A few days past New Years...

Trip Start Aug 05, 2011
Trip End Oct 08, 2012

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Flag of China  , Zhejiang Sheng,
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hard to get inspired by this week. Only Freshmen are left on campus since they missed the first three weeks of the class year due to army training. They are not here to learn this week nor am I to teach. They had their finals in my class last week so we are just shooting the breeze this week and talking about stuff. If the class is too non-committal I end the class early and we just leave. Many of my students are a bit too emotional since I will probably never teach them again. I will miss many of them but I am used to parting ways with my students. The ones who miss me the most will find a way to stay in touch. I have stayed in touch with many students over the past ten years and hope to continue to do so.

I plan to drop my vacation plans and sell my tickets back to the Chinese airline. The school won't pay us during this holiday (otherwise less people will return) and I wasn't smart enough with my money to go on two trips. My trip to Dallas alone will cost me 1/3 of my monthly salary just to get a ride to the airport and back but at least I won't have boarding charges.

Played the Sax tonight and realize that I need a regular practice schedule. I love the sound but the rhythm is off. No big deal since I get no practice so to speak. Hopefully I can get some practice in since many of my neighbors will be gone the next few weeks.


[ANOTHER ARTICLE ON HOW BIZARRE THINGS CAN GET HERE] of course the US has bizarre happenings as well...

Cats?   Poisoned Cats?    So many points to comment on,  I will leave this for the professionals.

Get a call on Wednesday:   "We won't be having class Thursday.  Is this OK?"    Hell yeah it's ok, since I gave the finals the previous week.   I was anticipating this?   I knew something would fuck the final week up so I gave the exam on the previous week.    Here one must anticipate then adapt to any situation.   Go with the flow is another successful way of dealing with China.   Never adopt anger or stubborn-ness as a way to deal with Chinese people or issues.    Roll with the punches and anticipate the bizarre.   Another example:   I bought 500 feet of strong parachute cord before I came here.   With all the faulty wiring and lack of fire escapes and smoke detectors,  I am glad I did.   They are good about putting many fire extinguishers around the buildings,   but no smoke detectors.   The wiring is faulty nearly everywhere in older apartments like mine.   But I brought my own rope!   I can climb to safety if needed because I anticipate hijinks at some point.   We are constantly getting reminders from the school officials to unplug all appliance when we leave during the day--not to smoke in bed--not to build fires in the room--- ETC.

If I was smarter and less lazy,  I would probably live somewhere else but it's really kind of cool here.   

Saw the aftermath of another horrible crash yesterday.   Some revved up asshole car driver smacked into a three wheeled cargo bicycle which was upside down when I showed up.   Apparently the driver wasn't dead,  I was about to crawl underneath the bike to look for him but it became obvious that the insident happened five minutes before and the driver must have jumped for it.    Life is dirt cheap here.   Any expensive car in a hurry has the right to hit poor people and generally dont get charged for it.    Much like a "Chappaquiddick or Laura Bush" situations in the USA but many more enjoy diplomatic immunity than one or two families.   I have nearly bought the farm due to these maniacs.   

Today I went to the new fancy upscale "Pizza Hut" and it was a damned nice haute taute place.  Seriously.   One of the more upscale restaurants in town with a giant menu that has everything for fried rice, many types of pizza and pasta,  lots of exquisite soups,  and extensive drink list. My first taste of decent pizza here in Xiasha!   for only 5 bucks! (small pan pizza),  but it tasted what I would have bought in the states.   They also had... get this!.....   Potato salad!   Good tasting potato salad for $2.50!   I am sooo going back to this place.   The chowder was a little weak but not sucky.   The glass of wine was only two dollars and fifty cents,  and it was good stuff.   Alll together I feasted and had a glass of vino for 12 bucks!    I plan to lower this in the future,  maybe forgo the wine and soup.  Then the price drops to less than 8 dollars for some good American tasting food!    I do not hate the Chinese food like I used to.   I learned what I like and where to buy it.    I will miss Chinese food once I return to the states,  because I do not want pizza and potato salad every day.    I will eat steamed dumplings and fried rice most days. The Chinese don't like heavy food and I dont blame them.  I left without wanting to eat again for 15 hours.  



(way more to follow.... check back)
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