark on what should have been done in the instant the decision to have it done was made. (e.g. it doesn’t take a new year to allow someone to discard rotten habits).
The concept of having “new” year resolutions is necessary to humans. It is something like religion. I think it was Nietzsche or one of those wise guys who said, “If there wasn’t a God, it would be necessary to create one.”

Anyway, I don’t have any. Actually I do have one, but it is too embarrassing and private to discuss openly. Come to think of it, though I say I don’t have any new year resolutions, in actual fact I do have some inkling of it. While I don’t have my list in black and white, or even a semblance of a single resolution in my head, I have unwittingly joined the human masses in celebrating a new beginning, albeit quietly.
It's the last day of the year. In the new year, I shall be back to the same
school, but with a brand new class to call my own.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Penang - Food, Shopping & A Wedding

I apologise for having appeared to be on a blog vacation for so long. During the month of December, I was in 3 different parts of Malaysia in 3 separate trips for 3 different reasons. The first trip to KL was strictly for retail therapy, the next one to Kulai (somewhere off Johor) was for my church's family retreat and the final one to Penang (a turtle-shape island) was for my cousin's wedding.

In between the 3 trips were a couple of weekdays which I spent unpacking and rushing the clothes for wash, repacking, vacuuming and mopping the week's worth of dirt and grime on the floor and catching up with Ly (for the two trips he wasn't with me).

I think I've chased away my readers with my unbecoming long lulls of inactivity. Come back, come back! I finally have something blogworthy.

I hope these photos don't take forever to load. I was at Xiaxue's blog and half her photos did not appear on my screen even after 5 minutes.
I am feeling insecure. I can't quite remember how to write anymore. Being out of school (as a student) for too long has made my writing and analytical skills take a backseat. Having a routine life once again in school (now teaching) doesn't give me very much to talk about either. Having a steady boyfriend whom I, with all my heart, think I'm going to marry (a very embarrassing happy-ever-after dream) doesn't give me crushes, flings, all-girl wild parties and boredom to talk about either. I feel like I've settled down to soon. Ah, what am I blabbering about? I'll be back studying in no time. July 2005 to be precise, at NIE -- on the same campus with my baby. Somehow, that previous statement just doesn't sound me. Ahh.. Identity crisis!
Anyway, back to Penang.
Like all trips overseas, the story must begin with some journey to the destination (whether by way of air, road, sea or imagination). Did I mention I love plane rides? However, I only have a penchant for the short (preferbly about 4 hours) ones. These short journeys give me enough time to enjoy the take-off, half an hour to reminisce the take-off, another half hour to acknowledge and appreciate the constraints of the aeroplane, a couple of hours to enjoy one in-flight movie (usually the airlines offer a recently released movie -- that saves me $8.50/7.50/6.50), a cumulative half hour to enjoy the sanitary provisions of the small toilet cubicles playing with the loud vacuum flush, using the "Specially packaged for _______ Airlines" moisturiser and aftershave and finding the secret catch to open the cabinet holding the extra sanitary pad and facial tissue supplies.
Where was I? Oh yes, So here's the pictorial representation of my descend onto the turtle-shape island of Penang. The centre of the island, which is hilly, is so filled with dense vegetation that from the bird's eye view that I had, Penang looked like a giant broccoli on a sand-coloured plate.

My sister finally persuaded my Mum to let us go on the trishaw while Grandma (Mama), Grandma's Sis (E-Poh) and Mum (Mum) took a taxi to one of our shopping destinations (shopping was just by the way for this Penang trip, although we did spend more than RM2000 on shopping alone).

It appears that every Malaysian taxi I have seen has the driver's name displayed on the external body of the vehicle.
When we went to a taxi stand and asked the driver (who was relaxing outside his car) who was to our greatest geographical convenience to take us to our destination, I was stunned when he so nicely called another driver to serve us. To me it was either "wow, what laziness" or "wow, what generosity". Apparently, I was wrong on both exclamations.
In Penang, the taxis don't run on meter and taxis don't form a queue. Instead, there's a general fixed price for a trip depending on distance and time (e.g. peak traffic hours) and the taxi drivers themselves queue out of their vehicles. The taxi drivers join a few taxi associations; each association entitles them to pick up passengers from a particular taxi stand. While the taxis can pick passengers off the road, they are not allowed to service passengers from official stands that they are not members of.

Here's the coffeeshop outside our hotel. The drinkstall was very classic Malaysian to me (because that's how I remember the KL coffeeshops look). Have a look at the drinks price board.

You can click on the photo to have it magnified on a separate browser window, wait for it to fully load, then move your mouse about the bottom right corner of the picture to find the magnification tool and click on it.

Our staple food during the four days:

Penang Char Kway Teow: The kway teow here is narrower and softer, while the prawns have a fresh crunch and the taogeh is served in generous portions (versus in Singapore where after much pleading with the hawker for more beansprouts, he grouchily throws in a few skinny strands here)

Penang Hei Mee (Prawn Noodles): This was absolutely fantastic. The small serving of beehoon was doused in a bowl of soup reddish with chilly and prawn stock, but not overly spicy, rich in flavour. They even a have a slice of my favourite food -- egg.

These two dishes were my personal favourites.

Ok, now for the wedding part. My distant cousin (ok, immediate cousin, but geographically and sentimentally far away), Colin and his bride, Ashley (everyone calls her Ju Yan, but she used her christian name probably for aesthetic reasons on the wedding invitation, church wedding programme and at the Shangri-la banquet):

I love her bouquet of flowers. Pretty unique; I'd want that for my own wedding, I thought. But on second thought, my sister and I agreed that if she would to toss her bridal bouquet in the traditional "which-unmarried-maiden-is-going-to-be-next-to-walk-down-the-aisle", the bunch of celery sticks would probably kill that poor maiden before she could say "I do".

Will you believe my tomboy sister wore a skirt -- and pink? Doesn't she look lovely? It was her first time wearing a skirt (other than her school skirt) -- and pink.

The mafia looking scene above comprises of (from left) the groom's sister, Charmaine (affectionately known as Ahchar) , her angmoh husband (now separated on amicable terms), Mark, and the groom's brother, Chris. Charmaine wore a polo T-shirt and jeans to her own brother's wedding, while Mark wore an unsophisticated black vest as he was the cameraman for the wedding. No wonder they weren't offered the church ceremony programme at the entrance.

The wedding dinner at Shangri-la:

(I'm not being narcissistic here, but the photo with the bride and groom at the dinner table refuses to appear on my blog, so the next best feature of the evening is me!)

Mum made me fully get my money's worth on my prom-night gown. I outdressed the bride, who came in a badly-cut bareback black dress which revealed an unsexy beige underwear and a middle-age spread (she's 32 and he's 29). It was quite embarrassing, in my opinion, when the relatives (during the dinner itself and in the next 2 days) expressed their disgust at the bride's choice of an inauspicious black along with an unflattering design and exclaimed in Hokkien, "Wei Wei's dress was prettier than hers!"

Doesn't my sister, for those of you who know her, look a on the prettier and feminine side when dressed up?

E-Poh, Mama and my Malaysian baby-face cousin, Adrian, who is now struggling in Singapore with the bad food (in comparison to Malaysia's quality hawker fare) now so that he can get his bar (some cert which entitles him to practice law in Singapore).

This aunty came late (which is expected from her). She had no time to pose for a photo with the waiter lurking around our table eager to remove this plate to make space for the next. As such, her main priority at this point was to transfer the yummy contents of the cold dish onto her plate before the evil waiter got to it first.

Late aunty's (I mean tardy aunty's) bulky 13-year-old baby experimenting static electricity with the helium-filled balloons he stole from the wedding entrance decorations. This is him rubbing the balloon against his hair. What is not shown is how he went round our table to find out whose hair would get attracted to the balloon's static electricity forces.

Of course, what is a trip all the way to Penang for a ceremonial church wedding and a social obligation of a dinner follow-up without us far-travelling relatives meeting the actual bride and groom? Two days after the wedding, an entourage of Cousin-Babyface's family and mine barged into the home of the parents-of-the-groom's home for tea. Our ringing of the bell was responded to by a very sleepy aunty in the midst of her siesta and housecoat. Anyway, 15 minutes later, the unsuspecting and dazed groom walked into his parent's house (he lives in the unit next door) for tea and became the unfortunate victim of my photo-blogging.

And in tow 5 minutes later was his wife, Ju Yan, whose name her hard-of-hearing father-in-law (visit his hobby Penang website which the Penang tourism board has recently began to fund) still believes to be Joanne.

Now that you have participated in my evil sharing of my family and their horrible side, the wedding narrative has come to an end.

We had three solid days of shopping nevertheless and here's my Mum posing in her new suit in the toilet. She bought a pretty pink blouse and a pair of beaded olive green jeans on the second day of shopping which she bravely wore out on the third.

Penang's airport should be given an award for having the most apt service in an airport -- massage chairs that charge RM2 for $5 of sensual pleasure. Here's my sister digging two RM1 coins for my mother's enjoyment -- she who waits in such eager anticipation for a holiday from the 3 holidays.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A Quick Visual Update On My Life

My new mini HiFi -- what I've been longing for since SAJC days.
This (the cheapest I could find at $129 @ Harvey Normon) mini comes with a digital tuner, FM alarm (I wake up to the voices of The Flying Dutchman, Rod Monteiro & Glenn Ong every morning) and a better sound system!

I'm growing up... I've got my CPF letter.. Boo hoo hoo! I've barely started adulthood and the government is already planning my retirement funds.. Btw, Check out my funky pair of branded scissors (I bought them on a happy impulse when Ly so willingly driving me to Parkway Parade from school one afternoon)

Look what I won in school! This trophy sure beats the ugly cheap bronze ones I got from my TKGS East Zone competition days... (Btw, no parent turned up)
I wonder if my Mum is proud of me...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Free Lunch Anyone?

There is a fantastic group of people in the teachers’ staff room that adds to the quality and joy of my experience in this school.

This is the group of Chinese teachers (who happen to be seated all together in the staff room since all the mother tongue teachers are seated according to the languages they teach – which, in my opinion, is so close to Raffles’ style of town planning and inconsistent with today’s racial harmony efforts in Singapore). On an almost weekly basis, the team of Chinese teachers would initiate preparing lunch in the staff lounge. They would take turns cooking plain or pumpkin porridge in a rice cooker (brought by one of them for the day). The rest of the team would contribute add-ons. We have had olive leaves in olive oil (with a wonderful fragrant taste that I was surprised to find myself liking), yong tau foo, chicken, mushrooms, vegetables, pickles and smelly decomposed tofu.

They would always provide for more than themselves, and invite the other teachers to join in. This has become the regular practice, such that there isn’t any standing on ceremony from the non-Chinese teachers, like me. We feel part of this warm community. Whenever we sit and have lunch together in the staff lounge, I feel so lightened and blissfully happy to find such simple and sincere people in my colleagues. In a way, it is very church-like.

I will not say that their small effort goes a long way, simply because this is no small feat. Someone has to bring the rice cooker, buy the rice, wash the rice and set it to cook (amidst the full duties of being a teacher) such that when the bell rings at 1PM and the staff room is re-populated, the porridge is just about done. The lunches are not sponsored by some welfare or fellowshipping board; neither do those who partake of the meal make a monthly contribution to the lunch fund. And at the end of the meal, the team even washes up the common cutlery too.

In the past week, we have also had Hari Raya in the lounge. Our Malay teachers brought their biscuits and kuehs, a lot of which are homemade. They leave Tupperwares of these sweet things on the common table.

There is always food on the table in this school.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Day I Started A Fashion Trend

It was a wet and rainy morning. (This is how most unimaginative boys begin their essays -- very into-your-face descriptions.)

The clammy air was heavy and imposing with moisture. Both road and intellectual traffic was slow.

My attire for the school day had no relation to the weather since I, in consideration of my fickle clothes-pickiness and the fact that I the teacher cannot afford to be late for school, inflexibly choose what I am going to wear for school the night before. Thus with the unfortunate non-application of obvious signs that a chilly day lay ahead, I entered the world that lay outside the cosiness of my home, in a sleeveless black blouse.

I draped my cardigan over my rather bare shoulders when I went to class and was greeted with the usual "Yey! Miss Chen!" (contrary to the law of "Familiarity causes a gravitation of enthusiasm towards dull expectation", the girls have not tired of me yet). I wrote something on the board. When I turned around, one of my darlings came up to me and requested that I helped her drape her jacket around her shoulders "like yours, Miss Chen". After I entertained her request, I looked up to find that three other girls, who were blessed with mothers who pack brightly-coloured cartoony jackets into the girls' trolley bags to protect their darlings from the cold morning, had done the same too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Blogstipation + Depression = BLOGDEPRESTITATION?

I am depressed. This depression is blog-related; I have had nothing to blog about the last few weeks. Implicatively, that means my life (and what other life do I have besides in teaching?) has no more highlights or “kick”. Do not get me wrong – I am happy when I am teaching, but once outside that, I find no teenage (I am still one right?) thrill. It is as if that wild youngster in me is suddenly, and quite long overdue, rearing its head with a wild sparkle in her eyes, seeking adventure and excitement.

It sounds likes the late-night pubbing, handphone-gossiping, made-up, flighty, irresponsible, unattached Mango-fashion-parading Orchardian that I have never been. In some way, I want to be that carefree young modern girl that I have so much contempt for.

Perhaps I need some young hormone-driven NS-serving boyfriend who challenges me with his ignorant freshness, inexperience in relationships and life in general. In other words, he would drain me emotionally by our constant arguments on his lack of maturity and my domineering superiority. Yet, we would sneak out because my Mum probably would not approve of this youngster as my boyfriend. And because we have to lie and manoeuvre a way just to be with each other, we would appreciate every minute of our time together. The last moment parting at the lift-landing would be of such sweet sorrow. And I would be all giggly pink with and sometimes irritated at the attention he bathes me in. I would never get awfully awfully upset with him because I do not expect much from this boyfriend who probably is still umbilical-cordily dependent on his mother. What a fantasy! So 15-year-old, yet – and hence – so innocently thrilling.

Not that I have much to complain about Ly. He is so grown-up. He is quite an adult in our relationship. We don’t do silly things like misbehaving in public, sneaking a smooch during a movie or even lying to parents. No more cheap thrills with this adult, I guess. This is the price of the steady security I now experience.

My girls keep me happy in school. They really do, but cannot go on blog-eons about my darling girls. There has to be some other thing in my life. Or is this the beginning of the decline of my blogxistence? The papers quote that among the tens of thousands of Singaporean bloggers, the bulk are students. I am not one anymore. It seems that the working life does not offer very much excitement, hence the inclination of the blogging demography towards students.

Here is my little, but worthy-of-mention thrill in the recent weeks:
I have been fully enjoying the facilities of the squat toilet and bidet (the little shower head found next to toilet bowls for the convenient quick rinsing of your liquid/solid/blended-waste-excreting contrivances) in the school’s staff toilet.
Have I mentioned before that I love defecating in the conventional squat position? Ly begs to differ, arguing that the excretor’s intimate proximity with the excreted is a major mood-killer.
Nevertheless, I have not lost any love for the position which so naturally pries my exit point at its widest, allowing for prompt and clean delivery. Another plus is that in the usage of the squatter, the backsplash (of diluted piss and essence of brown waste) that the more popular cousin (the seated toilet bowl) blesses the victim’s bottom with, is unmistakably absent.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Wish List

A Primary 1 girl wrote me a question on her little white board (every student owns a mini whiteboard, which the teacher uses periodically to get an immediate visual response from the class), “Why do you come to school?”

That was quite a provoking question, I thought. It got me thinking. I was not sure whether she was trying to challenge me, was unsure of my role/purpose in her class (I am co-teaching by the way, but her form teacher still does not quite incorporate me into the actual teaching – old habits die hard, I guess) or was truly questioning me on my reasons for taking up teaching.

My class (or rather, one of my four classes) was made to write/draw a wish list for the coming year. One highly distracted girl submitted a comic strip featuring a girl with a speech bubble going “grrhoor”. When asked what that unpronounceable word was, she made a sucking snorting/snoring sound. She wrote below the comic strip, “I wish I can grrhoor everyday.” Total nonsense, even if taken in the most creative sense. However, after I told her to do up something proper, she changed the sentence to, “I wish my parents were bake (back) together again.”

Another girl, Pearl, wrote, “I wish my P.E. teacher, Mr. Quek, will be my boyfriend.” (By the way, this Mr. Quek is really quite good-looking. He really fits the bill of tall, dark and handsome – the mould of an Outward Bound School instructor.)
Totally amused and curious at the same time, I asked her what does it mean to have a boyfriend. She whispered, “Sleep with him lor.”
For a moment I was taken aback, until I remembered that she, as an 8-year-old, probably only understood that statement in its literal sense (i.e. physically sleeping in his arms or next to him).
In her wish list, she also wrote, “I wish all my close friends in class are my brothers and sisters so we can sleep together.”
I inferred that she must be a very lonely child without the physical affection and assurances that a girl at her age longs for, but does not understand.
Later, she told me in a benign manner that her grandma was half-paralysed and her aunty has to take care of her grandma now. That meant that Pearl had to return to the care of her mother (which apparently was not the common practice). She continued child-likely, “I don’t like living in my Mummy’s house. I always get scolded.”
The specific phrase “Mummy’s house” caught my attention and I further inquired in an effortful manner to be as casual as she was with me, “So where’s your father?”
“Oh, he go back to Tampines to sleep lah,” she replied very matter-of-factly.

I am unsure whether it is more due to the family culture of affluent Katongers or the general increasing trend of broken families that has resulted in the apparently unusually huge proportion of children in my classes who come from such homes.

I feel so awful for these children who suffer without knowing it, knowing why or knowing whom to blame. I can tell they lack the warm and cushiony human love at home, but I don’t think they know it themselves. Perhaps I am overreacting.
If these children do not know their suffering, are they suffering?
I guess this question has a vague similarity to the philosophical “If a tree fell, but nobody saw or heard it, did the tree fall?”

I wish I could mother these children and give them all the attention and love that every child deserves. I’ll give Pearl all the physical affection she needs and ice-cream girl Maya (who, after being treated to ice-cream for Children’s Day, ravenously used her hands to wipe the ice-cream tub cover clean and licked her fingers and palms clean, gleefully oblivious to her classmates laughing at her, because she was so engrossed in the luxury she could not afford).
Anyway, the answer to the thought-provoking "Why do you come to school?" question came from the questioner herself, "Because school doesn't come to you."

Friday, September 24, 2004

A Friendly Letter

[enlarge by clicking to view a legible size]
I didn't realise how I had impacted this Primary 2 girl. I was in her class for only one lesson, observing a teacher I would be co-teaching with. I walked around as they were doing their work and gave a few casual words of praise to some of them on their work; this Mridula was one of them. Later in her classroom assignment (writing a letter), she wrote one to me.
The girls, especially the younger ones, absolutely adore their teachers. While I was eating at the teachers' table in the canteen, a row of girls stood about 3 metres away, entertained and fulfilled just watching me eat.
Once, when I was having a baby bowl of hei-mee (prawn noodles) alone, this Primary 5 girl from one my 'observing' classes, came up to my table and made herself comfortable. Students are not allowed to seat at the teachers' table, so she conveniently bent over the table, plonked her elbows at the corner, rested her chin in her hands and watched me eat while ranting a monologue on how she finds her form teacher "cute" (the word at which I choked on my hei-mee). The Indian girl's name is Chua Kai Ying.
During the teachers' photo-taking session in the foyer after school, the girls in the canteen nearby area ceased their activity to come watch us being arranged by the photographer and having the flashlights at us. At the end of the 10-minute sport, the girls applauded.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Rest of My Shanghai Experience

My family at Yu Yuan (A man called Yu built the lovely place for his beloved mother dragon years ago, but it has been defiled by the communist-claimed-but-capitalist-minded Chinese and made into a commercial tourist trap).
Can you see my father flagging his right arm irritatedly? He was complaining about and trying to stop the oblivious/rude people of China (many of the tourists in Shanghai are actually domestic tourists) from cutting across our photo-taking path. We had to do this shot 3 times.

The queue for the infamous Shanghai Xiao Long Bao! My father did his manly act by offering to join the queue as the 39th in line. But frankly, the Xiao Long Bao at Singapore's own Crystal Jade is of a much better quality.

What a young salesgirl, I thought. She's barely hit puberty, but nevertheless very persistent and business-wise, just like the other pre-pubescent salesboy (right of photo). I really pity these children. They come from the rural areas to Shanghai to work, and have barely an education. In this respect, China's really behind time. It's current literacy level is possibly that of our Singaporean grandparents. By the time I have my own children, I would think their peers would be able to speak English. However, in the case of China, I think there would still be many with low levels of education in the next generation.

Gigolo undies. It's got a money/condom pouch in front.

An innovative mop made of the skeleton of an old mop with old socks to add body to head. This was found in the Zhou Zhuang, a rather well-preserved village. Although tourist shops have sprung up through this Venice of China, the people are still simple and traditional.

Rows of tu-kar..

...left on display for who knows how many days and coated with caramel, or some illegal dye to preserve it's appearance.

I combined these two pictures thinking that the statue on the left was Guanyinma (which is correct) and that the words on the right read Guan Yin. Pardon me, my Chinese is that rusty. Those two words were part of a sign that probably read, "Joss-sticks for common use".

I love these photos, especially the one with the old beggar woman. She's so old with her sinewy skin stretched over her face and so oblivious that she wasn't aware that my father had put money in her hands.
The one with the beggar man looks quite supernatural eh?

The waterways of China's Venice, Zhou Zhuang.

We got invited into one of the locals' home, and I sneaked a few shots. In the year 2004, this home looks like a display set-up we are more likely to find in our heritage museum.

I've never seen a weaving machine before, much less a traditional one. That old woman next seating at the wooden machine wanted me to pay her for taking the photo. I feigned ignorance and walked away quickly.
I took the photo of the fishing birds (at first, I thought they were vultures) from across the the waterway, but the owners (seated) saw me and shouted at me. They wanted money too, but too bad, they were too old and did not attempt to make it across to get to me.
What a crafty enterprising group of people!

Mum complained that she never did like scenaries from China because they were all grey. I agree about the grey part, but look at how colourful they made this photo!

Pretty? I don't know what to comment on for this photo.
A traditional Chinese theatre.

A wishtree in the temple grounds, where wishers probably have to buy the red ribbons from the commercialised shop in the temple itself.

Mum and Cui tired out, seating in front of a closed shop. They stare at the little Chinese girl that trots by. She's the daughter of one of the shop owners and trying to occupy herself walking from one shop to another.

I've never sat in a trishaw before! We got this chance from the touts in Zhou Zhuang -- a ten minute ride to the heart of the village for only 5RMB (S$1) per trishaw.
The touts are very cunning. They attracted us first with such a low trishaw rate when we first got off the coach, but later tried to be our guides (these guides would then collect their commissions from whichever shop we purchased items from while under their care). Thankfully, my father was experienced enough with the money-making culture here and dismissed them with a 10RMB note to be split between the two trishaw riders.

Something local in Shanghai! Do you know Breadtalk even has its own shares on the stock market? I'm so proud of Breadtalk!

Unlike Singapore's family package of 4 (Family packages in Malaysia's come in 5's), China's one is clearly 3.

Those unscrupulous Chinese sell probably illegally farmed or stolen baby animals in the train stations.

The government housing found in Shanghai.

Everytime we passed this building (it was on the way to town from the villa), Lauretta raved about this being Soviet-built during the communist era.

The colonial gang probably left their mark in every city, China not spared.

Admittedly, I don't have very much respect for the modern Chinese culture (not history). However, this 4-tier highway impressed me greatly.

Earning money with a TV attached to his back, this man walks slowly along the shopping street, stops and faces the wall for the rest of his hours.

Check out the Chinese attempts at English (warning: Chinese-bashing):


Muahahahaha again! Pardon me..
I have one more that is even more _________(fill in the blank), but Blogger doesn't want to upload that for me.

The rubbish bins at the airport caught my eye. The left one collects "inorganic garbage" while the one on the right does the "organic garbage".

Guess who we met on our way back at the Shanghai airport? Donna from church! She was on the way home alone after covering some opening event in Shanghai for Her World.