Coming Back after Spring Festival

Since I came back to Nanjing last week I have been really swamped with work. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately because recently I got some new responsibilities.

I’ve started teaching in high school, which is something I have never done before. The number of students in the class is higher than what I am used to and I have to prepare more classes than before. On top of that, I have to write feedback on students’ participation in class every week and make sure that students have some homework to do after every class. Of course, as usual in China, there has been little information about what is expected of me and equally little training from my superiors. Nevertheless, I think it’s gonna be an interesting experience for me and a challenge in a way.

These days, it’s raining almost every day in Nanjing. I saw someone post a long-term weather forecast on Wechat moments and it said it was gonna rain for the next 30 days, with a few days of sun in between. I think it’s all making me a little bit tired and lethargic, today it was really difficult for me to focus in class and pay attention to what students were saying.

When I was coming back from Poland, my plane was flying from Germany to Nanjing. Here at the airport happened something that has never happened before – my luggage was searched and all the contraband Polish sausage I was trying to smuggle into China was taken away. The airport staff asked all the people flying in from foreign countries to put their luggage through a scanner and then, if something looked suspicious, they requested to open the suitcase. It was the first time I got caught and they took everything away. I even got a receipt for it from customs… I’m wondering if it would’ve happened if I had landed in a different Chinese city or if I had transferred within China and then my flight to Nanjing would’ve been a domestic flight. Oh well.

Also, it’s important to know that if your transferring within China and you have some alcohol in your carry-on luggage that was bought at the airport (after the security check, before departure) they might forbid you to take it on board of the next flight.

Yesterday was yet another traditional festival here in China – the Lantern Festival (元宵节Yuánxiāojié) – which marks the end of the celebratory period around the New Year. During Lantern Festival, people go out to admire lamps hanging around the city (in Nanjing, a place to go is Confucius Temple, however, supposedly yesterday it was crowded beyond limits so none of the students I asked about it actually went there); it’s also popular to watch fireworks, however in some of the cities it is prohibited to set them off. As for me, I went hiking with my friend and his dog.

Excited about a long walk
View of the Xuanwu Lake

Later we went to his place to eat sticky rice dumplings (元宵yuánxiāo) which are a traditional snack to eat during the Lantern Festival. As the name suggests, they are made of sticky rice and usually have a sweet filling, the most common is black sesame filling.

Roasted vegetables and yuanxiao – a nice meal for the festival

In the past, I witnessed some festive activities when I was traveling:

People gathering to watch fireworks outside, Jingdezhen city, 2017
People launching sky lanterns during the Lantern Festival in Jingdezhen city, 2017

Take care and happy Lantern Festival!

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