Monday, January 28, 2008

Very Long Weekend

I couldn't wait for Tuesday, so I could ask my DOS why I was suddenly observed. Tuesday came and it was very difficult not to come to the school by daybreak. Anyway, I arrived at the station at around ten, pretended that I needed something at the supermarket and wandered around the aisles for ten minutes, I took some money from the ATM, and then I was ready to walk to school.
I went straight to the DOS. She didn't know anything about the observation. But she promised to find out.
She called me half an hour later to tell me that the marketing guy wished to be able to explain to prospective students how the class is taught. So he meant exactly what he said. He just didn't mention the purpose! *@%#&@% Oh, well. At least my worst fear was ungrounded.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Long Weekend

I had been looking forward to this long weekend. I was still a bit tired from the ordeal of moving. I had plans. I was going to set up the computer, finish unpacking and sorting out my stuff, sew a curtain for my bedroom window and just relax. My student cancelled our session so I had some free time in the afternoon. I arrived feeling full of energy. The class started. A student went out to get some coffee and didn't come back. I went out to check and she was talking to one of the marketing guys. I was a bit annoyed. I went back to class and after ten minutes she came back, with the marketing guy in tow. He suddenly said, Would you mind if I observe your class? I just want to know how the class is taught.
I said sure. He sat near a Japanese student, with a very serious look on his face. The class became more and more tense. In the end, the students all burried their noses in the handouts. They were too tense to even understand my joke (or maybe I was tense). The guy left after half an hour. The class was much happier after that.
That was just rude! Barging into somebody's class, sitting without smilling, speaking in Japanese to a student while I was teaching, and then left. What's going on? Did I do something wrong? Did a student complain about my way of teaching? There goes my wonderful long weekend.

I felt like quitting ):

Basil Beef

I was very happy to note that there are big, leafy trees along the way to the station. That means I wouldn't need to carry an umbrella with me all the time anymore.
I saw a little Thai resto near the station and thought, Great! I don't have to cook everyday. (:
The next day I packed some rice in a lunchbox and bought Chicken Cashew Nut from that resto. I took half and saved the rest for lunch tomorrow. But at school a student told me that he was very hungry and that his boss 'forgot' to pay him that day. I asked him if he wanted some food, he said yes, and I said goodbye to my chicken.
The chicken was delicious, so the next day I went to the resto again on my way to work. This time I ordered take away Basil Beef. The chef was very generous with the garlic, so I was basically enveloped in garlic perfume (and I hadn't eaten the dish yet). If garlic were flourescent, I would have glowed. A boy in the elevator covered his nose with his jumper to keep from fainting. When I arrived at the teacher's room, it was suddenly filled with garlic smell. I ate a little and put the rest in the fridge. Then I brushed my teeth and prayed my students wouldn't notice.

How to get to the train station (if u don't know the way)

I didn't really know how to get to the station from our apartment. I walked down the road and tried to remember the location. I saw a young Buddhist monk walking in the opposite direction. I turned around and followed him. Sure enough. Very soon I could see the station. I wouldn't reccomend this method to anyone, though.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Apartment & Neighbours

Our apartment is not ultra new or ultra modern, but it's ok. The floor is made of wooden parquet, so no more carpet dust (((: We have a really nice view of the nextdoor neighbour's mansion. Their house is about the same size as our apartment block.

My room is still full of unpacked boxes. I don't know where I would put all the contents. I bought a bookshelf from IKEA and I managed to put it together all by myself. I'm quite proud of myself.

I haven't really seen my human neighbours from our block. But there are lots of fat pigeons flying and sitting about. A few mynahs, a few crows. Yesterday I saw a black rabbit in the front yard. It looked at me suspiciously, but since I didn't try to come closer, it continued grazing. I saw it again this morning. It's probably a resident.

Pindah (lagi)

We've just moved again. This time to a neighboring suburb of Ashfield. Just me, and my two nieces. Seems like it was just yesterday that they perched on a special seat on my bike and I took them to school. Now they are sharing the rent with me. Yona sometimes picked me up from the station. I guess the role has reversed.

We moved with the help of two big guys from the removalist. We had to help them because they were paid by the hour. So there we were, carrying boxes after boxes. (Mine was labelled Maya's Junk, Maya's More Junk, etc.) It was drizzling too. We finished moving everything in half an hour.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Another Grumpy Old Woman

A couple of days ago I went to the mall to buy some food supplies. Soon my hands and shoulders were occupied with shopping bags. I could hardly walk. After re-fueling with a huge plate of noodle, I headed for the ladies. My mind was wandering above and beyond my head, as usual, and I ended up in an unfamiliar place. I looked around and saw a long room full of males of all ages. It was the gents'!

Thanks to my short hair, jeans and boyish looks nobody seemed to notice that there was an 'alien' amongst them. I beamed myself out from there as fast as I could and rematerialized safely in the ladies', where I looked into the mirror and cursed myself.

After a few seconds, I forgave myself. That was when I realized that I am now more tolerant to my own faults and stupidities. I cherish my peculiar and not so peculiar tastes and habits. Sadly, my tolerance for other people have gone in the opposite direction.

The smallest things annoy me. Just the other day while I was sitting on the train, a man behind me kept whispering to himself. It wasn't anything offensive. He was just thinking out loud. But his voice grated on my nerves like sandpaper, so I moved to a different seat, far-far away.

Things are not much better at home. Other people's stuff lying on the floor and on the sofa give me a mild headache, while my own stuff are pilling higher and higher on the computer desk. I cringe whenever my bro eats something soupy. The slurp-slurp and smack-smack sounds could be heard loud and clear from the dining room and seem to rise above sounds from the TV. It made me feel rather queasy. I think soups should be banned from the house.

But the worst offenders are obsessive caressers. I hate people who constantly and persistently caress their own hair, or face, or hands, or thighs in public. Why don't you look away? you might ask. Well, I don't care about things I can't see. But these people sometimes sit next to me in public places, and I can see what they are doing even if I don't look. What's wrong with doing what they do? you might also ask. What's wrong with picking your nose in public? I ask back.

The only thing worse than this is seeing people (usually women) who constantly and persistently touch other people (usually the husband or boyfriend). They seemed to have super-glued their hands on the men's head, or back, or shoulders. These guys very often wear a quietly suffering look on their faces, much like Sasha's face (the little dog), when her Mom gives her a bath.

When I went to see Summer Days with Coo, a middle aged couple sat in front of me. As soon as her bottom touched the seat, the woman streched out an arm an started caressing the back of the man's neck and hair. The hand stayed that way for about fifteen minutes without stopping. Didn't she get tired? I got very tired just having to watch. It was like watching the dentist drilled deep into a cavity. I was very relieved when the lights went out and the movie started. At least I couldn't see the hand anymore, even though it was still there. Really, Lady, you're obsessed.

I wonder if this is another sign of ageing. I am now a member of The Grumpy Old Woman Club.