I have bought a new phone. A couple of weeks ago, my friend (another foreign teacher who I used to work with at RDFZ) sent me a link to a new phone that was being released on 22 May. He told me if I was planning to get a new phone, then that one was a decent one to get. It was a limited edition Avengers: Infinity War One Plus 6, based on the standard One Plus 6 phone from Chinese company One Plus, which was also being released on the same day. After some investigation, I decided to buy the Avengers one – partly because it is cool, and not much more expensive than the standard version (it is also only available in China and India) – but also because I had been thinking for a while about investing in a new phone. I have had my old one for about two years – it was a Chinese phone, but I bought it in the UK.
When I first arrived in China, I got a really cheap phone that was not much good for anything other than sending messages. After a year, I upgraded to my old model, which was a phone in the budget range (and my price range) from Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi, and now I have upgraded again. Having received the phone on Monday this week – and I had to get a new sim card (same number) to fit into it as my old one is too big (this was a surprisingly simple task: I went to a phone shop nearby my university, and had pre-typed into the translator what I wanted. The woman understood and did it within a couple of minutes) – I have already fallen in love with it. The screen looks really good in terms of colour accuracy and the phone case is great too. It is lightning quick, and comes with a protective cover over the glass, already installed. On practically every street corner here you can get protective covers (someone will do it for you), but it is nice that this has already got one on there.
Although One Plus is a Chinese company, they do most of their sales, I believe, abroad. In fact whilst a couple of students had heard of them, most other Chinese people I spoke to about it had not. They are known, my friend says, by those ‘in the know’ for producing good phones with high-end products at reasonable prices. As it is my birthday very soon, it is also a nice, early birthday treat for myself.
Recently, I went for a meal with two former students from RDFZ. Both have finished school now, and I had said that once they finished we should meet up, and I would treat them to a meal. They decided that it would be fun to do an escape room activity. This is where you are locked in a room and you have to solve puzzles before you are released. A friend had done one in Beijing and enjoyed it; he had said there were a couple in English you could do at the place where he went. This one, however, was all in Chinese. The first task involved pushing a button. Myself and one of the students were led into a room with a bag over our heads and locked into a small cupboard. The other student was handcuffed to a chair and had to call out instructions for us. That was pretty straight-forward, and then when the doors were unlocked we set about finding the key to unlock the handcuffs. There were a number of other puzzles too, which we had to solve. Most of the videos and background descriptions of the puzzles were in Chinese, so I do not know what the context of the activity was – I think it involved a virus or something along those lines. Still, overall it was quite fun, despite the language issues. We went for a late lunch after this, and then went to the cinema to watch Avengers. After this, we parted ways.
The food was very nice, and the restaurant was impressive too. Usually when eating in Chinese restaurants it is common to buy dishes to share instead of ordering an individual meal. We did both – we got a couple of sharing dishes and also each got a meal to ourselves. I usually say I do not like spicy food (which often results in a sign from those I am eating with who like spicy food), so sometimes spicy and non-spicy dishes are ordered, but this time mostly it was okay.