Showing posts from April, 2018

BG Dreams

There are now 45 days to go, to the end of my teaching career. Well, it has been quite interesting: the UK for about twenty years, followed by my misadventures in foreign parts: Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Romania, Qatar, the UAE and now China. On Thursday, 14th June, 2018, I shall be teaching my last-ever lessons at Green Oasis School and then on Monday, 18th, we will be flying to Bulgaria.
As you may have noticed, this blog is called “Bulgaria with Noodles” because Irena and I are still in China, but in many ways our hearts are already in BG. But what will we do, once we have settled down in Bulgaria? A lot of travelling is fairly high on the list of priorities.

The truth is, we really do not know most of Bulgaria. Sofia, Kalotina and a Veliko Tarnovo: that is about all we are familiar with. Whenever we come to Bulgaria for the summer, there is a long list of things that need to be sorted out: the grass in the back garden is about two metres high, the car will not start, the fridge i…

GZ Shoot

My dear Irisha was away on Sunday and she did not come back until Monday afternoon. This meant that her poor lonely husband had lunch with AJ at our apartment after church on Sunday.
Although she quite enjoys the actual modelling and meeting new people, as well as chatting with the people she has worked with before, Irena does NOT enjoy the travelling that seems to be an inevitable part of being an international model. Well, this “shoot” in Guangzhou was no exception. Yes, the agent did go with her on the train from Shenzhen, but travelling on the GZ MTR is not for the fainthearted. The shoving and the sardine-like crowds on the metro trains were pretty bad.
Irena said that the shoot itself was quite easy, even though it involved more travelling once they arrived in GZ, as they had to go to a sort of country club about an hour from the city. It was all rather twee and English and afternoon tea, except of course that it was in the morning.
After she had been “made up”, Irena looked the q…

Feasts & Friends

The Redang Island Café in Shenzhen is not really a café. It’s a Malaysian Restaurant in Fumin, close to the Futian Border Checkpoint. Lots of teachers from Green Oasis seem to live in Fumin. Maybe that it is because rents are a bit cheaper than Futian or perhaps because it is closer to Hong Kong. On the other hand, it might be because there are so many good (and reasonably-priced) restaurants in this district of Shenzhen.
Even though we have been going there for nearly five years, Irena and I nearly always have the same main dish: the mango fish. It’s a wonderful spin on the traditional British fish and chips (or chish and fips, if you like silly jokes). The mango gives the fish a special freshness and the spicy sauce certainly makes a change from the usual vinegar. For good measure, we also added some curried vegetables. 

Having introduced us to so many restaurants in SZ, it made a nice change for Irena and I to take our dear Chinese friends Bill and Julia to a restaurant that they had…

Da Peng


Yesterday we were at Da Peng fortress (well, really it is a sort of fortified town, so I suppose that it is the Chinese equivalent of Veliko Tarnovo). Bill and Julia very kindly took us there in their car. Normally it takes about an hour to drive there, but yesterday was a Chinese Public Holiday, so it took us three hours to get there. Finally finding a place to park was a cause for celebration. Then it was another four hours to get back to Shenzhen.

Unlike the ultramodern SZ, the historic Da Peng fortress is hundreds (if not thousands) of years old, with some impressive ancient fortified gateways and crenelated old walls. It is a massive tourist trap, with every conceivable piece of tat for sale to the endless throngs that fill up the narrow streets. There are innumerable restaurants, cafes, bars and street food sellers. As Da Peng is a seaside town, Molly Malone would have been impressed with the buckets and basins full of fresh (and very much alive alive-o) seafood of every descri…

Diudiu Dates

Last week I had two days off, as I was really very ill. On Monday I was away with a cold, runny nose and a very sore throat. I managed to drag myself into school for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but then on Thursday night I had an awful stomach ache and was vomiting at around midnight. It was pretty nasty and then there were also some problems at the “other end” too. Not surprisingly, I was off school on the Friday as well. The last time I had a day off was in December of 2016, so really I have an excellent record for not taking days off.
This Wednesday was my last-ever parents’ day. At Green Oasis, a “parents’ day” consists of lots of 15-minute sessions with all of the parents of the students in my class, 5G. It went okay and in fact Miss Yanee did nearly all of the talking. Normally I prepare a very detailed page of information for each student, but this time I could not be bothered and it did not seem to make much difference. Most of the parents of my students in Class 5G are Ch…

Goodbye to All That

It’s arrived. The big black box, the one with the metal bits along the edges and at the corners. The one for my dear Irisha’s electronic keyboard. Maybe we will line it with a bit more foam rubber. We bought her Korg keyboard when we were in Romania and it is rather a nice one, so it came with us to Qatar and now it is here in China. Irena rather likes it and so this means that she does not to leave it behind when we leave in the middle of June. That is just over two months from now until 18th June. It is all a bit scary. This black box is a sign of the end, a bit like a coffin for our time in China.
What will we be saying our goodbyes to? Well, one thing that we will be very glad to say farewells to is the awful aperture, the horrible hole, the Black Hole of Shenzhen. It is next to the washing machine and from out of this opening come forth the most dreadful smells, whiffs, pongs and stenches.
And while we are on the subject of airborne pollution, the very dry weather that we have had …