Miyun School Trip
Miyun Travel Blog› entry 7 of 8 › view all entries
We had to be at the school at 7am - an absolute killer!! I was so tired and really not looking forward to having to smile sweetly all day at the teachers...Fortunately the day was a pleasant surprise....
On the trip were Claire and Wendy (with daughter, Sella) from grade 1 and a small group of teachers from grade 3, plus Mr Guo and the headmaster.
We were taken to a national park in Miyun County and went on a long (8km) walk through the area known as Peach Blossom Valley. It was really spectacular....There were magnificent views of the Great Wall and beautiful natural water pools, rock formations and waterfalls.
We arrived there so early that the place was deserted. Having the place to ourselves was a real treat because it’s usually not possible in China given the sheer volume of the population. At the end of our leisurely walk Mr Guo hired a couple of pedalos so we could go ‘boating’ on one of the water pools. It was quite a surreal experience as I ended up on a pedalo with Mr Guo and the headmaster. I was instructed that I should make conversation with the headmaster to show my respect and should ask him questions. The formal nature of the relationship I was clearly meant to have with him completely contradicted the situation we were in as he huffed and puffed whilst pedalling me around!
After the pedalo experience, we were taken to a restaurant in the middle of nowhere for lunch.
The usual requests to ‘gambei’ rice wine kept on coming which managed to get both Inga and I tipsy....We were then asked to sing. Given we’d turned down the request at the Teacher’s Day ceremony, we felt we had to obliged this time and promptly burst into our rather rubbish version of Can You Feel The Love Tonight from the Lion King. Luckily the alcohol had taken the edge of the embarrassment, but I was still compus mentus enough to know that actually this wasn’t really normal behaviour for me at this stage of sobriety.
Our performance seemed to get everyone in the singing mood because the suggestion was then made to head to KTV. I was now officially in heaven and the other teachers had a hard job getting me off the mic once I’d worked out how to find the English songs on the karaoke system.
The headmaster and Mr Guo did a couple of ear piercing Beijing opera performances, Inga managed to get molested in the bathroom by some dirty drunken Chinese guy, the teachers performed as a group for us, and Lydia (teacher from Grade 3) invited us both to have dinner with her that evening. So, all in all, it was a pretty eventful session at KTV.
We can’t have been at the KTV that long as we got dropped off at our apartment at around 4.30pm, but I just remember finding it amusing when we left the venue to find it still light outside.
Tired and still a little tipsy, Inga and I head to Lydia’s for dinner at 6pm.... We had a lovely evening eating Chinese hot pot, which is basically a boiling broth in the centre of the table that you chuck mutton and various vegetables in to cook. You then tuck into the pot with your chopsticks and dip what you can grab in a number of different tasty sauces. It’s a staple Chinese dish commonly eaten in Northern China in winter.
After dinner we watched Lydia’s wedding video, which was pretty interesting. Chinese weddings are nothing like Western ones. There is definitely no pomp to the ceremony and the guests don’t appear to make the same attire efforts that we do.
The evening ended quite bizarrely with Lydia requesting we do some karaoke for her husband. He didn’t seem that impressed, which prompted her to tell us that we’d clearly strained our voices that afternoon and therefore should perhaps call it a night. Inga and I found her directness very amusing particular given it was her suggestion we perform. However, we were actually just relieved at this point that we could get home to bed after such a long day.
Lydia kindly walked us home via a pharmacy to get some ‘Golden Throat’ lozenges to ease the damaged vocal chords.