Sometimes you just need little things to keep you going. Student-led conferences, report cards, 5 new students who permanently gaze at me with the ‘deer caught in headlights’ look…yup I’ve been needing small victories lately. Here is where I’ve found some of them:
SV (small victory) 1: My students (Yes the same ones that drive me nuts and may cause pre-mature bald spots due to their hair pulling out antics), their enthusiasm in planning events to fundraise money and send it to Japan is beyond heart-warming. I’ve never seen 21 10/11 year old’s so completely committed.
SV 2: Chickpeas! I really, really love chickpeas. From humus, to falaffal, to smashed salads and stews. I have 4 cans of them in the cupboard right now…just thinking about them make me smile (ps. if you want chickpea recipes please let me know. I am quite well stocked with some good ones).
SV 3: Conversing entirely in Chinese and having the conversation actually steer into the few lines of subjects I am actually competent in. For example, my conversation yesterday with the lady who sold me flowers. She asked me some questions about my life and then complemented my Chinese until my cheeks actually flushed. I didn’t tell her that I had literally exhausted everything I knew and if she had asked me one more thing I would have been entirely spent: My only half-hearted response could have been ‘Ting bu dong” “I hear you but don’t understand you”.
SV 4: Telling a taxi driver “Bu shi meiguo ren, wo shi Janada ren” “I am not American, I am Canadian” and have his response include a fist pump and a whooping holler and “fai chung hao”, the highest level of ‘hao’ ‘good’ you can get.
SV 5: Seeing the shelves in supermarkets stripped bare of their salt and soy sauce. Why? Well..the answer is two fold:iodine obviously reduces the risks of radiation poisoning (We are pretty close to Japan, although that large piece of land known as North Korea is in the way) and also because the salt is produced on the Eastern coast of China, you know the one that faces Japan, and so many people are worried about future contamination. I swear some people must have CLOSETS full of salt. Naturally, ironically…I ran out of the same bottle of soy sauce I’ve had since moving here the day after salt-panic ensued. Yet, I scored the last bottle at the back of our local market’s highest shelf. Yes, yes people…there are some privileges that come with being unnaturally tall and lanky!