Sunday, 19 December 2010


Yesterday Nanjing's tallest building officially opened, under the jazzy name of the Zifeng Tower. It is just 5 minutes away from our pad so we went to check it out. It is 1,480 ft tall and was built by the same architects as those who worked on the world's tallest building, the Birj Khalifa, in Dubai. It has a shopping centre on the first six floors, many many office floors and then the rather suave Intercontinental Hotel towards the top. It also has a viewing platform on the 72nd floor, which we will be investigating around Christmas/Boxing day as a super dooper treat.

Inside the building isn't as impressive sadly. The shopping centre is half finished, with plaster still muddying up the otherwise shiny walls, and the job just doesn't look done. One of the lifts' buttons were actually only half stuck to the walls, and I think I could have done a better job with the tiles and plastering... shame. Everything here only ever seems to be half completed.

Photographical evidence:

Pretty festive if you ask me.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Caught on Camera

I finally managed to get my one off lecture on British history over with successfully on Wednesday this week. After 90 minutes of waffling, there was to be a Q&A session. I am now recorded on camera explaining why English and American accents are different. Obviously I must have skipped over the part where lots of English people moved over to that part of the world.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Birthday haul

Just to show you all what a birthday in China looks like:

It involves bear hats, fish piggy banks, cat notebooks, rabbit jumpers, reindeer scarves, bunny pens, hello kitty stamps, floral bags and earrings, Taoist books and pink nail varnish... oh and of course, a panda hot water bottle.


Thursday, 9 December 2010

Late night exercise

Everyone knows that in China the elderly have no embarrassment to simply walk around on an evening, clapping, spitting, chatting and most importantly, listening to their portable radios.

The other night upon returning home I passed an old man doing the usual walking backwards evening routine when I heard exactly what he was listening to on his portable device.

Correct. This old man was listening to George Michael's Careless Whisper whilst wandering around late at night in darkened corners...

Monday, 6 December 2010


In a nutshell, my birthday here in Chinalands was an ultimate success. Ate lots, drunk lots, got lots of (unexpected) presents, and had a nice wee trip to Shanghai and back... what more could you ask for.

Here are some photographical highlights:

Nautical themed hotel room... always a winner. As seen in 'The Captain' Hostel on the Bund.

Demolished food, yum yum yum.

And finally, the usual drunken poor photography skills.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Question Master

Last night I was a 'famous English teacher' who took on the role of QUESTION MASTER 3000 at the 5th Annual English speaking contest. Apparently now I am indeed famous, it's how I always planned... 

To kick off the proceedings we had a perky exchange student from India singing a song... in his native language. Now obviously I am all for multiculturalism but an Indian exchange student singing not in English at an English speech contest in China to 99% Chinese attendees was fairly odd. It doesn't even sound possible when you write it down. Then the 13 finalists (yes, there had been first and second stages...) got started on their pre-prepared talks. Most were either on 'If I were Barack Obama' (note: spelt Brack Obama in the programme) or 'If I were Bill Gates' but four of the 13 did 'If I were the President of the University'... and my task was to listen in earnest to their tales and think of a question frantically which I could ask them afterwards... hence, question master. Just about managed to think of a suitable question for all 13, but when it got to Vol. IV of the presidents, it did get a bit tricky to remain original.

We crowned the winner after another exchange student took to the stage and sang not one but two numbers, one of which featured an English rap section. He didn't break into a rap though sadly. He did, however, have rather good dance moves. 

To finish off the night there were many, many photos, and a fair few prizes. There was a first prize, three second prizes, and everyone else was given third place. How's that for fairness?

And just to round off this post, I'll leave you with an image of most lecture rooms here:

 Heads on desk.