What an evening - students who came to college in 2005 came back to see me.
Nov 4, 2017
|Well, what a day today! My old students came back to visit me! It is twelve years since I met them, and they have all been graduated and away from Zhaoqing for years now.
We arranged to meet at 6.30, so I did not have anything to do all day, and spent the afternoon getting ready to meet them, and to look my best for them!
We met at the front of the college, and there was a lot of chatter and happy faces. All of them thought that they would have difficulty communicating with me, as for most of them, they have not had the need to speak English for ten years. But after a little hesitation at first, we all spent time exchanging news. Even some of the husbands came with them, and children as well.
After a session of photos at the college, we set off to a restaurant for dinner. It was a huge, classy place toward the railway station from here. And more girls arrived. Some I felt were familiar faces, but names escaped me for a start. As we settled in for dinner, memories came flooding back, and they all became familiar again.
I think there were nine of my old students who turned up, four or five husbands, and nine out of ten children. One of the girls is six months pregnant with her second child. The kids all got to know each other, and played beautifully together. The ages of the kids ranged from a three year old boy, to a six year old boy, with four girls in between, including twin five year old girls.
After dinner we went to Paifang Square, to see the music fountain again, and for photos under the Paifang Arch. Such a lovely place, with lots of families out enjoying the fresh air, playing, and just relaxing.
Jasmine asked me if I wanted coffee, and of course I said yes, very emphatically. We set off again by car, to a park to the east of the city centre, on the bank of Star Lake. It turns out some of the girls said that they wanted to walk, so we parked a long way from where we could get coffee. It was certainly a lovely walk, but it was a long way, and it was not until some of us were complaining, and joking that Jasmine had got lost, and did not know where to go, that she said that she had given us all a walk, to satisfy the more energetic among us.
As we walked along the coffee shop/bar area we came across places with live music, and Scott waited there listening to music. He had his guitar with him, so he was definitely tuned in to the music!
We walked a little further, and found a fantastic spot, where we climbed to the third floor, to an open air area, overlooking the river. I got the most amazing mocha. And most of the others had really exotic looking juice drinks, loaded with fruit pieces. It was a lovely place to hang out.
Eventually, some of the girls were ready to head home, and Jasmine and I went back to find Scott. Kitty came and joined us. He was in a fabulous little bar, which looked just amazing. The theme of the place was Tibetan, and the decorations were all Tibetan art works. The stage was at the side of the small room, and the audience was all gathered around at the feet of the performers.
At about 12.30, Scott was invited to get up and do a few songs. He was very warmly received! The boss of the bar kept plying him with beers, and told us, through Jasmine that he is welcome back here any time.
It was a lovely small, intimate bar, not the loud out-there type of place that is very common to see. I'd love to spend some more time here when I get a chance.
When we left, Jasmine drove us back to the college. It is so nice now that many of my friends have cars. It makes getting around so much more convenient, even though it has totally changed my perception of local Zhaoqing.
It was gone 1.30am by the time we got home. I was shattered, but it had been such a great eight hours. Just so nice to be able to connect with some of the very special kids, who are now 31 year old wives and mothers!