Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just a Few observations

-I have now seen smaller trucks like the 4x4's that are mostly Fords. I have also seen more trucks for hauling small loads of vegetables and like hay (only I have not seen hay, but that type of truck). For the most part the vehicles are still small.
-There are a large number of men that carry man-bags or man-purses. My bus driver is one of them. I mean he does have to carry documents when he is running errands with the owner's wife, but he has it on all the time. It is one that goes over the chest. I bought a purse like that because it is much easier to hold on to it so that no one snatches it. Mine is more feminine though.
- People at school share food. Teachers share food with students and students share food with teachers and other students.  Mostly I don't share with people unless I know them really well. Like it was probably a year before I left my best friend eat my food. There have been a few times when a student has offered me a taste of something when I inquire about it. I will only do it though if it is something that is individual pieces. I don't bite off their piece. Today we had KFC and I asked one of my fellow teachers which sandwich she got because hers was larger and looked better. She told me and then offered me a bite, but I declined because she had already bitten off of it and even if she hadn't I wouldn't want to bite off of it and then hand it back. I told her I would just try it next time.
- I have been told that sometimes I am very smiley. I don't always notice that I am smiling. I have had people in the past and even students ask me what I am smiling about because I am smiling but don't realize it. It must be rubbing off. I have noticed that some of my co-workers and other staff smiling at me now when I say hello or good-bye. I am also joking around a little because I think as they are getting to know me they will understand some of my humor. So they now smile when I say something funny.  When I first got here I noticed that everyone always had a serious face. (I notice because my Dad rarely smiles even when he is really happy. We had a friend once tell him that he needs to tell his face that he is happy so that it will smile. We tease my Dad about that. So here I meet all these people who didn't smile like my Dad, and I thought this a perfect place for my Dad. I wondered if any of them were capable of smiling.)  The other day on the bus on the way to school some guy was pointed at the bus and then stopped along side of the bus and was pointed right towards me. I thought maybe there was something wrong with the bus. The bus driver laughed and smiled for the first time. He never did explain, but maybe the guy was pointing out that I was a white lady riding a school bus. Anyway since then I have noticed that when I now say hi to people in the morning or good-bye after school the people I work with are starting to smile at me. Even today some student say some lyrics about smiling makes her cry or something. So I said I wouldn't smile anymore. I was trying to conduct the lesson without smiling and my students were like its not working you are smiling, and so they all started smiling back at me and laughing.
-My World History class is working on power point presentations. The topics we are covering are Greeks, Romans, and Christianity. When they signed up last week, none of the signed up for Christianity, so I had to go back and assign students to do it. Today when they started working the students who were working on Christianity wanted to put very little information on their presentation. I understand that it is a Muslim country. We are learning about all types of civilizations and religions, but they don't seem to have a problem with any other. I talked to the whole class today because they were not happy with how I grouped them, so I talked about sometimes in life we have to work with people we don't really get along with or like. I also talked to the whole class about how this was history. That we were learning how our world came about and was has happened in the past to shape our world today. I told them that they don't have to agree with what people believed but they must be respectful and do a good job. I told them that they didn't have to change their beliefs in anyway concerning what they were learning about other people's beliefs. Now I am not being critical about it just because it is Christianity. If it was about the Greek or Roman religions that they were reluctant to do research and a presentation about I would have the same talk. It makes me wonder what they have learned about though that would make them so resistant. It is not like I have told them what I believe and am forcing them in anyway to change their beliefs.  I don't expect them to provide us with extra information or make their presentation any different than other presentations, but one page of only 5 bullets with a few words of information is not enough when the other students are doing over 5 slides.  One of the groups is doing Paganism and that is still around today, but they don't have any problems with it.
-When they ride motorcycles and when they wear jackets, they always wear jackets backwards. I would think it would be warmer to put them on the correct way and zip them up. 
-All of the larger school buses have curtains on all the windows. On our own bus we have curtains. I have to keep my curtains open, so that the driver can see out when pulling out into traffic. There is the door, but to see farther back he has to look out the window. People pass buses all the time when children are being picked up and dropped off. They don't have the flashing lights and have traffic stop like in the US.
- I have heard they have car carriers here, but most people just hold their babies or small children when they are in the car. Even our new secretary was holding her baby and when she got dropped off she passed the baby off to someone else to hold while they went wherever they were going next.
-There are trees that have these little plastic in them all the time. I don't know if it was for some festival or something, and they have just never removed them or what.
-The houses here are connected. I don't know that they call them townhouses or four-plexes or anything like we do. Anyway I have noticed that sometimes the houses will be a different style on the top floors. Like some will have columns and others will not. Sometimes they will be painted different colors. It is interesting to see like if they share a column or up at the top how precise they are in having the color divide the column right in half or at the top how the front part of the roof will be exactly half one color and have the other. They must use something when they are painting so the line is exactly straight, and it looks good.
- Many Chinese have this red and gold boxes that sit in their yard. They are used for ancestor worship.  People bring food and tea that they leave at the altar, to provide comfort for the person in the afterlife. Incense is usually burned. They also bring "Spirit money" which is paper used to symbolize money.  There is usually a tablet with the peeople's name on it and a picture of the people. I noticed one had lots of statues on it.

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