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UIBE graduation week

Beijing Travel Blog

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One half of the group at Tex Mex

On the penultimate day of the course I managed to oversleep and miss the first class!  Given how many ridiculously late nights I’d been having this was actually the first time I’d not made it to lessons on time.

We were told at the start of the course that missing classes without a good explanation would not be tolerated, so I was pleasantly surprise when my absence was ignored.  Clearly my star pupil status had worked in my favour!

The rest of the day passed by in a complete blur and then a big group of us headed into town to have dinner at Tex Mex.

Yet another fun evening was had by all, although not sure I liked that fact that I was confirmed mother of group as the oldest member at the table!  I was overjoyed to get a glass of red wine with my Fajitas - a real luxury after 4 weeks of mainly beer with the old cheap cocktail.

Jakob and I on route to the graduation dinner

After an early night, I woke refreshed to face the last day at UIBE.

We only had 2 classes in the morning to finish the course and then we were free to get ready for the Graduation dinner.

After a spot of lunch I headed straight over to the hairdressers with Amy and Emma to get a rerun of the pampering I’d sampled the week before....Then is was back to my apartment to pack.....

I’d seemed to have accumulated a ton of stuff so wasn’t too sure how I was supposed to fit it all in my rucksack.  Perhaps this was a task to complete in the morning...

Once spruced up in a little black dress and gold heels, I totted off to the coach at 5.30pm...

At the restaurant I sat at a table with Amy, Inga, Fergus, Martin and others which ensured a fun evening.

Senetor Pan with Mike Tyson!
  The guest of honour was Senator Pan, who is apparently the 10th most important member of the Chinese cabinet!  He was a very funny guy and had a lot of fun with all of us as he presented each of us with our TEFL certificates.  As we were eating, a selection of photographs of the Senator with various different dignitaries were passed around the tables.  This was bizarre in itself, but one of the photos was a little more random....Senator Pan posing with Mike Tyson of all people! VERY bizarre!!

 After the meal, everyone grabbed taxis to head to Cheers bar in San Li Tun.... It was quite a compact little place, so pretty packed once our entire group had arrived.  There was still enough room to bust a sufficient groove to the live band and reach the bar so I was happy.  I also managed to get a couple of good Mojitos (a first in Beijing) which added to my high spirits.

The teachers

As the clock struck midnight it became Amy’s 21st birthday.  Such an event couldn’t go unnoticed so I jumped on the little stage and after grappling for the mic from  Andrea, a permanently drunk Swede, I managed to announced to the bar that Amy has just turned 21 and it was therefore required that we all sang her happy birthday.  The whole bar then burst into full song, which was followed by the obligatory 3 cheers.

At some point in the evening Senator Pan made another appearance.  He’d changed out of his formal attire from earlier into a rather fetching Hawaiian shirt.  I couldn’t miss this great opportunity for a photo.

I think I made my way back to UIBE around 2am and headed to the 24hr noodle bar one last time.

Amy receives her certificate from Senetor Pan
..

I’m not sure where the time went, but I ended up staying up until around 6am and was just relieved I wasn’t due to leave UIBE until after lunch so at least could get a few hours sleep.

People started leaving for their various schools from 10am.  Clearly I missed seeing a few people off, but those I did see, it was pretty sad to say goodbye.  I couldn’t help myself shedding a little tear when I said goodbye to Amy, who was heading off to a school in Hangzhou, near Shanghai.  We’d become really good friends over the last few weeks and I was definitely going to miss her a lot.

I sat in the campus cafe with a stinking hangover to wait for Mr Guo, the programme leader from my school placement in Miyun.  He arrived at around 3.30pm to pick myself and Inga up, and I waved goodbye to UIBE.

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One half of the group at Tex Mex
One half of the group at Tex Mex
Jakob and I on route to the gradua…
Jakob and I on route to the gradu…
Senetor Pan with Mike Tyson!
Senetor Pan with Mike Tyson!
The teachers
The teachers
Amy receives her certificate from …
Amy receives her certificate from…
With my family!
With my family!
Ed and Heidi enjoying a beer in a …
Ed and Heidi enjoying a beer in a…
Other half of the group at Tex Mex
Other half of the group at Tex Mex
Emma and Amy on route to the gradu…
Emma and Amy on route to the grad…
The graduation dinner
The graduation dinner
Amy
Amy
Eating a flower
Eating a flower
Blue steel with Fi and Jakob
Blue steel with Fi and Jakob
Doc takes a rest
Doc takes a rest
Showing Kat my appreciation
Showing Kat my appreciation
With a very sweaty Ferg
With a very sweaty Ferg
Amy, Fabian and drunken Andrea on …
Amy, Fabian and drunken Andrea on…
Gooning around with Simon
Gooning around with Simon
Looking exceptionally hot!
Looking exceptionally hot!
Emily, Amy and Solaro
Emily, Amy and Solaro
Enjoy the last supper at the 24hr …
Enjoy the last supper at the 24hr…
Beijing
photo by: Deats