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Archive for April 2010

April 30, 2010 Posted by Greg in Journal

Almost As Good As The Real Thing

Not quite ready to drop everything and take off to destinations unknown? Inspired/amused by my adventures and eager to give it a try? Well here’s your chance to get a taste of what it’s like to live outside the cubicle.
This is the first installment of Almost As Good As The Real Thing – a series that details how you can have your very own “travel experiences” without making any life-changing decisions. These will be posted on Fridays, so you can have some fun trying them out on the weekend.

Almost As Good #1 – The Backpacker Experience.

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April 29, 2010 Posted by Greg in Journal

A chat with Nicky #3

During our regular “What’s new?” conversation at the beginning of class, Nicky brought up his disdain towards Window Shopping, which he had to do with his mother on Wednesday. He picked up a piece of chalk and began…

“I don’t like Window Shopping. Do you know why?”
No, tell me.”
“Number 1. It’s boring.”
“Number 2. I get tired.”
“Number 3. I don’t have a lot of money.”

Clear enough. You’ll make a good man someday!

April 29, 2010 Posted by Greg in Journal

Teaching Tip.

Here’s a tip for teaching – if a student won’t stay in his seat, tie him to the fucking table.

Problem solved! Zing!

April 28, 2010 Posted by Greg in Journal

No Soup For You!

I have an enthusiasm towards soup. And sandwiches – but that’s another story.
My favorite soup is of course, Rare Beef Noodle Soup. And speaking of which, I just came across a recipe to make the Sriracha Chilli Sauce I smother said soup with. I’ve yet to find a Vietnamese restaurant in Changchun yet, so I’ve only had happy memories of Villefranche to fill the hole in my heart/stomach.

Until now.

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April 25, 2010 Posted by Greg in Journal

It's all about Perspective.

People often ask me why I live the way I do, instead of focusing on a career, a house, a car, a dog and 2.5 kids. Sometimes I try to describe the feelings and emotions I have when I find myself in unfamiliar surroundings, or accomplish an obscure task on my Life To-do List. How alive I feel when I’m “not in the norm”.
But more often than not, people can’t understand this. It’s like trying to describe the beauty of a rainbow to somebody who was born blind. Until you’ve experienced getting lost in the alleyways of Venice or watching a sunset in Villefranche, you won’t be able to wrap your head around the “Why”.
So then I try another approach. “Most people spend their lives working 50 weeks a year to have a week of vacation. I on the other hand simply do things that allow me to be on vacation for the majority of my time.”
Again, sometimes they get it, and sometimes they don’t…

But today, I read a story that should pretty much clarify everything.

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April 22, 2010 Posted by Greg in Journal

Bye Antoine!

It’s a sad and happy day. On one hand, a really good friend is leaving, but on the other hand, he’s off to continue on an exciting adventure.
Antoine Strauss is a 20 year old Frenchman who felt he didn’t want to live in the “Rat Race”, so packed a bookbag and started walking. And didn’t stop. He walked through deserts, warzones, went without food for days and eventually found himself in China. He reminds me of myself in many ways and I’ll miss our conversations. Check out his website, where you can catch up on his journey “On Foot and almost without Money”.

Hmm…sound familiar?
Good luck Antoine!

April 4, 2010 Posted by Greg in Journal

Happy Easter!

Happy Resurrection of the Lord Day! Did you have your celebratory chocolate eggs in His name this morning?
Today in China, this is a holiday for “cleaning graves”. Families get together and visit the sites of their loved one’s who have passed, tidy them up, leave flowers and wine and whisper a little prayer for them.
The only caveat is that you can’t say the name of anyone living while you’re there. As in you can’t say “Hey, John – can you please pass me the scissors?”, as it’s believed that doing so will give the spirits power over that person. One of the Chinese teachers at my school had that happen last year, and believes her grandmother is still inside her head….

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April 2, 2010 Posted by Greg in Journal

At least it's not snow...

April 2, 2010 Posted by Greg in Journal

A chat with Nicky #2

From favorite movies to women’s suffrage, tonight’s conversations were pretty profound. Until he squinted at me and picked up the chalk…

“I have a question for you Greg…If you leave China, your girlfriend will go with you?”

“That’s right.”

“Why?” he asks as he finishes drawing his “This is China, this is another country, X equals Greg and Y equals Sam with arrows going every which way” diagram.

“Because we’re a COUPLE. That’s what you do when you’re a couple. If one of you moves somewhere, the other goes with you.”

And I should have ended the conversation there…
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