[PHOTO: One of the exhibits at the Foshan Science Museum, where we went on a field trip on Thursday]
I haven’t done a blog post based on a Daily Prompt in a while. I’ve been so caught up on travel and my new start here in Country Garden that I’ve not had chance to sit and aimlessly blog. Well, it’s Sunday morning, I have a lot of school work to do today, but while I’m sat in my Chinese dressing-gown, cup of tea by my side (I finally have a kettle!!), with Kill Bill on the TV, I though… why not? I’ve got the whole day ahead of me to get work and cleaning done. So first, I’ll sit and type up a blog post for all 4 of my readers…
Panic – sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behaviour
I’ve chosen a Daily Prompt word to focus on today, because very vaguely, it links to something that happened on Friday night. So here we go…
Friday lunch time myself, Kim, Danielle and Kyle went for dumplings at a place between our homes and school. Another Kindergarten teacher joined us, and I must admit, it felt great to be part of a bigger and more sociable group than just the 3 of us, as it always is. I’d already mentioned to Kim and Danielle that I wanted to do something sociable this weekend, either Friday or Saturday night: food, drinks, chill, whatever. I just wanted to be with a group of people, chatting and hanging out. Not too much to ask for right? Danielle didn’t seem to keen, and Kim was eager for just a movie night at hers. So I wasn’t holding out much hope. After lunch, I tagged along with them all to their Kindergarten Staff Office, something we don’t have in Primary. This is a place that a couple of hours a day, all international Kindergarten teachers are allowed to seek refuge, chat with their co-workers and relax a little, oh, and maybe get some work done. In Primary, like I said, we don’t have this. In Primary each international teacher is assigned 2 classrooms, and we have a desk in one, and our English “Local” Teacher has a desk in the other. We spend all our working hours cooped up in our classrooms with only the students and the Chinese teachers for company. We don’t have any communal space to gather together and chat about our days. Due to this, I’m not as close, at all, as Kim and Danielle are to the other International Teachers in my group. So anyway, in the spirit of being social, I joined them for a while before heading back into the Primary sector and room P314.
My afternoon was filled with searching through the library collecting a grand total of 44 books (roughly) for my lessons the following week, and general lesson planning. That was until one of my students grandfathers came in to talk about space, and then the whole class spent an hour or two building space craft models, I got dragged into helping by 2 of my girls, and it was nice to spend some time with them when I’m not being the teacher.
So anyway, I headed home at about 5.30pm, an early dart on a Friday is never unwelcome! I was still wracking my brain as to how and when I could make this social night happen. On WeChat (Chinese version of Facebook and WhatsApp) we have a fair few very large groups for the international teachers. I was tempted to write on one of them asking if anyone wanted to do anything that evening, but fearing that I’d get no reply and be seen as the lonely looser, I decided against it! So, you can image how happy I was when someone posted in the very same group: “Anyone up for BBQ food and a few beers tonight just outside one of the gates?”… my response was swift: “I’m always up for BBQ and Beer honestly!”. YES, I was going to get my night of being around other people after all. I eagerly waited and watched for others to reply, and see who I was going to be spending the evening with. A couple of people who I knew soon took up the offer so I knew I’d at least have some people to chat to if all else fails! The BBQ place was only about a 5 minute walk from my house, and even closer to Kim/Danielle. We’d been meaning to try it out ourselves, but never got round to it. It was a typical Korean BBQ joint with plastic chairs and tables surrounding a half barrel BBQ pit, next to a big fridge unit full of baskets of veg and meat on sticks. The beers were flowing, flowing very well, and the food was great. By about 11pm there were about 9/10 of us. We had 3 Canadians, 3 Brits, 1 Irish, 1 Mexican, 1 Chinese, and one American/European.
By the time 11.30/12 rolled around, people were either ready to head home, or head out. We were all enjoying ourselves so no one wanted to be the first to leave and abandon the group. Little did we know, we should have just stayed exactly where we were, and ended the night while things were still sweet.
We moved on, slowly, with only 2 eBikes between the 10 of us, and eventually all made it to 80’s Bar; which, much to mine and Kyle’s dismay, was not an 80’s themed bar with people and music. It was an empty very bland bar with only 4 other people in there, apart from our group. We also seemed to have lost a person or two along the way. One of the others who joined our group was an American guy, also from our school, who had definitely had too much to drink. He lived up to all the awful typical American stereotypes, unfortunately. He was changing the music from whatever we put on, happy cheery songs people would enjoy, to various levels of rap. To which he would walk around the bar with a microphone, rapping along and getting in everyone’s faces. He eventually sat down and asked if we like rap. A few of us said, we’re not too fussed, but it’s not our favourite. Another of us simply said, “No it’s not my thing”. Shockingly, this is all it took for this obnoxious, awful human being to flip. He then proceeded to point us all out individually and call us “too white”, followed by a very racist remark to our Chinese friend. He then went onto argue with (more like at) Kyle and Cassie stating that “You’re British, if you don’t like rap, then what are you doing with your life you ******* *****.” Quite frankly, too much profanity and stupid unnecessary anger to taint my blog with. I cannot explain how much of an ass this guy was. He then stood up and shoved Kyle almost off his chair. Kyle, hands up, simply tried to calm him down, yet this only infuriated the b*stard even more, he raised his fist and went to punch poor Kyle square in the face… Instinctively myself, Cassie, and pretty much everyone else at the table stood up and moved in-between them. Cassie is a fiery one, and she has known Kyle for about 5 years, she was not about to let this guy mess with her friend. Me? I’ve only known Kyle for a couple of weeks, but, likewise, I’m not willing to sit by and watch someone who has done nothing wrong get unnecessarily attacked. Cassie went off on this guy, who then started to verbally attack her, I tried to diffuse the situation and made sure Kyle was out of the way. Pretty soon the others had stepped in and the guys dragged the a**hole away, while we all left the bar and headed down the street. I told you, we should have just stayed at the BBQ place.
We walked for about 15 minutes, all of us heads spinning and minds riling from what just happened, and we came across another bar, which was closed, but a few of us knew the owner and he opened up for us and first round was on him. The evening got back on track, Joe, one of the ones we had lost along the way turned up, and things were going well. Everyone was chatting, happy and back to how we were before the “incident”. Not long after we’d all relaxed, guess who turned up? Yep, you guessed it. We all did as best we could to act normal, and it was working, until he decided to turn on one of his genuine friends, Joe, the guy who had recently re-joined us. Due to his Canadian-ness, he is one of the nicest most genuine guys you’ll ever meet. Luckily Joe was able to defuse the situation and sent him home, leaving us to once again, try and enjoy the night. Not long after he left, one of our own group had had a little too much to drink as well, and turned verbally nasty; nothing of great hatred, just not pleasant. It was at this time me, Cassie, Kyle, Kim and Collin decided we would make our departure. The evening was getting no better, and at 3.30am, it was quite frankly 3 hours past when we should have all gone home anyway. So, we set out on foot trying to find a way to get home. Taxis are non-existent where we live here, and at that time of night, there weren’t even any taxis to order. 4.30 am, we made it home.
Panic: So the link between this word and my eventful Friday night is not the strongest, I will admit that. But, I can see the connection… Panic is what sets in instantaneously when someone around you is in danger, no matter how big or small. Sometimes panic makes you freeze, you stop, clueless as to what to do, you’re static, no help to anyone. Usually this type of panic is involved when the panic is personal; you are the one who is in the situation that has induced panic. The second type of panic is the one where you leap into action; it takes no thought, no second guessing your actions and you get straight into motion to help/do whatever you can. This is the panic for other people, this is what a few of us encountered and experienced on Friday night. This was one of those moments, when the needs of one were stronger than the needs of many, and everyone did all they could to come together and help. Similar to how as soon as anyone in a car hears the blare of sirens; Ambulance, Fire Engine or Heddlu, everyone moves anywhere and anyway they can to ensure the emergency vehicle can get by in the quickest and safest way. Times like this fill my heart and soul. Seeing everyone on the roads (or in the bar) do all they can, forgetting about their own personal needs, all for the sake of one of person… I love it. A sense of compassion, community and “Hell yes, faith in humanity; restored a little!”.