The last couple of days have flown by, although yesterday seemed to last forever due to the Moutai Agenda of the previous evening.
The morning was an unpleasant affair, my Moutai hangover (something I fully intend not to experience again) combined with an early meeting with Deputy Mayor and Heads of Education Bureau, all in Mandarin fully ensured that my head hurt more than I could have believed!
This was followed by a very beautiful and massively formal lunch in beautiful country restaurant, with the delegation and my family, this lead on to a tour of the city’s beach area and new bar quarter that is due to open soon and a walk along the river and the history of Guan Ying Tea at a local tea house. My fuge didn’t lift even after this and I have no idea how my 10 year old son managed to contain his lack of interest and enthusiasm for the whole day but he was astonishing!
Him and Deb were even dragged along to another lengthy meeting with all the Heads of the Education Bureau to discuss the potential of establishing a bridging type programme to UK study based in Zhuzhou, again mainly conducted in Mandarin.
The day was topped off by another formal dinner, that included sea cucumber ( an acquired taste) all ending around 20.00.
A full on marathon of a day for all of us! Deb commented that she had found it very interesting and now realises that I do actually work for a living!!!!!!!
Today has been a family day just the 3 of us, a visit to the Zhuzhou City Museum, which was fascinating, a bus ride into town which Sen found fascinating and lunch in Pizza Hut, not something I thought I’d do but it did come as a respite from the exotic comestibles that we have partaken of to date.
We had a good stroll around the local shopping malls and I managed a haggle session with a local trader and knocked £10 off a£23 track suit for Sen.
Back at Yandi later on Mrs Ping, ex Kung Fu Champion of China, taught Sen a few moves and provided traditional Wu Shu Gi’s for him to practice in.
We’re off to the city centre for a meal with Mike, just the 4 of us and then to prepare for our last day which seems to have been planned for us by the Director of Education including visits to a local school, the planned site of Zhuzhou’s first ‘International School’ and then a trip to the countryside and a big formal farewell dinner!
It’s been a nonstop work / break 10 days here for me and 5 for Deb and Sen, very interesting and not without incidents.