Conor Coyle

Yi, er, san, yi, er, san..... That's the sound that greets me most mornings; the sound of students doing morning exercises. Fortunately for me teachers are exempt! It's the kind of sound that always reminds me what a different country, culture and situation I find myself in. Each day brings rewards and challenges; I have to admit the students are great and have made the time fly. I have more memories than I can carry in my suitcase home.

I've been in China for 9 months and have settled into a routine; I teach for about 20 hours a week; eating, shopping, travelling and spending time with friends is what I do with the rest of my time. Today I had class until 10:40 and at lunch time I'm meeting some students, we're going to a local restaurant (I've found plenty of local dishes I enjoy- to the surprise of myself and my family at home) and this afternoon? Who knows, I'll see what comes my way!

What I've found is that China has a way of surprising you, especially when you think you have it all sussed out…