Towards the end of 2009 I applied for a position back at Yuexiu University and was soon packing my bags to go for the first semester of 2010. I was keen to attend Expo 2010 in Shanghai, and renew my friendships with the students and teachers at the university. This time I went with Cathay Pacific – with a few hours stopover in Hong Kong on the way to China, with plans to spend a few days visiting the city on my return journey. Normally I would have flown into Shanghai but on this occasion we landed in Hangzhou, a city much closer to Shaoxing, the home of Yuexiu.
I was so thrilled to be welcomed by a young man, by then on the staff of the university, but previously a good friend of mine. He was a student when we met one day on the Number 2 bus from the city central to the university!
Two other teachers, both from Brisbane, that I had met in 2008, were also on their way, and we had a swift journey to the university and were glad to be in our apartments – our homes for the next five or so months.
It was to be a big year in more ways than one. Not long after we arrived we (the Australians) received, an invitation to attend the Anzac Day Commemoration at the Australian Consulate in Shanghai. It did mean that I had to re arrange some of my classes, but I set off and stayed overnight with another friend from Brisbane, who also attended the event. Today I found the “Order of Service” in my collection of memorabilia.
So glad am I that I went as it was a glorious occasion, and my friend and I had a wonderful time. It was, of course, a somewhat sombre occasion in the luxurious grounds of the Consulate, with wonderful performances from a children’s choir and a gent from New Zealand. The Last Post was played by a musician from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. After the laying of wreaths and other formalities the food arrived. It was most enjoyable and as other started to leave so did we, and wandered along the road to a lovely restaurant and sat chatting over a glass or two of wine. I stayed another night before returning to Shaoxing.
The following month, Shanghai Expo opened. I think it was June that I was able to go. Again I had to re arrange classes, and after a late class on the Monday evening, I caught the bus to Shanghai and met up with my friend Sue. Early the net morning we set off midst the amazing crowds to see the Expo. It was amazing. As are most of these type of events. We queued up for an hour or so to get into the Australian Pavilion, as it was Australia’s National Day at Expo, and were really happy to see the whole exhibit. Many of the major pavilions had huge long queues – including the Chinese pavilion which we did not see. The buildings were awesome! Everything was!! We headed home in the early evening quite knackered.
Early next morning, around 4 pm I had to get up and leave as I had a class to take late morning. As it turns out I didn’t make it back in time, but a friend stepped in for me. I managed my next class, and then in the afternoon went with my “driver” to another teaching assignment at Shangyu, befor returning and preparing for another teaching assignment in Kequiao. So I had been in four cities in one day – and had a class in three of them. I was very tired!!!! Luckily I could sleep the next day!!
More to come.