Wednesday, September 1, 2010 0 comments

September 1st: New Teacher Banquet

We are always happy to have our recruiters, Ed and Pam Mosby, visit Jingzhou during their travels in China. Of course it's nice to catch up, and I appreciate their encouragement in our work here. It's through them that I've been able to send a couple of newsletters back to all of you.

Another reason, however, why their visits are so popular is that the Foreign Affairs Office (my bosses) always organize the teacher banquets to coincide with Ed and Pam's visits. A dinner out with friends is always fun, but this is something special--we go to the King Kowloon Hotel, once of the fanciest in Jingzhou, for a special banquet.

We had quite a crowd this time--most of the returning English and Japanese foreign teachers were able to come, and Barry, the head of the department, introduced the newly arrived teachers. There are four new English teachers at Yangtze University this fall: Olivia, from Indiana; Paul, from somewhere up north, Connecticut, maybe?; Rebecca, from near Little Rock; and Season, from Jackson, Tennessee. These last two I look forward to getting to know especially as we have a Mutual Friend, and I'm looking forward to introducing them to the work here. There is also a new Japanese teacher as well as a new Korean teacher, Sunny.

Besides the good company, the banquets are a fun introduction to the kind of Chinese food we don't see every day. There are all sorts of wonderful dishes--a sweet fritter that somebody said has eggplant in it; a barbecue pork dish; spicy fried ou (lotus root) sandwiches; steamed bread with bacon fat filling; crispy fried chicken strips, and many other special treats. This is the third banquet, I think, that I've been to, and we usually have these same foods, but I've never seen them anywhere but at the King Kowloon. Writing this post is making me hungry; I think it's time to go in search of dinner!