Today I have an enormous lie-in. 10:30 and I only wake then as my washing is dropped off outside my door! I’m finding it a bit disconcerting that someone is folding my underwear though… I get sorted and e-mail the personnel staff to let them know what I want for my weekend meals. When I go downstairs, there is bacon and eggs waiting for me… this is quite a difficult situation as I am aware that one of the directors, who is responsible for hiring me, has asked the helpers to take particular care of me. So I know it is a sign of being looked after. But seriously, this many eggs on a week is soooo bad! I need to maybe speak to the directors again. I blame the other Westerner actually. He’s really picky with his food. He onle eats staples and refuses to eat breakfast here, instead stocking up on tuna sandwiches for the week! I personally love the food! It’s great, super tasty and there’s always so much variety. So anyway, I have a very bizarre brunch of bacon, egg and broccoli. The helper is being very attentive today, making my coffee and telling me to sit down and eat… maybe as I skipped breakfast? When Elaine comes in from work, she arranges with the helper to help guide me through cooking later. The helper has asked that I teach her how to cook Western food too! I like this, an exchange of cultures. I think it’s going to be the second prong to making my time here profitable to both parties. So, I am to go downstairs at 4:30 for her to teach me. I’m quite nervous about this, her English is as good as my Chinese! At least I have my phrasebook to help with mild communications. As I leave, one of the staff gives me a fruit basket from a client. She tells me there is no fruit on a Sunday in the canteen - so I must keep it! I actually feel like royalty here, everyone treats me so well. The culture here is so beautiful, it makes me quite annoyed when I think about racist people can be toward Chinese. Being immersed in the culture, I know first hand that it is allot better than the Western way of life. I think I’m becoming a self-hating Westerner! So dinner went very well. I had thought I would be cooking myself, but the helper does everything for me! I just direct her as to what to put into the dish. So, it would seem that weekends are better than the week for food. I has said to personnel that I liked pork and chicken, thinking this gave them options as to what to serve me, but they took this as I wanted both! Greedy Westerner. So I was presented with 11chicken wings and a huge slab of pork! I remembered what today and tomorrow was in Mandarin, so I’m having pork tonight. The pork is seasoned with salt and a chicken stock powder, stir fried with sliced garlic and steamed with water and broccoli once cooked. It is simple and sensational! I’m subjected to some Mandarin drama, from what I can gather it’s a boy on a quest to save his annoyingly tearful girl from the clutches of a bad man. On the way a monkey interferes between both parties, the boy has a difficult decision to make… funny, despite the language barrier - plots are easy to distinguish the world over! Tonight I have a crazy-late night trying to sort out my plans for Christmas. I really want to go to NZ, but it’s a bit of a gamble with the visa. 3.5months is surely enough to get it sorted? I hope so, I’m only allowed to stay in China for 180days! Fingers crossed anyway. I’ve put in a few requests for quotes with different companies. I can just imagine, after China has finally cooled down, I’ll be thrown into the heat of NZ again, my poor body must not have a clue what’s going on after 24-years of stability. Sunday is a pretty lazy day. I read through the documents work has given me and a book for new friend Elaine gave me on Chinese idioms. She’s set me Mandarin homework too, which I best get cracking on! She is a good laoshi. The rain in torrential today, I’m glad to be stuck inside. All I do at the moment is eat and sleep. It’s like a sort of weird holiday. Stuart commented that it sounds as if I’ve been kidnapped, they haven’t given me my address just yet and I have to be escorted every time I go out… ha, very suspicious! I was fed the 11chicken wings for lunch, along with an entire broccoli! I’m going to be the size of a whale by Christmas. Maybe I need to invest in some kaftans for the beach?! Or, ummm, is it moo moo’s that really obese people wear as no clothes fit them? Tonight is pork… I will explode fairly soon. It’s really rude in this culture to refuse consumable goods though, so it’s hard to say I’ve been fed too much! Maybe when they have to invest in a Stenna stair lift for me to get down they’ll stop feeding me so much? Ooooh, first proper working week tomorrow, I’m really excited!