Monday, January 20, 2014

Drama and Humour in Life Stories

It is always interesting to find out dramatic or humourous situations that might brighten a story when you are writing about someone.  We all have stories of interest and the longer we live and the more we do, the more stories we have to tell.

I will share some of mine today.  I wrote about my visit to a brothel in Kalgoorlie in another blog - and yesterday I reminisced as I was at the brothel 12 months ago.  You can read about it here.  

As you can imagine I had many adventures while travelling around Australia, but for the most part there were no "dramas" worth writing about.

Most of my very funny stories relate to my time as an English teacher in China, and later in South Korea.  I am ever the story teller - and two stories that I share (and sometimes asked to repeat!!!) are these.

When I started work at the university in South Korea I had 29 students - and five guys whose ages ranged between 52 and 28.  I think it was the first week that the five fellows came to me with a story about a Korean custom about having sex with an older woman, and they spoke about the way it was to happen.  Me?  Sex with five men?  I took the cautious approach and asked a few questions - apparently they would take me out to dinner, ply me with alcohol, and then the "event" would happen.

Should I run?  Lock myself in my apartment?  Or just wait and see..... 

The following week I went with all the students to a night out - strange events at a
Makgeolli Bar where we drank this strange drink - or at least THEY did.  Then on to a Karaoke bar - and they kept giving me more to drink, but as they drank heavily they didn't notice that my drinks were "donated" to a huge pot plant in the room.  Eventually we went to another Karaoke place where clearly the students were all worse for wear.  Around 3 am and being probably the only sober member of the group I departed, as strangely and unknowingly they had chosen a bar almost adjacent to my apartment and I felt safe walking the few metres to my door!!!  Nothing was ever said about the group sex event that was supposed to occur even though I stayed on a further 3 months!

In over 18 months in China, and with limited ability with my Chinese language skills, we had many eventful "adventures" - I could go on and on about them!!!  Which one is worth telling? I have a sense of humour, so events that might have stressed some folk, were just events that I could add to my raft of stories!

On one occasion two other Australian teachers and I planned to visit an ancient town, not far from the university where we were all teachers. "V" had been in China for several years and spoke a little Chinese, but "S" and I had very limited Chinese language skills.  V made all the arrangements about the bus to Old Anchung, and we enthusiastically set off early on the Saturday morning.  V checked at the bus station and was told that we were on the right bus - but as the journey went on and on, we became concerned and V asked the bus conductor if the bus was going to Anchung.  She indicated no, it wasn't, or perhaps, she meant no, this was not the Anchung stop.  Fearing we were going deep into the Chinese wilderness, we got off at the next stop.  Big mistake.

The small village was devoid of English speakers and the three of us raomd around the village trying to find someone we could communicate with and find our way to Anchung.  We wpoke with children who had a little English, who told us to wait at a bus stop, and we did, but in an hour no bus came so we set off again on foot.  We eventually went back to the bus stop where we had alighted from the bus, and luckily found a young man in a strange three wheeled vehicle with a tiny "cabin" on the back. 

Somehow V managed to negotiate a ride to Anchung and we three ample ladies squeezed into the tiny cabin.   He took us on a wild ride through the village, up over a hill, a grand tour of the huge rubbish tip, down the hill and through rice fields until we came to an other village.  He stopped abruptly, said "Anchung" and asked for his money.  We paid, but were not sure initially that we had successfully arrived at our wanted destination.

We walked along the road for a short distance before we came to the tourist area - at last!!!  However, we were hungry and looked for a restaurant or food shop.  Eventually we found a lovely little restaurant and were warmly welcomed but as the folk in the shop didn't speak English, they asked us into the kitchen and we pointed to chicken and vegetables and soon had a fabulous Chinese meal in front of us!!!

After a wonderful lunch we set off for a wander around this amazing village that was unchanged in thousands of years.  There were drying fish, chicken and ducks in racks everywhere (and I note a cat tied up, so as to protect the drying food which was being prepared for the Spring Festival.)  The little shops hugged the edge of the canal, where old men paddled past in traditional wooden boats (we might call them sampans).  Most folk just watched us as we walked past taking photos and looking at the extra ordinary scenery in this amazing place.  We found a gay man in a women's fashion store who was quite an entertainment, and then suddenly I hear my name being called out.  It was one of my former students who had set up business in the village - her very own wine shop, selling traditional Chinese Rice wine in extra ordinary ceramic jars.

Our next task was to find our way home - so when we saw a taxi we hailed it, and showed him our university  card which had the address in Chinese.  We climbed in but after about 15 minutes he stopped, asked us for the money and then told us to get out of the car.  Luckily, as we walking along the road, as the sun was setting and the smog was much to our surprise she spoke quite good English and happily returned us to the university

We certainly needed a few glasses of wine to unwind and relive our amazing day!!!

When you are chatting with someone about their life - ask about amusing experiences, or dramatic events in their lives. 

This is the blog about some of my time in China.


Peggy said...

Sounds like you've had some amazing adventures in China and South Korea! Do you still teach English?

Carrie Ann Tripp said...

What amazing life experiences you have had! Thank you so much for sharing!!

Di Hill said...

Yes, Peggy, I still teach English, but in an ad hoc sort of way with students who stay with me. I have two Japanese students due to stay in March.

Di Hill said...

Hi Carrie Ann, Life has been very interesting. Thanks for visiting.

peter petterson said...

You obviously had some interesting times in China and South Korea Di.

Di Hill said...

Ain't that the truth Peter.

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