Not what I expected (not the first time nor will it be the last)

Standard

I noticed a huge cultural difference in one of my recent classes (the kind where I’m the teacher and not the student). I teach a small group of women from a large corporation and they LOVE social English, not so much the business English which is what they’re supposed to be learning. Anyway, for the first 15-20 minutes I try to do something fun with them. This week I did the “Your apartment is on fire, your family and pets are safe, but you can only take 5 items with you that will fit in a suitcase” game. The answers were surprising.

Person 1

money

cell phone

ID card

Person 2

backpack (which contains money, cell phone, and ID card)

jewelry

laptop

house deed

Person 3

money

ID card

cell phone

jewelry

Person 4

wallet (which contains money and ID card)

hard drive storage unit

photos

Person 5

photos

award

tea cup

postcard collection – postcards she sends herself  when she travels (I wish I had thought of that!) and postcards from her friends and family.

*****They couldn’t all come up with 5 items so I made allowances for that. I’m a nice teacher like that. 😉

I know Chinese people are practical but only one person chose all sentimental items. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not judging their choices but their answers were different from what I was expecting. When they asked me (I had not planned on offering up my answers but they asked so I did) I answered: my photo CDs, Bible, treasure box (which contains all the great little cards, letters, and small sentimental gifts from Kiersten, Andrew and Anders, my mom and dad, friends, and former students), and my old passport.  I was using the exercise to learn more about them individually and as a springboard to more conversation. As usual, I was the who had my mind opened.

4PM – 93°

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About vikarenously

I am an ex-pat living in Guangzhou, China. I am married to the man of my dreams who has indulged my love of travel by working hard enough to snag two international assignments. Oh yes, I also have two amazing children who accompanied us on our first one to Switzerland and are now mature and responsible adults which makes it so easy for us to experience this adventure as empty-nesters. Experience it vicariously with Karen.

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