Today is "Teacher's Day" in China. Unfortunately it isn't a national holiday -- so no day off for me -- but a chance to admire, respect and adore the teachers of this country. My boss, Charles, apparently wanted to treat his teaching staff to a new pen. Luckily an intervention by two of the tutors made him change his mind to more generous offerings. Instead we were presented with 70RMB (about £6) worth of coupons for GXC bakery. Surprisingly the bakeries are very nice here, you can buy cakes, buns, pastry-type things, biscuits and loaves of bread. The bread is quite sweet compared to at home, and butter is at a shortage too (when you find some in one of the handful of shops that sell it in the city, it's also relatively expensive).
Some of the female teachers received flowers from a student. Erin -- one of the "tutors" (as we have to say at Web) -- shared some of hers with me which was very kind.
I also received a real gift: two boxes of "Gel Bait for Killing Cockroaches" from a student, Rachel. In our last class together I told her of my previous horror stories, she was kind enough to offer me a helping hand (and possibly be my new Chinese teacher).
And if that wasn't enough gifts for one day, I have also been given a complementary box of sweets from a couple who are getting married in my apartment building. Maybe I have bumped into them in the lift a couple of times, but I have no idea who they are (they didn't show their faces today either, just left the box hanging on my front door). It's customary to give a box of something sweet to your colleagues and neighbours when you get engaged, but I would have thought that giving a box to everybody in a twenty-two storey building is taking the tradition a little too far.
Kimi and I are going away for the Mid-Autumn festival but can't decide exactly where to go because of the endless list of options. Kimi said she can't make a decision because she's desperate for a white iPhone 3G -- which will be illegally winging it's way to her any day -- and can't keep her mind on anything else.