cocktail hour in the laundry room: a social week, train ticket dilemmas, a retreat and sunday afternoon ktv

Monday, May 25:  Isn’t it amazing how quickly the weeks go by?  Here it is again, time for cocktail hour in the laundry room.  I’m sorry I had to postpone our Sunday night gathering.  I had already downed a couple of beers early on Sunday, as I met some of my students for four hours of KTV in the afternoon.  I’ll tell you more about that later.  For now, though, please, come on in!  Have a seat in my comfortable chair and I’ll pour you a glass of Rioja.  It’s all I have left, so I apologize in advance.  I haven’t had time to make my bi-weekly trip to Wal-Mart for my 3 bottles of wine for 99 yuan.  It’s been a busy week, and the next couple are not likely to be any better.

I realize my life has morphed into something very unlike the life I lead in Virginia.  If you were coming to my house in Virginia for drinks, I would have prepared appetizers and several types of cocktails.  I’d have some music playing and I certainly wouldn’t have you sit in my laundry room.  Oh well, this is what happens when I live abroad.  I become too lazy to go to the effort I normally make back home.  Everything is pared down, simplified.  Life is lived with the bare minimum of “stuff.”  I have learned to be comfortable in places I would have never thought it possible to call home.  I feel as if this is my home, just as I felt my apartments in Oman and Korea were home.  Still, it’s nice to know I have my house in Virginia to truly go home to.

I finally took down my lavender flowered sheets from the laundry line because it’s rotation time.  I took the ugly plaid sheets provided by the university off of my bed and washed them, so they’re now hanging on the line.  I rotated the lavender sheets onto my bed.  They’re so much softer than the plaid ones, which are pretty scratchy, so I love the alternating bi-weekly lavender sheet period.

Come on in and join me for some Rioja. :-)

Come on in and join me for some Rioja. 🙂

It’s been miserably hot and humid and damp here, as usual, but it’s not so bad out here this evening, for some bizarre reason.  So I am actually sitting here in the laundry room, drinking my wine, and writing this post to all of my blogging or other friends who care to visit.

I’d love to hear about your week.  Did you work in the garden or do some spring cleaning?  Did you swim a 2-mile swim?  (My husband Mike did, and did it in just a tad over an hour; it was an open lake swim, which I’d be freaked out about, but he’s very calm and deliberate about that kind of thing.)   Did you read a good book?  I love hearing about the books you’re reading and promptly add them to my Goodreads list, so I do want to know all about your reading list.  Did you watch any good movies or TV shows?  Did you dance in the streets (I know Pauline and Jack did!) or did you take a walk in the countryside (as Jo always does).  Did you have any interesting conversations, or did you reveal a deep dark secret to someone?

I don’t know about you, but I’m really on edge about the Nepal earthquakes, as I visited Nepal in January of 2013; I can picture Kathmandu and Durbar Square and all the historical and religious sites that have been destroyed.  My friend Dai, who lives in Nepal and has a Nepali family, happened to be in Portugal looking for a new apartment during the earthquake, but his family is still living in tents because of the aftershocks. And now monsoon season is upon them. I really hope all the aftershocks stop soon.  It really is heartbreaking.

Tell me anything you want to tell me. I’m here to listen. 🙂

This past week, I wrote a blog post about a horrid horse-cart driver in Ava, Myanmar: a horse-cart ride through the former “kingdom of ava”.  I was chatting with Mike on Skype on Sunday morning and, as always, I asked him if he read my post.  I said, “Wasn’t that guy awful?”  He said, “Yes, it was awful how he was beating that poor skeletal horse.”  Then he added, “You know, I can just see the situation now.  He has it figured how much time it will take to go to all the places in Ava.  And the Korean lady fits with his schedule because she’s not taking pictures and she does a simple in and out at each place.  But what the guy doesn’t figure in is you and your camera and the hundreds of pictures you take at each place. I could see by the number of pictures you posted that there was no way that trip could have taken one hour!”  Oh my gosh, Mike always has a way of calling me out on things.  He knows me all too well.  I cracked up laughing when he said that.  He’s got me pegged; I guess that’s the great thing about knowing someone so well.

And then there are the people I don’t know too well.  Last week, I finally cornered my friend (the one who I thought had been ignoring me, so in turn I started ignoring him) and mentioned that I was about ready to write him off as it seemed he didn’t value our friendship.  He often says he’s awfully busy, and I do know he works multiple jobs outside of the university, but that excuse is bull malarkey.  People can make time if they want to.  I said I’d be happy to back off and leave him alone, but that wasn’t what he wanted as he says he does value my friendship.  I told him there’s something he should know about me: I am never one to chase after a friend, and if I sense someone is backing off, then I will back off even more and give that friend plenty of space.  Then he said there is something I should know about him: he really believes no one likes him.  He always assumes people don’t want to be around him so he tends to give people their space.  He also argued that a friendship works both ways, that I could easily invite him places.  But I said I’m not going to invite someone who’s always so busy; if he is as busy as he claims to be, I’m always going to get rejected.  Since he’s so busy, I figure I should leave it to him to let me know when he’s free.  Around and around with misunderstandings.  And so it goes.  Why do relationships have to be so complicated?

This week was better all around; not only did I share several meals with him, but I also shared meals with some other friends at the university.  In addition, I went on a two-day work “retreat,” a very positive experience, which I already wrote about: a work retreat: a cultural exchange at pingnan high school & a rainy morning walk at guiping xi shan.  I was happy to have a bit of a social week, although sometimes it goes in the opposite direction and it’s a little too much for my reclusive self. 🙂

After nearly this entire year of my traveling alone, my friend Erica, who always works multiple jobs on weekends, said she wanted to go to Yangshuo and wondered if I’d give her some advice.  I said I’d be happy to go along if she’d like the company. She said she would.  So I took care of checking on the train tickets, and she took care of finding a hotel.  We were going to share a room, but then she asked me the dreaded question: “Do you snore?”  It’s a good thing she asked, and I told her the truth: I do snore and apparently a lot.  I always drive my son Alex crazy when we’re traveling together.  So she arranged for separate rooms, a good thing to preserve a friendship.  We had to get a Chinese student to buy the train tickets for us, and then we went to the ticket office near the university main gate to pick them up. However, after much mysterious dallying, they finally told us we had to go to the train station to pick them up, as we needed to show our passports to the people in charge.  It’s such a hassle to go to the train station, but we hopped on the #605 bus and went, where amazingly, there was no line at the English counter!!  Miracle of miracles!  It took us a while, but we got our tickets in hand, and we’re leaving for Yangshuo on Friday afternoon at 13:15.

By the way, while sitting here at my cocktail hour, I’m munching on peanuts in the shell, which I have to crack open of course.  It’s a little hard to write a post on the computer while cracking peanut shells, so I’m taking a lot of breaks.  I eat peanuts in the shells because most snacks in China, say potato chips or other supposedly “salty” snacks that I crave, always have a little sweetness to them.  I found this in Korea too.  It’s very difficult to eat snacks that don’t taste similar to what you’re used to.  I haven’t found many snack foods I like in China except some chocolate mousse cake squares, which are my downfall for sure.

As for TV series, I’ve now finished Homeland, The Fall, and Scandal.  I was sad to finish them up.  Now I’m engrossed in Season 5 of Grey’s Anatomy and Season 1 of Madam Secretary.  I’m enjoying them both very much.  I’m still reading Sandcastle Girls; it’s interesting but taking me a while to really get into it.

My air conditioner in my living room is leaking and though I’ve asked the university to repair it, no one has shown up.  This is one of the annoying things about depending on some organization to keep your house in order.

Now to the Sunday afternoon KTV activity.  I met a small group of my students at the front gate of the university and we walked together to a KTV place.  KTV refers to karaoke television, a kind of interactive musical entertainment.  I have wanted to go ever since I arrived in China, as I used to do noraebang in Korea all the time and greatly enjoyed it: south korea … land of the “bangs”.

The lobby of Singing Soul KTV

The lobby of Singing Soul KTV

A noraebang is a “singing” room where everyone takes turns singing English or Korean songs, some rockin’, some lovely ballads, some classical songs.  KTV in China is the same; it’s basically a “singing room” that you reserve for a period of time for a fee.  You can order tea, snacks, beer, or anything else you want. During that time, you pick either Chinese or English (even some Korean) songs from a computer and put them on a list, and when the music video plays on the TV screen, you can sing along with a microphone.  I love to sing, even though I’m no good at it, so I always enjoyed it in Korea.  I enjoy it here as well.  I even did this in Northern Virginia as the Korean community in Falls Church is quite huge and there are tons of Korean restaurants and some noraebangs as well.

Fountain & lobby at Singing Soul KTV

Fountain & lobby at Singing Soul KTV

This place is called Singing Soul KTV.  Singing soul!?  Sounds like something you’d read on a poetic Chinese placard at a tourist spot.

Singing Soul KTV

Singing Soul KTV

Colorful fountain at Singing Soul KTV

Colorful fountain at Singing Soul KTV

We reserve a room and settle in.  Here are the microphones.

microphones for KTV

microphones for KTV

The KTV singing room is very dark, with a strobe tossing colorful dots of confetti light all over the walls.  We sit on long couches in a semi-rectangle around a long table and sing, drink, eat and talk.  I do have to say there isn’t much talking that can go on here, as the music is so loud.  I take a multitude of photos, but not many of them turn out.  Oh well, you can get the general idea from the photo gallery below.

I pick some of my favorite songs from a computerized list.  Many that I would choose are NOT available, such as “Happy” and “Get Lucky” by Pharrell Williams, “If There’s Any Justice” by Lemar, and “How to Save a Life” by The Fray.  However, I am able to sing: “Hotel California” by the Eagles, “California Dreamin'” by the Mamas and Papas (I’m really showing my age!), “Somebody that I used to Know” by Walk off the Earth, “Incomplete” by Backstreet Boys, and “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol.

What really surprises me are the students’ selections.  They go from “Yesterday Once More” by the Carpenters to “S&M” by Rhianna!  Wow, what an extreme.  They pick a lot of songs by Bruno Mars, Jon Legend, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry.  Of course, they also choose a lot of Chinese songs, many of which are beautiful or rocking!  One English song they choose brings tears to my eyes: “If I Were a Boy” by Beyonce.

Below is me with my students after four hours of KTV.  I heard today that the students stayed for two more hours after I left.   This class of students, the 1408 class, seems to enjoy doing social things with me.  The Leo on the far right was my student before midterm of fall semester; sadly he got moved out of my class, but I really love his personality.  He’s a great singer and a charming boy and I miss having him in my class.

Albert, Robin, Spring, Jack, me, Leo and Leo

Albert, Robin, Spring, Jack, me, Leo and Leo

I always enjoyed noraebang in Korea, and now I can say with authority that I enjoy KTV in China.   I’m slowly but surely getting all the Chinese experiences I wanted under my belt, now that my time here is winding down.

It’s getting dark now, so I think I’ll go inside and eat some leftover Korean bibimbap.  I had some from last week when I went out to a Korean restaurant for dinner.  I’ll top off my meal with one of those chocolate mousse cake squares I love so much.  I suppose you’ll want to go home for some dinner as I have nothing to offer, and there aren’t enough leftovers to go around.  But thanks so much for coming.  As always, it was great to see you, and great to have a chat. 🙂  See you next week, maybe Monday or Tuesday, as I’m going to Yangshuo over the weekend.

Categories: Asia, China, conversation, Entertainment, ESL Teacher, Expat life, Friendship, Guangxi University, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, KTV, laundry room cocktail hour, Nanning, Singing Soul KTV, Sino-Canadian International College (SCIC), Teaching English as a Second Language | Tags: , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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37 thoughts on “cocktail hour in the laundry room: a social week, train ticket dilemmas, a retreat and sunday afternoon ktv

  1. Another full-on week from you Cathy. I don’t know how you fit everything in! A bit of a grey week here, I am hoping that it warms up soon as we are going away again to Cornwall and I am looking forward to exploring more of that beautiful coastline. I finally put my pelargoniums outside, keeping my fingers crossed that there is no more frost, but as I am hoping to move this year I am not doing much with my containers. I am annoyed to see that my Gertrude Jekyll rose has 12 buds which will most likely open whilst I am away – it did last year too! Obviously I need to book a different time away from home.
    I have missed your Myanamar stories so I am going over there for a look now.

    Have a great week and enjoy your weekend – I wonder what your new friend will make of your photography obsession?
    Jude xx


    • Hi Jude, This was a particularly busy week. Luckily they’re not all like this! Oh, I’m glad you’re going to Cornwall so I can explore along with you! Too bad about missing your Gertrude Jekyll rose buds for the second year in a row!

      I don’t know what my friend will make of my photography obsession! She’s been a work friend all along, and we’ve had a lot of lunches together, but we’ve never traveled together. People who aren’t photographers often have no patience with photographers, as I know from traveling with Mike and Alex. That was why Mario and I got along so famously! We both were equally avid photographers.

      It’s a busy week this week even in my classes, and then I got a text this evening saying someone’s going to come and observe my class tomorrow! I texted back that it seems pointless as I’m leaving SCIC in less than two months, but they’re coming anyway. They just observed another colleague today who’s also leaving when I leave. What is the point, as we were already observed once this year? Oh well, I have a debate planned, so they won’t really get to see me teach at all because the students will be debating! That takes the burden off of me. 🙂 Have a fun weekend and have fun in Cornwall. When will you go?

      Liked by 1 person

      • We go on Friday Cathy, OH birthday trip. We usually go away but not usually somewhere we have just returned from! This year though he is meeting up with a very old musician friend of his over from Canada – I’m sure they’ll be mulling over the past so I shall escape to the gardens 😀


      • Oh, happy birthday to your OH, Jude. Fun times ahead, I’m sure. Oh good, glad he’ll be tied up so you can make a great escape into the midst of the flowers! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you on his behalf though he is not keen on the numbers growing all too quickly. I may drag him into some of the gardens, but there are two I specifically want to visit.


      • I hope you enjoy them, Jude. When will you go?


    • Darn! We often have that situation with our Amelanchier, Jude (Lord knows how it’s spelt!) Just about caught it between trips, but now our garden fences are tumbling down. Major repairs needed. And last night when Mick picked me up from the bus station the car made some very strange banging noises. It’s an oldie and he came home and started looking for a newer old one online 🙂 Life… Enjoy Cornwall!


  2. It’s nice to meet you again for a glass of wine – rioja is just fine with me. Last week was busy-ish and now that I am sitting down to tell you about it I can’t remember what I did! I know I managed to finish a book which I really enjoyed. It was called Walking Home by Clare Balding. Clare is mainly known in the UK as a tv sports presenter, but also has a successful, long running radio programme called Ramblings where she and another person (often a celebrity but not always) go for a 5-7 mile walk and chat, and describe the scenery. Her book is about these walks, but also has little snippets of her life (past and present) in it. It was a very relaxing book to read, and made we want to try out a few of the walks. Have a good week. 🙂


  3. I think a more relaxed approach to cocktail hour is just fine – I’m happy with just a glass of wine and the chance to visit.

    My week has been – what? I watched the movie Unbroken one night – excellent, intense movie. I think the Academy ignoring it when they nominated for awards last year is an insult and shows some stupidity. I think it might just be an example of the domination of men in that world. I just finished reading Wish You Well by David Baldacci – it was published in 2009 and is not his typical political thriller at all. His excellent writing made this a very interesting book and I was quite captured by it. Tastes are different though so you may not be as enthralled with it as I was. I think when I read Sandcastle Girls it took me a bit to get into it – it seemed different than the other books I had read by Bohajalian (I’m never sure I’ve written his name correctly).

    I spent most of yesterday outside – the rain has finally moved on and we had a beautiful spring day. In fact, I pulled out a pair of sandals late in the afternoon. I picked up more pine cones – although they are dropping less heavily now so I have hope that chore will be done for this summer soon – pruned a few trees and cut down a shrub that struggled last year and completely gave up the fight this year. Then I mowed the lawn – changed up the route I usually take when I do that (I have about two acres that I mow), and discovered late yesterday that I missed a section on the other side of my Windmill Bed out front which will need to be rectified today – and did some general cleanup work. That will continue today, but I’ll also plant the petunias I bought for the wheelbarrow, and a dry root geranium and day lily I picked up awhile back. Maybe even plant the primrose that have been in their temporary home and ready that pot for basil and parsley.

    When I went out on the deck yesterday evening to have a beer – such a treat after a busy warm day – I realized the dreaded yellow pollen from the pine trees has started. It’s a regular spring plague here. Ah well, that too shall pass.

    I find the Nepal earthquakes unsettling because Gep went there after Kat and I left Vietnam at Christmas. I have have been so grateful he was not there when the quakes occurred. There has been a cluster of activity in the ocean off the California/Oregon coasts lately too – I am hoping that is not a sign of a major quake to come. The last one to hit our area was in 1994, before I moved here. I’d prefer not to experience one, I’ve already done that in southern California, thank you.

    I think now I must move on if I’m to get anything done today.



    • Hi Carol, Thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you don’t mind my casual approach to the cocktail hour; it will probably be like this at least until I leave China!

      I’ve heard both the movie and the book Unbroken were fabulous. I can’t wait to see the movie when I return home. I just read up on Wish You Well, and it sounds good, so I put it on my to-read list.

      As for Sandcastle Girls, it is interesting, just slow to draw me in. I’ve never read anything by this author before.

      Wow, you have done and are doing a lot of gardening chores, but I think you love gardening so it gives you much pleasure. I know it feels good to get your property in order and all spiffied up for spring. I hope the pollen didn’t ruin the enjoyment of your beer, which sounds like the perfect end to a day of great accomplishment!

      The earthquake in Nepal is very unsettling, and if Gep was there near the time of the earthquake, then the disaster would feel awfully close to home. I’m sorry about the west coast activity, and I hope too that no earthquakes are coming in your area, or anywhere on the West coast for that matter. I don’t know how I’d live with the constant earthquakes they have in California. It seems I’d never be able to relax as I’d always be waiting for the next one.

      Thanks again for dropping by, and it was nice to hear about your week. I hope you have enough. I know you usually do. 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful and the only thing missing is a video of you singing!


  5. Gosh, your weeks are always so full! The singing sounds like a lot of fun, and I’m glad you’re still getting a chance to travel around before you leave.

    My week has been rather dull in comparison. Mostly sitting around, recovering from the flu. I finally managed to get some gardening done over the weekend, a little at a time. I haven’t been reading much because I find it difficult to concentrate. I’m still working on “The Casual Vacancy” by J. K. Rowling. It was slow to start because Rowling spends a lot of time on character development, but it’s starting to pick up now and I look forward to spending some time with it. M and I started watching “American Horror Story” (Season 1). I dunno if I’ll keep going with it or not. A couple of people recommended it, and in my younger days, I loved a good horror show or film, but as I get older, I don’t seem to like them as much. I’ve only watched one episode, and will continue on with the rest of the DVD and then decide. We were going to watch the last movie in The Hobbit series, but the DVD wouldn’t play so we’ll have to wait until Netflix replaces it. I wish we could do the streaming thing here, but having satellite internet with limited bytes every month nixes that idea.

    I like your cocktail hours. Don’t worry about the appetizers or what you have to drink. I’ll BYOB, and if I want snacks, I’ll bring some along to share with you. 🙂


    • Thanks again for dropping by for cocktails, Robin, and I’m glad you don’t mind bringing your own bottle to share when I can’t seem to get to the Wal-Mart. When I go to Wal-Mart, it’s about a mile walk in dreadful heat and humidity. The walk there isn’t so bad, but when I walk back loaded down with 3 bottles of wine and some other Western food, it isn’t pleasant!

      I think sitting around recovering from the flu is just what you need right now. I think sometimes it’s good to have an excuse to do just that. I really do hope you’re feeling better now.

      The J.K. Rowling book looks interesting. I just checked it out on Goodreads. I’m not a fan of Harry Potter, but then I’m not into any kind of fantasy at all. This one sounds like more of an adult book, so maybe I’d like it. As far as American Horror Story, i swore off horror movies and books after reading “The Lawnmower Man” by Stephen King, and watching “Carrie.” It’s been many years since I’ve watched a horror movie and they hold no attraction for me. However, I do enjoy a good detective series, like True Detective, which was quite gory and horrific in its own right. I don’t know why I can watch one but not the other.

      I’ve had to have so many DVDs replaced by Netflix. It is frustrating to have to wait for a replacement when you’re in the mindset to watch a movie.

      Hope you’re better soon and you can get out and about at the Wabi Sabi Ranch. (that’s the name right?)


  6. ah! all of the images loaded, b/c i am now in town! you might be having a touch of cabin fever here and there, but your students obviously care a lot about you!


  7. Hi Cathy!

    I also like this cocktail hour business and a glass of Rioja will be just fine, although I have already toasted your health in a glass of Banrock Station Shiraz Mataro!

    I am retired and enjoy a much less busy life than you do, although I can well understand your need to see as much as you can of a country while you are there. My holidays abroad tend to be very busy and for the same reason.

    I have an allotment (do you have them in the States?) and like Jude above have been tempting providence by settling in some tender French beans today, and potting up some dahlias etc. I live in the north of England so I may be being over-optimistic, though the forecast’s warm enough for the next few days.

    Presently I am reading Y by Marjorie Celona which has been on my wish list for some time. It’s the story of a child abandoned at birth and her need to understand who she is. As an ex-social worker it rings many bells for me about the damage done to kids who have faced umpteen changes of carer. It’s something of an emotional read so I ‘m taking my time over it.

    No shared dark secrets I’m afraid. I had a Greek meal here with a friend over the weekend to plan our joint visit to a clinic undertaking research into Altzeimer’s to which we have been referred by our GP, not because we’re losing it I hasten to add, but because we might make good guinea pigs I guess. We also planned an overdue visit to a local winery. I find it quite amazing that wine can be produced here in the hills of Northern Britain so I shall be most interested to try them. I’ve had white wine from the South of England and very nice it is too.

    Take care!


    • Oh, Vee, I don’t even know the Banrock Station Shiraz Mataro! I think I need to taste that one myself, as I also like Shiraz! I’m really glad you like my cocktail hour “business.” 🙂

      Lucky you to be retired. I really wish I had all the time and money in the world so I could travel without working. This working really puts a damper on my style. I do have to keep busy seeing as much as I can here in China because my time here is coming to an end. Things seem to be winding down quickly.

      I don’t know if we have “allotments,” Vee, but maybe we do and call them something else. Are they just little garden plots not attached to your home? If so, some Americans do have them, but I have a big yard, so I don’t need one off my property. I’m not a gardener though; I just like to buy fresh veggies at farmers’ markets. I hope your French beans and dahlias thrive despite your being so far north.

      I’ll have to check out your “Y” by Marjorie Celona. I’m glad you find it interesting. I didn’t know that you used to be a social worker. Did you enjoy your work? I would imagine it could be very stressful.

      So what will the research into Alzheimer’s involve and what will your part be in it?

      The winery visit sounds wonderful; I didn’t know northern Britain produced wine! Maybe you can bring some of the northern wine to our next cocktail hour!

      Have a great week, Vee, and thanks for dropping by. 🙂


  8. I’m just rushing in a bit later this week Cathy. I think these last few weeks are going to race by for you and it sounds as though you are now finding those friends to chum up with. I loved seeing all your students and you enjoying the KTV session. I also went to a couple of noraebang sing a longs in Korea, so much fun. and the Korean bibimbap was one of my favourites too. On the home front it was the Blues festival on Broadbeach for 4 days over the weekend, it is 60+ bands performing on various stages and venues spread around a beach front suburb not far from were we live, and it is totally FREE!!! Of course they hope you will spend up having meals and for out of town people staying at hotels. So it brings in lots of tourist $$’ss. We went with Jack’s son and his lovely little Korean wife. Then on an impulse, and while we had James with us, as he is computer literate, we bought an Apple TV and he tuned us into Netfix, Have you heard of them? I am planning to go back to my art group tomorrow, haven’t been since we went off on the cruise. So now I will have to say good night and go find all my painting gear….


    • Don’t worry about coming late to the cocktail hour, Pauline. I’ll be happy to serve you up a drink whenever you arrive, even if it’s several days later! It’s nice that now, as I’m ready to leave, I am able to hang out with some people that I haven’t really hung out with before. That makes my time here more pleasant.

      I’m glad you enjoyed Korean noraebang and bibimbap. Both of those things are my two favorite things about Korea, as well as some of the amazing places I visited while there.

      It sounds like you had a lovely time at the Blues festival. Did you see I mentioned you and Jack dancing in the street in my cocktail hour? I was surprised you didn’t mention it. 🙂

      I have heard of Netflix and actually subscribe when I’m in the USA. I use that service a lot. I hope you had fun at your art group. So what kind of painting do you do?
      Have a great day! xxx


      • Yes I did notice the mention about the dancing, that was fun… It is art day today, Wednesday, we do all sorts of things, Denise, our teacher, challenges us with different projects each week.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. MonaLiesa Wessel

    Hi there!! These laundry room chats are my absolute favourite blogs!! I love them!! I am glad you started these, I think it needs to be a trend! A once a week chat about your week!! Thank you for sharing these observations!!

    Any news re Egypt? There are almost NO jobs out there it seems, poor Warwick is having a terrible time even getting to Saudi where he does not want to go. So many jobs are for teaching children which we all loathe.

    Not doing so well on my online job, it seems I cannot find my stride with regard to how I am to mark these speaking prompts. I have two months to go otherwise I will be stuck in the law office forever, which trust me I am grateful for.

    Need to finish my massive spring clean this week. I have divested my home of more than 50% of its contents, and today’s job is all plastic stuff cluttering up my kitchen cupboards so that I have only glass, wood, stainless steel and porcelain collectibles from Japan though there needs to be some clearing out as well. It is a huge relief, as my sister works at a charity shop and so I have a great place to pack up 90% of it. The old junk went into a large skip destined for the dump for stuff like old TVs and broken chairs, etc. Luckily people were recycling items like good bikes and stuff which were in the skip but which could be removed.

    It is a good project, getting rid of unwanted furniture, paperwork, books, clothes, shoes that don’t fit, appliances, everything plastic, old bedding with a less than 400 thread count, towels which are not made from Turkish or Egyptian cotton, cans of food for the food bank. old electronics, old software, gardening supplies I cannot use, my dad’s tools doubles and triples, you name it junky stuff though I have not got much that is actually junk, jewelry that is costume and no longer wanted, whew!! And photos.

    That is a lot! It feels good though to make this a nice spare home easy to clean. The cats are not going anywhere, my journals are staying, and my 3000 books that are good books will stay. My sister will get one or two of my laptops before I buy something like a Chrome laptop. Whew! You know how much daily living can add to clutter, though I liked when you wrote about learning how little you can actually live with and without.

    OK,that is all I wanted to share. I love those posts and they are the highlight of my online week to read them.

    I sent you a link of an expat blog by country site and there was nothing for Oman. Please see if you can hook up with them. I put it on your facebook wall.

    take care, have a good week! xxxxx


    • Thanks, Mona Lisa, for your words of encouragement about the laundry room cocktail hours. To be honest, I don’t have time or energy to do it this week; next week, it might be just as hopeless. I went away last weekend and possibly will do so again this weekend. Besides that I’m getting 73 outlines and brainstorms to mark on Thursday with a quick turnaround. Too much to do!!! Plus starting to organize my return home.

      As for Egypt, once they wrote me and asked for my age, I never heard back from them. On the other hand, I have heard from Morocco just today; they want to do a Skype interview next week. You know I would LOVE to go to Morocco, but sadly, I would have to turn down any fall start date as I’ve now committed to the CELTA course in September. Maybe if they like me and I like them, I can work out something with a later start time, possibly the spring semester. We’ll just take it a day at a time.

      Is the online marking you’re doing sort of like IELTS? I know those are really difficult to mark and you must be right on or you lose your ability to be an IELTS marker. I’m glad that you do have your law office job though.

      That spring cleaning you’re doing sounds wonderful. I bet you feel lighter and less burdened by getting rid of all that stuff. I would like to do something like that in our Virginia house when I return home. It’s got so much stuff in it! I know it would feel so much better if we de-cluttered. I remember how awful it felt to be in that house after I left my clean spare home in Oman. I really need to get to work on it.

      As for that Expat blog site, I could have sworn my Oman blog was already on that site. I wonder why you couldn’t find it. Never mind, as good of an idea as it is, I really just don’t have time for it right now. But thanks for the link and the heads up.

      Take care of yourself, and hopefully I can do another laundry room cocktail hour soon. Talk to you before long. Hugs xxx


  10. I’ll start off by being a party pooper, Cathy 😦 Karaoke really isn’t my thing. Weekend trauma here has my heart thudding when I think about it. It’s the Leo situation again and I’m pretty powerless to do anything. Pushed it all aside temporarily on a canalside walk yesterday morning, while Lisa was at work. Met her for lunch and hugs and then journeyed home. Will follow your exploits later, love. Have a super weekend! It’ll be lovely to have company. 🙂 🙂


    • Jo, I’m so sorry you’re having some difficulties right now with the Leo situation. I hope it will all work out smoothly. Hugs and love to you, Jo. xxx


  11. Is it the wine, or are you feeling more relaxed and contented with your life? Good to see you having fun and enjoying the humorous side of life 🙂


    • It might be the wine, but who knows, Annette? Some days I feel good and some days I don’t. It’s pretty common with me that I have highs and lows with my moods; I just take it in stride, express my feelings when I need to, and then move on. Right now, yes, I’m enjoying life. But next week when I have 73 outlines and brainstorms to grade, I might not be enjoying it as much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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