Sunday, 9 December 2012

What I'll Really Miss About Teaching English

It’s Friday night, and as I sit here in the silence of my apartment accompanied by the warm hum of the refrigerator and the USB plug in fan beneath my laptop, it’s time once again to brave the fearsome Beijing rush hour and join yet another soon-to-depart expat friend for a farewell dinner. Annoyingly, just as I was being a good housekeeper and washing the dishes before doing the laundry, I got a sudden inspiration to write this piece. Much like my previous mentioning of the gym and it’s wonderful ability to clear my head and come up with genius blog posts, it seems consistent house work also gets the creative juices flowing. I’m quite the catch it appears.

Anyway the point of this piece is very much related to the title (look up). Like many of my expat friends have been doing with China, I’ll be making my heartfelt farewell to the wonderful and wacky world of teaching English as a foreign language. At least that’s the plan. Who knows, after Christmas when I get back to Beijing and I’m sitting in my dressing gown at 4am having rewritten my CV for the 56th time and am hopelessly writing countless cover letters for media jobs, I may just fall back and do at least what I guess I’m employable for.

It’s been a fun three and a bit years though, and I want to draw the attention of this post solely to my teaching work in Beijing, as it was here, and at my current and soon to be ex-private training centre, that I came into my own as a teacher-entertainer extraordinaire and professional child creeper-outer. The CV is looking promising already. Anyway, throughout the last few years I’ve met some pretty awesome and interesting people who have taught and lived in much stranger places than China. It was through meeting such people that I was able to develop my skills as a teacher and learn countless ways of injecting creativity into the classroom through use of various games, activities and teaching methods, without which I would have been pretty hopeless at the job. As a TEFL teacher, there’s always a good joke to be had about something funny a student might have said or how terrible the execution of a certain speaking activity was in front of a group of hopeful and highly expectant parents. I sometimes wish that I had kept a log of some of the things the kids came out with at times, and this wasn’t just through pronunciation mistakes or bad grammar, many had wonderfully creative minds and knew exactly how to play around with the limited English they had, and this for me is what I’ll remember most from my time as a TEFL teacher.

There is a one particular child who personifies all this and breaks down all the boundaries and stereotypes that the rote teaching based Chinese education system often conjures. Her name, is Jenny 2. Not Jenny, as there was already a Jenny in her class before she joined up, so she dubbed herself “Jenny 2”. Jenny 2 has been a constant source of comedy and creativity in this particular class ever since she joined, and she knows it. She knows she’s special, but not in a “ooo look at me I’m a princess kind of way”. Her mother calls her “crazy Jenny”, and shows signs of mild concern when I advise her to encourage what to me is, yes, eccentric, but wonderfully creative behaviour which I have never seen in an 8 year old student before. It would do her poor justice to describe her personality, so I have decided simply to write a list of some of the things she has said or done over the past, and let you get some idea of her character.

-          Upon entering the school, I greet her with a “Hi Jenny how are you”, she replies by walking up to ear and shouting “TENNIS RACKET!! In an enthused manner.
-          Upon teaching adverbs of frequency, she asks quips: “How often do you drink volcanoes?”
-          “I ate my grandfather’s legs and eyes” Upon being asked what she did the previous day.
-          “High Jenny!” I greet her upon entering the classroom, which she responds by getting down on her knees and praying Muslim style for a good few minutes (this admittedly was a little strange and awkward though deserves a mention as to get a picture of her character).
-          Draws a picture of a what appears to be a bridge with a person underneath it. “Who’s that Jenny?” I ask, she replies “your aunt”, and then looks in the teacher’s eyes with a devilish smile shouting “BOOM!!!” as she screws up the paper and throws it away. (This was from a friend who taught her one to one)

There were more and like I say I only wish that I’d written them down. Anyway, as a teacher laughing at and encouraging such behaviour could be viewed as supportive or immature, depending on your perspective. It was, however the “Spirit of Jenny 2” shall we say and other instances of similar obscure expression of English creativity in other similar students (and there were many) that kept me going at the end and made the job a whole lot more fun. That and the student pizza bar conveniently placed down the road from my school that we frequented until the early hours of each Sunday night.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Transition Time and the Gym

I’m currently at one of those awkward transition periods in my life. Having handed in my notice at work a while ago and coming to the decision to make my departure from the ever-fruitful profession of being paid to be white whilst jumping around shouting at bemused kids, I’m looking forward to coming back to Beijing after a (hopefully) happy Christmas back in England and trying something new. I’ve also agreed recently to only work on a part time basis which frees up the whole week for me to find some writing jobs and work on my hotly-anticipated first major novel, which if all goes to plan will be finished Spring and will be released directly into paperback format if my printer can handle it.

Unfortunately, the result has been an ongoing battle with my inner psyche to fight the temptations of procrastination, thumb twiddling,, nagging my long-suffering girlfriend when she doesn’t put a book back on the shelf at a perfect 180 degree angle, and continuing with my newfound quest to transform Tottenham Hotspur into an all-conquering ruthless football machine on my newly acquired game Pro Evolution Soccer 2013. I’ve been snapping up all the talented German youngsters that have recently emerged on the world football scene in a move that I’m sure would please the Yid army, regardless of the irony.

Regarding the book, 3 months and 50,000 words down the line I must say my procrastination is justified. It gets harder as it goes on, particularly if you haven’t planned it. Not remembering your character names, what the settings are or why they are having Yellow Submarine-inspired hallucinations about previous lovers can prove to be a challenging task. I must say I have great respect for authors who manage to plan out exactly what they want to do and just get it on with it, perhaps making minor alterations along the way. As my writing tends to be affected by my mood or what I experienced on the day, I’m scared to re-read what is surely a messy collage of varying emotions and plot changes that would give George R R Martin a run for his money. I have toyed with the possibility of writing a novel about writing a novel and getting rich and famous that way, though I’m sure it’s been done.

On the new job front, I’ve been told several times by friends and colleagues that I should be getting my name out there by joining writer’s groups and attending networking events. I’ll get round to doing that soon, though the idea of showing up in beige khakis and pink shirt looking like Alan Partridge and attempting to hand out as many name cards as possible amid a large backdrop of rah rah rahing and penis measuring doesn’t sound too up my street, though the possibility of my name card being the lucky one that instead of being instantly tossed aside ends up as some journalist’s bookmark is perhaps reason enough to go. All in due time.

Anyway, I’m a firm believer that, and this belief wasn’t taken at all from Haruki Murakami’s biographical work What I Think About When I Talk About Running, that exercise clears the head. Having recently moved into a new flat, I took it upon myself to finally get off my arse and do some proper exercise by joining the local gym. I’d do it outside, though Beijing’s  1 in 10 likelihood of having a smog-free day makes that a potentially hazardous escapade. Having just returned from a gym session whereby one guy spent half an hour attempting to flip himself up from a lying position a-la WWE, only landing flat on his back and looking around embarrassed to see if anyone was laughing at him (I was), I feel completely refreshed and thus am writing this post. It seems that expressions of male vanity, muscles and micro-penises serve as brilliant creative inspiration for me. I’d like to thank Mr. Murakami and would love to have him over for tea if he can get past all those passionate anti-Japan bandwagon protestors with Nikon cameras and Honda cars. I’m sure if he gave out free copies of Doreamon and One Piece manga he’d appease them adequately. So here it is, for those that are interested, my current life in China. Not so much the teacher anymore but more the wannabe writer who can’t wait for Christmas to come and then get back and have a proper slog at it.

On another note, I’d like to satisfy the appetites of those who are maybe wondering why I’m still here, given that fact that this post is lightly peppered with mini pops at China. I can safely say that after four years I’m comfortable with my surroundings and enjoy a little moan every now and again. Of course I do, I’m human. No, scratch that. Of course I do, I’m British. In truth though, all these things that can so easily frustrate people are, on a good day, purely trivial to me, and if China has taught me one things it’s certainly not to take myself and the actions of other silly people too seriously. I’ve found that a fair few expats in China are depressingly bitter and negative people who end up staying here because the beer is cheap, and some types of girls come easy, though will never stop complaining nonetheless. It’s a sad path where 10 years down the line you end up 20 stone and sitting on a beach in a Hawaiian shirt in Cambodia wondering where it all went wrong. Maybe that’s what happened to Gary Glitter. I’m hoping to get something more out my experience here.
I’ll happily tell you that China in all its lasagne-layered complications, contradictions and fascinations keep me constantly stimulated, inspired and on my toes (literally, I dance with death on a daily basis whilst crossing the road outside my flat). In simple terms, those are some of the reasons why I’m still here, and maybe one day I’ll write a more detailed piece on what keeps me in China. But anyway, I don’t have the right to question anyone on why they’re where they are in life or nor should anyone else, and I certainly wouldn’t go up to someone in Haywards Heath and ask them “why are living in a place like this?” As I’ll probably get a smack in the face (if I haven’t already for being ginger or reading books). Oh and if any of my friends from other countries are reading are wondering what Haywards Heath is, stop wondering now. Actually, start wondering again and go on this brilliant website – But only if you’re curious about the place I grew up in and have better things to do than create the Fourth Reich in a north London football team. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing down my observations during my gym trips and anything else that amuses or interests me.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Beijing - Off the Beaten Track

Beijing – Famous across the globe for being the epicentre of Chinese culture, education, politics and history. Those who haven’t been there can easily list a few names of well-known places of the top of their heads – The Great Wall, The Summer Palace, The Temple of Heaven… the list goes on. Beijing is equally famous for its cuisine on countless museums exhibiting a whole range of aspects regarding anything Chinese, as well as its narrow “Hutong” streets where the Beijingers dwell amid rolling rickshaws and a mass concoction of various noises. 

During the summer, the population of Beijing appears to double as it is swamped by tourists from other parts of China and abroad. Familiar sights of hat wearing tourist groups carrying flags whilst they hurriedly follow tour guides as they bark out historical information over a megaphone become unanimous, and packed subways, buses and heaving traffic become all too typical. Its during this time that I like to avoid the crowds and head down to parts of the city where special parts of Beijing can be found off the beaten tourist track. 

798 Art District, located in the north east side of the city on the way to the airport is a giant open air art exhibition that has been built on the site of a disused factory complex. As it becomes more and more accessible to the world, China, in particular Beijing, is currently undergoing a revolution in its creative sector, and all kinds of art, be it abstract or traditional, can be viewed here. As you stroll through old factories that don’t look out of place in the Cold War, a real sense of China’s industrial culture can be breathed in, and as the place is littered with works of art depicting all manner of things, a surreal feeling of nostalgia and modernity can be experienced.

Continuing on with the theme of creativity, Beijing’s Gulou district offers real exposure to the capital’s booming underground music scene. Although perhaps not quite yet known on Western shores, many rock bands are being churned out all the time, and venue’s such as the Mao Live House and Yu Gong Yi Shan are the places to go to find out what all the fuss is about. A brief stroll around the Hutongs of Gulou will lead you past many cosy looking bars and cafes, and prior to heading up to a gig at these places you can sit back and watch the world go by with a bottle of Tsingtao beer. The main road in Gulou leading up to these musical venues are littered with guitar shops, where local artists active in the rock scene can be heard jamming away. 

Historical sites aside, Beijing has an awful lot of special bits about that set it apart from many other Chinese cities, and as the contrast of old and new can be felt all over the city, it makes all the more an exciting place to be.

The straight library knocks the analogue

Monday, 9 July 2012

Expat Carousel

So I’m sitting here right now in this stifling midsummer Beijing heat on my day off having done my chores of washing the dishes, sending a few emails and playing a couple of well deserved games on Pro Evolution Soccer. Monday afternoon is my peak chill out time after the intense working weekend, and it’s not until around 6pm that my trough of laziness begins to escape me and I start to want to do things. A person can only drink so much green tea and aimlessly surf the net whilst basking in their own sweat for a certain amount of time it seems.

It’s now officially the height of summer, and as a result most of my weekend classes are slowly disappearing as the little buggers get whisked away to various exotic locations or are sent to partake in intensive English summer camps for their holidays. It’s nice, though my own school’s summer courses are looming and having had a teacher leave last week leaving his classes teacher-less, my schedule hasn’t seen much respite. Ah well.

Expat life can be funny. I’ve found that the westerners, or westies, as a friend of mine affectionately calls them, are all by and large subconscious of the fact that we’re all in the same boat living and pressing on in a strange country, and are therefore pretty easy to strike a chord with and become your friends. Of course there are many exceptions, with archetypes ranging from the “I hate everything about China” moaners, to the “I’ve been here 10 years and am better than you” wannabe princes and princesses. It’s relatively easy to identify people like that and the majority the expat community here are all like-minded and easy to get on with. Due to the similarities of your situation and experiences, friendships with fellow expats are easy to forge and develop pretty quickly, and there is even the notion that the group you hang around with become your second family. This makes it weird when you are presented with another typical aspect of expat life, whereby the carousel of people coming and going constantly has people hopping on and off. It requires a lot of flexibility from those who still remain, as they have to push themselves to make new friendships whilst accepting the fact that a good mate who you go down to the pub with every week after work could be packing up and leaving at the drop of a hat. Some are better accustomed to it than others, and it certainly takes a good few heartfelt goodbyes to become used to the pattern.

It's a fun ride y'all!!

After 3 years living abroad and dealing with the sporadic departures of good friends over long periods of time, this summer sees a large flux of those near and dear to me either heading home to study, work, or get married. As someone who at 25 is considered relatively young when looking at the average age of long term expats I guess it’s pretty normal for me to experience this. Obviously, there’s the comforting thought of having decent friends from all the corners of the globe, though I guess this ever changing environment is what I bargained for when I chose to up sticks and find myself a home in a strange place. It’s funny when a large make up of your apparently stable social life for the past 2 years disappears, but change is a key element to life, and I’ll keep trotting on as long as theirs interesting people to meet - such as a music video maker who has worked with Dr. Dre and 50 Cent at the bar last night. Apparently Dre is a bit of a philosopher.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Media Mogul

It seems it’s been a good few weeks since my last post during May which what was for me a rather productive phase, perhaps the result of hours of idleness in front of the laptop screen  and a set of restless fingers. With the Beijing summer in full swing and lovely clear skies coupled with a short-term part time job as an editor for an online magazine,  my creative efforts were either drawn to the media industry or finding the nearest bar to grab a beer in the balmy weather. Now, with the job having come to an end and a return to Beijing’s trademark dreary skies (yet with added humidity), the urge to get back to blog writing and reflecting rears its ugly head yet again for any unfortunate eyes that may befall my facebook/blogger page.

So what of this magazine job? Well, Beijing sure can present you with a flood of opportunities to find work in almost any field if you know where to look. Luckily the is the accessible platform for this, and a sudden willingness to find a professional platform for my writing as well as an encouraging girlfriend landed me with a decent opportunity soon enough. I was employed as the editor for a creative arts magazine, which was aimed at a niche audience of creative individuals and companies in the “high” arts spectrum of Beijing. Artsy fartsy enough? Well not really, especially seeing as the director of the magazine chose to listen to Katy Perry in the office as motivation music. In my two weeks there I conducted phone interviews, one with a guy from Kentucky who’d somehow imported gargantuan sized 19th century printing machines to Beijing to set up a traditional printing business, and attended a couple of networking events not knowing anything of what was to be discussed until about thirty minutes before they started. It was pretty frantic, and besides simply writing for the magazine I found I had to educate myself on topics prior to interviews and attending events all in order to make me sound as if I knew what I was talking about. Did you know that the printing press was active in China way before Gutenberg introduced it to Europe in the 1400s? Despite getting my articles approved by the director of the magazine (though they are yet to be published as the magazine altered its release date), my proudest moment was name dropping Game of Thrones whilst asking a question at a networking event in front of a host of smart phone savvies. King of the North!
Raaaaaarrrrr! Death to all blonde haired smart phone users!

I was unable to stay any longer at the post as the company couldn’t support me doing the editor’s job at only ten hours a week, though it was a fun and educational experience. I’m currently back on the prowl for more freelance jobs as they come, though with my free time rekindled on my days off, I’m back to the usual pattern of reading, film watching and walks in the park followed by a good few bevvies in the sun. The school will stop its normal classes for the summer holidays in a few weeks which will be followed by the onslaught of teaching every day for 2 weeks as the Chinese parents push their kids for intense English cramming sessions, poor buggers. Looks like I’ll have to get my Mr. Bean which I hope will ease their suffering, though a bawling four year old as a result of me stretching my face into all manner of what I thought were humorous positions may indicate otherwise.
Smile kids - English is fun!

Monday, 14 May 2012

China’s Megatrends and a Confused Sussex Boy amid the storm

China is in the media spotlight so much these days, and for someone with too much time on their hands and regular tendencies to scroll through the internet in a brain dead zombie-like fashion, it can’t be argued that most of the English language coverage is pretty negative. Of course I’m no media analyst and my regular news updates stem mainly from the BBC, though it would seem Auntie is no pioneer for news reports that don’t hold unbiased “everyone who isn’t doing it like us is bad” viewpoints on developing countries.

For those of you that are interested in China and its chaotic mosaic of a society, and wish to pursue an understanding that doesn’t jump to conclusions but jumps away from attitudes and expectations held by Western democracies, a book named China’s Megatrends by American socio-economic expert couple Doris and John Naisbitt may be worth a read. I picked the book up for 10 Yuan (about a quid) on one of Beijing’s many street book vendors, selling pirated copies of novels old and new, as well as an alarming amount of get rich fast/self help books.

I’ll start with what I’ve gathered so far. The book is filled with various explanations and reasoning behind the actions and schemes of the Chinese government, emphasising its rapid development from a backward peasant society to the world’s second largest economy in just 30 years, and how as a political machine it has been brilliantly efficient in bringing China up to the standards of the developed world. Sound a little too good to be true? Well just when I thought it was refusing to tackle the BBC’s favourite issues of human rights and democracy, the authors make the point that in terms of opportunities and standards of living, the issues of human rights of China have improved dramatically due to the economic advancement and modernisation of the country. Also, the events of 1989 are not attributed to the need for democracy and freedom of speech, but a general dissolution felt towards the government regarding high inflation and lack of produce at the time (though interestingly the book refers to it as the Tiananmen Tragedy, not the typical “Tiananmen Massacre” used by other Western sources). Perhaps most interestingly, regarding democracy the Naisbitts bring forward the age old Confucian ideals of stability and harmony and their importance to the Chinese idea of well-being, thus a Western style democracy whereby parties compete against each other for power would throw the country into disarray when what it cries out for is stability and the idea that the population should all work towards a common goal. It also mentions that the current Western model of democracy took hundreds of years to mature, and China, with its current installation only really being 60 years old, has made massive leaps from its autocratic closed off society under Mao. Unlike the West, individuality is not seen by the Chinese as complete freedom, instead freedom to them is achieved by families and citizens cooperating together and the whole of society heading down a similar path. The book repeatedly quotes from leading Chinese politicians and scholars mentioning plans to put more power into the hands of ordinary more emancipate people’s minds, and take from other countries various pieces of political, technological and sociological knowledge to add to China’s already existing montage of very un-Chinese ingredients.
Although the ideas put forward in the book are quite intriguing and do contradict many of the claims of other media sources regarding political corruption and human rights, it isn’t without its flaws. A peculiar aspect of the book is that it was released in China in Chinese a while before it hit Western bookstores, despite it being written by American authors. This did cause me to ponder whether this book, with its strange reluctance to directly criticise the Chinese system, is being used by China as a propaganda tool; a viewpoint shared (perhaps predictably) by many English speaking media corporations who reviewed the book. With suspicious mistakes in spelling and countless misprints coupled with questionable grammar, I have even been pondering the legitimacy of this book. Alas, after various internet searches it would appear that the book and its authors are real.

The Naisbitts

With regard to human rights, corruption and other nasty stuff we always hear about when hearing about China, the book makes an effort to bring a new light on these matters and the need for more understanding of China’s situation which I fully support, though having lived here for 3 years I can say that a lot of things are without total justification and, among many other things, are the result of a country with a superfluous population all trying to make their way whilst sometimes discarding law and morality. It would however take me an age to write about this and some of the things I’ve witnessed and heard about during my time here. I’ll save those stories for the pub.

The book, criticism aside, does serve well as a vehicle bringing some much needed light and explanation on the current China socio-economic situation, and does appear relatively appeasing and understanding compared to much of the finger-pointing armchair criticism style seen so often on the BBC. I haven’t read much work written by Westerners who have lived in or have studied China’s trends, though so far I’ve found the books of Joseph Hessler, an American teacher turned journalist who has spent much of his working life in China to be the most unbiased and informative view on Chinese happenings. It’s certainly interesting hearing the story from the other side (free from the heavily censored Chinese media), and in the meantime I’ll continue on my new found quest to find out more in understanding China’s doings and directions. This has become more of a book review than a blog, though the theme of the book is a topic that has repeatedly been on my mind of late. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Dance Offs and Debauchery

After the intense working weekend of an English teacher in Beijing, Sunday evening comes the time where I am eligible to paint the red capital red. Though depending on how much watered down Tsingtao beer I consume from a giant 40 Yuan keg, perhaps a yellowish brown hue should be the more suitable choice of colour for painting the town, or at least a corner of my bathroom. The current hotspot for me and my colleagues, who due to a strange working schedule throws us together whether we like each other or not, is the PBD pizza bar. Of course we love each other really, and the topics of conversation, although rarely departing from frustrations in our attempts at educating spoilt Chinese kids, are always fun and varied, at least until we all stand up and dance in unison to “The Chicken Dance” song. This happens to be one of the tracks on our kindergarten class CD, and as educators/entertainers, we have mastered the technique of dancing perfectly in time to this kid’s party classic whilst feeling no shame whatsoever.

The bar itself is pretty nice and relaxed, serving as a student hangout for both Chinese and foreign students alike, offering cheap (but pretty yummy) pizza and other Western delicacies, as well as dirt cheap alcohol, ranging from the mentioned Tsingtao keg (fiendishly guised in a Hoegaarden glass), to mixers, shots, and all the quirkily translated cocktails you could imagine. After the initial “phew, the weekend is finally over” pint or five, the atmosphere starts to heat up around 10 as the bar staff pump up the volume of the music, instantaneously attracting more students like flies, and thus begin the many (attempted) dance offs. Since discovering the bar (thanks Simone!) it came to our attention that although being pretty packed most nights and playing loud (albeit generally dire) music, that nobody was getting their boogie on. Although perhaps an ambitious claim, we’re pretty proud that our Chicken Dance moves followed up nicely with Ricky Gervais style flash dance mixed with MC hammer shit to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” caused a dancing sensation that is now a regular feature on the PBD Sunday night roster. As I mentioned earlier, the bar is pretty nice and friendly, and is full of Chinese students from all corners of the country, all of whom are up for a bit of dancing after a few drinks. We met these guys from Guizhou (a relatively under-developed province in south west China) who were celebrating a friend’s birthday, and after being showered generously with various liquors from these guys, we got up and repaid the favour by being true ambassadors of the highest of Western culture by dancing pristinely and elegantly to Usher’s “Yeah”. This in turn, caught the eye of a nearby bloke wearing tight clothes, who was shaking his body and was dancing in a highly suggestive manner that would most likely bring trouble upon his head should he portray said dance style in a bar in my hometown. That was our cue to decide to take a sudden interest and yearning to play table football.

You got served bro!

This Sunday I chose not to indulge in such shenanigans, and headed down to the old part of Beijing for a gig at the Yu Gong Yi Shane concert hall. It’s not a massive place, perhaps a little smaller than the Brighton Corn Exchange or The Underworld in Camden, though it’s the spiritual home of Beijing’s thriving music scene. It was only my third trip there, previously seeing Danish outfit The Ravonettes and American indie pop group The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (sounds like a band formed by a group of teenagers who hang out shopping malls right?), and this time I went with my girlfriend to see Australian indie pop duo/couple Agnes Kain. Although not particularly well known across the world (I came to this conclusion due to their not having a Wikipedia page), they were completing their China tour, and played a lovely set of sweet guitar/keyboard driven tunes. The crowd wasn’t huge, though was pretty responsive after each song and clapped along happily as the singer/keyboardist became more and more perplexed by smoke emitting sporadically from the stage. They tested out a couple of tracks from their upcoming third album, and their charm and honesty was exposed after a mouth piano malfunction and a prompt explanation about how they hadn’t rehearsed the new material a great deal. Still, after getting my feet going almost as much as The Chicken Dance, as well as hanging out at the bar and chatting after the show, the band are in my good books.

Agnes Kain - awwww
 I’ll keep my eyes peeled for any more gig news and will do my best to report any incidences from any of Beijing’s wide array of bars. It seems something worth raising an eyebrow to or writing about occurs in almost any given drinking hole on any given night here, as people party like crazy and paint the red town yellowy brown. I’ll keep you posted.