Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm going to make a brand new start of it in old New York (Frank Sinatra)

This is a companion post to one I did on my Wozza's Place blog (http://www.wozzasplace.blogspot.com/) to farewell my amigos and fellow Cognition Education workers from Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. Contracts come and contracts go and most of the crew is heading off for pastures new or pastures familiar in Nu Zild.

To commemorate/celebrate I decided to head into the archives and chuck down some visuals of an exciting and very fulfilling part of my life. I met some exceptional, inspirational, and often gifted people during my three years working in Qatar and the UAE and I want to wish them good luck - whether they are staying in the Middle Eastern sandpit or making a new start somewhere else.

And to my brothers at Ali bin Abi Taleb School - I certainly miss you guys!

Graysy and Deno looking relieved to have Wozza on the team

Hisham and I try to locate Nu Zild on the big map

The Qatar crew enjoy a late breakfast

CJ doesn't believe Deno and Larry's instructions re the ablutions

Cogs and local Principals (Ally blanks me shock)

At Shakespeare's with the dream team

Hassan the art teacher

Adbulla commands the mic shock!

Nidal with the shy and withdrawn Adbulla

CJ trying and failing to locate the picture of Sheikh Zayed

Mohammed waits for Pete and Maggie to test the food

CJ - fearless leader - boldly samples the cake first

Cognition's failure to supply a desk does not deter Johnny
CJ asking local just where does he think his kandoora is!

Bye y'all - it was real!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

I stumble into town just like a sacred cow (David Bowie)

I'm reading Joe Bennett's Where Underpants Come From at the moment. It's subtitled 'From checkout to cotton field - travels through the new China'.

I'm not really a fan of his work. He's usually trying too hard to be funny in a clever way, whereas a great travel writer (clearly he aspires to Bill Bryson status) is just funny in an effortless way and informative in a clever way.

In the absence of any other amusing travel writing on China though - he's it.

I'm six chapters in an so far he hasn't moved from Shanghai. Chapter 6 was solely concerned with trying to make a dinner experience with a Chinese couple witty.

He does make some interesting points though which elucidate my own thoughts and knowledge of China. We both know little to nothing about it, beyond that there are a phenomenal number of people in China (1.4 billion I think), it's the world's producer of just about everything we buy, and it's an ancient land - 3,000 years and counting (at least, I think).

So we have ignorance in common.

With that in mind I watched an interesting TED talks item which clued me into the new generation of Chinese and the new China better than Joe could manage (in 95 pages so far). It also answered a few of my questions about blogging in the new China. Enjoy!