… and I woke up hung over and bald this morning!

I’m going to start doing periodic blog updates relating to how my learning and travel plans are going. Not sure if anyone is interested but it’s a good way for me to keep motivated and also keep an eye on progress (or lack of!).

Here are the things I’m going to keep an eye on:

TIME LEFT: 121 Days!

Internship still in application stage, where oh where did I put those school results?!

TEFL Course

Well I have only just got access to it so this is pretty non-existent at the moment. Will be spending the weekend and the following 3-4 weeks taking a small look at it but most of the work will start in April when this job finishes.

Currently booked into doing the classroom stuff on the 15/16th May in Birmingham

Mandarin

Hah this language is impossible! I didn’t really get into the Chinese for Dummies book and couldn’t really bring myself to put any time in, however a couple days ago I got hold of Easy Peasy Chinese which I think is a great book and would happily recommend it! Ok it’s not very advanced and I think if you knew the whole book inside and out you would only be able to ask where the toilet is and say sorry when you walk into the women’s but it’s defiantly helping with sounds and structure.

Big problem I’m having is putting Japanese in the middle of things (or using Japanese sounds).

On a side note there is a cute video on YouTube for learning the Chinese Number Gestures sometimes used for haggling in markets etc.
HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dijFA3kqDaU

Russian

Haven’t even started and to be honest don’t really want to. On my too learn list is the Russian alphabet & basic pleasantries to survive for 2 months.

Japanese

This is still on my list because after spending the last 4 months learning I don’t want to forget what I already know so going to try and keep up with it… defiantly in the negative here, forgetting more than I’m learning due to lack of time and attention.

Vodka Training

Well what can I say… over 2 months in East Europe and Russia… I need to get my act together on the Vodka front! Training starts tonight!

Chop Stick Training

Must stop stabbing and shovelling! I will become a chop stick master by the time I need them! Bring me more Chinese food with that vodka!

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Travel Plans

Well my plans have changed slightly. I thought about it and it seemed like cheating to start my big journey off by flying to Budapest so the plan is now to do it all by train! So the route is now (only changes/stops listed):

Shrewsbury > London > Paris > Munich > Budapest > Novi Sad > Belgrade > Budapest > Kiev > Moscow > St Petersburg > Moscow > Irkutsk > Ulan Bator > Beijing

More details can be found in the original entry that will be updated as I change things.
HERE: http://www.tefl-chalkboard.com/leonpritchard/posts/465-budapest-to-beijing

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So there we have it, learning is going very slowly at the moment and I’m spending a lot of time drunk and covered in Chinese food but the plan is there! Things should pickup at the end of the month when this contract finishes and I have 3 months bumming about before leaving the country! 😀

Oh I brought a shiny new camera today as well! WOO!

How’s everyone else’s learning/training/planning going?

…unless your being weird.

My god how am I meant to be teaching others how to deal with English when I can barely get my head around it myself!

Well I’ve just started my TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course and I’m struggling to dredge up the English lessons from school. I mean it’s just one of those things, you learn all about adjectives, verbs, nouns, pro-nouns and all that jazz, pass your GCSE English and then forget about them…. In day to day life have you ever had to remember which are which in ‘the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’ ahhhhhhhhh

I’m sure as I get stuck into the course it will come back to me and all will be right as rain.

Now after all this TEFL stuff I’ll hopefully be heading off to China (still waiting to be accepted) in August for a 4.5month teaching English type thing where I’ll be earning a basic living, spending next to nothing, getting lost & confused, eating some great food, freezing my ass off in winter and I guess teaching at a school… Can’t wait! Will be awesome to be out of the country for an extended time again and China is so different it’s sure to be a culture shock!

Oh and it’s going to be a blast getting there to! Got a couple months travel planned before hand (more on that later).

Soooo…. Where did I put that Mandarin for Dummies?