Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hiccups and water balloons

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Hiccups was a recent spelling word in Mr. Brandon’s English class last week. The reason? Two weeks ago was Golden Week in China so we had a week off. I am semi in charge of the dorm at my school so I sleep at school Sunday-Tuesday so I only had a 5 day break and decided to spend it in Shanghai to discover more of this city and to save money (massive future blog post in the pipeline about saving money). So I met up with some lacrosse guys on Thursday to eat some food, check out some Shanghai spots and casually enjoy beverages. Fast forward end of the night, on a rooftop drinking half priced margaritas and it starts. Hiccups.

 Now hiccups aren’t completely foreign to me but still not a recipe for the best night of your life. Make my way home, getting ready for bed and still have them. Odd but not much I can do. Fall asleep and no hiccups. As soon as I realized I didn’t have hiccups, they came back. Day 2. On and off for Friday. Repeat for Saturday. Saturday night they have left me for a good few hours. I discovered buying Oreos and drinking milk fast while eating Oreos nonstop cures my condition. I’m getting ready to meet up with some work people and go out and the second I take a sip from my Heineken can, they come back. Now I’m starting to get frustrated. Is this a joke? I once had hiccups for just over a day in Poland and it was terrible and now it is making a roaring comeback. So I did what any normal human would do. I Googled “longest case of hiccups ever”. What I found shocked and scared me. Any guesses on longest case of hiccups?

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 Take a second to ballpark a guess. ..…..68 years. YEAH RIGHT!? Wild. So now I’m a little more worried. The internets says to contact a doctor after 2 days. I figure I just need to not focus on the hiccups, go out and live my life with hiccups. I thought about starting a blog called “Life with Hiccups”. At some point in the night, they go away and I’m feeling confident I have won this battle. Wake up Sunday morning and day 4 with hiccups has begun. Now I’m contemplating going to the doctor and the upside of missing Monday at school. Eventually someone upstairs was looking out for me and made them stop (probably Jesus).  I’m not sure what I have learned or how imminent my death is but breathing is a little sweeter now that I’m a free man.

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Last week our school had another sports day. I won’t bore you with the details of ordering tons of sports equipment, making even teams that kids won’t complain about, making sure I’m not forgetting anything when my whole life has revolved around forgetting things but I want to focus on water balloons.

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So we did a water toss because sports day is actually low key highlight of the year. We had extra water balloons at the end of the day in the office. I didn’t know what to do with them. All the other foreign teachers were gone and it was just me and a Chinese teacher. It was suggested I just throw the water balloons out. I thought of 8 year old Bert and how disappointed he would be in me if I just threw away perfectly good water balloons. So I did what 8 year old Bert probably would have suggested. I grabbed the bucket and went to the dorm where the kids stay. I waited patiently outside for students to come out. Two Chinese students come out who are in my ESL class. I make small talk then attack. They run away with me hot in pursuit. Was it fair they had nothing to throw back at me? Maybe not. Was it fair that I threw water balloons at other students watching on their balconies? Yes. Will the parent who was waiting to pick up her kid and watched me attack helpless high school students report me to the government and have me sent back to Canada? Certainly.

Shanghai is a cool spot. I live by myself in an apartment near Jiaotong University when I’m not living at school and it’s a fun neighbourhood with tons of places to eat, get massaged and close to a few metro lines to explore Shanghai. It’s close to lacrosse and makes my commute to work slightly more bearable but full disclosure, my commute takes about 2 hours at night which I do about 3 times a week which has given me lots of time to catch up on my podcasts and dream about the day I have a phone that doesn’t ruin my life. Here are some pictures of my area and some other fun spots in Shanghai:

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The more time I spend in Shanghai, the more I dig it. The weather isn’t the best and I don’t love Chinese food but the city is growing on me. Lots of foreigners doing a bunch of different things, funky bars and music spots, transportation easy with cabs, metros and bikes you rent with your phone for disgustingly cheap prices.

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 I feel like I hear and see a lot of Chinese people arguing and yelling on the street at each other. About once a week I see a Chinese man relieving himself in the bushes. I saw a couple holding their toddler as the toddler peed in a garbage bag inside the metro station. China is alright but for some reason when people tell me they love China, I like them a little bit less (except for my main man Joe). Not sure why and I’m certain I shouldn’t tell other people that but those are the facts. I wish you great weather to sip your pumpkin spiced lattes whilst wearing your scarfs and walking through the park admiring the changing colours of the leaves while one of you says “fall is my favourite season.”

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“No hurry, no pause”