Tommy Lasorda is SO confused by this Psy business.
My second week back has started. My first week had ups and down. Tuesday and Wednesday were terrible in terms of my classes. Things picked up later in the week, but I was still very much in need of the weekend.
And a relaxing weekend, it was. Sunday and Monday were both long days in the best sense of the word. I got some much-needed encouragement from a friend. I ate at IKEA. I watched a few episodes of House. I read. And I slept pretty well.
Tomorrow, I have a new tutoring class. A girl named Alice need to improve her English. I haven’t tutored since September, I think. It’ll be nice to make a little extra money to make up for what I missed out on while I was away. I hope I can be effective.
Haven’t seen Iron Man 3 yet. Don’t want to pay much money, and it doesn’t seem to be playing in English anywhere. Why anyone would want to watch a movie in any language besides it’s native one is beyond me.
And on other movie-related topic, it doesn’t look like Man of Steel will be hitting theaters in China, meaning I’ll have to find an alternate way of seeing it if I don’t want to wait for the official DVD release. These alternate methods aren’t usually good quality, unfortunately. But I’d really like to see this one before the critical reception ruins it.
I’m going to get my own internet soon, I hope. I’m sending this from school.
Hello, Tumblr followers. I haven’t posted here (outside of a couple rebloggings) in over a month due to the fact that I was in the US and most of you were seeing me in person anyway. Now I’m back in China, and I’m going back to work today.
My flights went smoothly. It was a lot nicer to take that 3-hour flight from KC to San Francisco first and get it out of the way. The plane was small, and when I took the same type of aircraft from SF to KC in March, I’d already been on an 11-hour flight followed by a 7-hour layover, so I was really antsy. This time, after landing in Beijing, I only had a 3-hour layover and a 1-hour flight, so it was a lot more comfortable.
Yesterday, I had a lot of trouble staying awake in the late afternoon and evening, but I kept myself up until 9:00pm and slept pretty normally after that, so I should be back in the groove, more or less.
A major (and majorly annoying) change occurred while I was away. The elevator in Dale and Janet’s apartment now requires a key card to operate. We knew it was coming. It may seem like no big deal - my building has the same regulation - but the kicker is that each key card is programmed to only work for the floor the tenant lives on. So Dale and Janet’s card can only get them to the 11th floor, and John and Ruth’s can only take them to the 30th. If they want to visit each other, they need to call and ask each other to call the elevator and hope that the right one comes at the right time. And if I want to get in, I have to call. At least my phone works now.
Today, I have Chinese class in the afternoon and three classes of my own in the evening. I might cancel the Chinese class if Dale is feeling too sick to teach his classes, though, and go teach for him.
I’m going to talk to Leah today or tomorrow and see about getting my own internet connection. We probably won’t have time to do it this week, but maybe next week.
I miss Lee’s Summit a lot, but I’m glad to be back around my friends here.
Last Saturday, a destructive earthquake struck China’s Sichuan province, near the epicenter of the devastating 2008 earthquake, damaging thousands of structures and triggering landslides in the mountainous region. As of yesterday, the death toll stood at more than 200, with nearly 12,000 injured, 23 still missing, and tens of thousands made homeless. The quake was measured at magnitude 7.0 by China’s earthquake administration and magnitude of 6.6 by the U.S. Geological Survey. Rescue teams and government aid personnel have struggled to reach the affected area, as many roads were damaged.
See more. [Images: AP, Reuters, Getty]
Last Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day. No, seriously. Yeah, I had no idea, either. That’s why I wasn’t wearing any green except for a line of stitches on my socks. Not that I particularly care about St. Patrick’s Day. People seem to use it as an excuse to drink and claim that they’re Irish even though they’ve never left the Midwest U.S. And while the person of St. Patrick sounded like a pretty caring and influential individual, it’s debatable whether or not he even existed.
But I do like Irish music. and I heard a lot of it last Sunday, because last Sunday I went to a party. It was part-St. Patrick’s Day party and part-adoption party. A foreigner couple officially adopted a Chinese boy they’ve been caring for for years, and I was invited to celebrate.
For the St. Patrick’s Day portion, we had Irish stew and soda bread. I hadn’t had soda bread since elementary school when my friend Thomas and I studied and represented Ireland in some sort of Nations’ Fair our class did. We also took an Ireland quiz, and my partner and I did pretty poorly. Who knew that St. Patrick (if he existed) was born in Wales?
The adoption portion of the party was centered around a Thomas the Tank Engine cake for the newly-adopted kid. His name’s Jeremy, by the way.
Some of us took a trip to the roof of the apartment to see the city from above.
I was offered the opportunity to stay the night on the couch, but it was obvious that the party was going to go pretty late. Plus, I really can’t afford to skip brushing my teeth, especially after eating cake. It was late enough that all the buses were pretty much done for the night, so I just walked home. It took maybe half an hour or so. Not as long as I’d thought. I listened to a Metallica CD on my MP3 player and didn’t even finish it before I got back.
Sorry for now pictures. The internet hasn’t been my friend this week.
(Note: I meant to post this last week, or maybe even the week before).
You know what’s weird? Despite all of the fireworks the night before, the air on February 10th appeared shockingly clear.
The rest of that day was unremarkable from what I recall.
On Monday the 11th, Bill’s family invited me over for dinner, and then we looked at family pictures. On Tuesday, I went with Bill to the “Computer Street” to buy an HDMI cable. They were closed, so we went to McDonald’s for tea/coffee. I’ve gotta say that spending so much time with Bill was a real blessing.
The best part of the holiday happened on Wednesday. I took a train to Beijing and stayed with Ryan’s family until Friday. On Wednesday evening, we had a big dinner of roast pork and beef. Ryan’s brother and sister-in-law came over with their kids, and a friend of the family was there, as well. Said friend was from England, which made for interesting conversation when we discovered women’s cricket on TV.
The next day, we went to the Great Wall, my second time there. We primarily went because Ryan’s sister-in-law has never been. We went to the part where we took snow lifts up and rode sleds down a metal tube. It was fun listening to Ryan and his dad, old pros at visiting this monument, arguing about which way to go to see the most stuff. Unfortunately, Ryan’s sister-in-law hurt herself on the way down on the sled.
I think I can safely say that I have no desire to go back to the Wall again. It takes too long to get there, and it’s too expensive.
That evening, Ryan went swimming, and I went with his wife, Amy, and her sister to the local shopping mall. We shopped at BHG and then went to Cold Stone Creamery. I didn’t get anything, though, because my stomach was being weird and I have trouble with dairy stuff.
That day, Ryan and Amy’s daughter locked the door to the upstairs room where I slept. Ryan’s dad didn’t have the keys, so we broke out the tool box and removed the hinges. So now I can say that I’ve done that in China.
On Friday, Ryan, his dad, and I went to an electronics store, but it was closed, so no HDMI cable that day, either. Then we met Amy and the rest at Chaoyang Park. It’s a big park with an amusement area. Rides, games, a Lego store/play place, that kind of stuff. It was a grand old time. Then we ate Beijing roast duck at a restaurant, and it was the best I’ve ever had. C’est magnifique! Why am I typing French?
I got a pretty good price on a plane ticket back to Shenyang, so I flew home that evening. The plan left late, but I was still able to get back in time for John to give me a ride home. And I got a hot dog on the flight. No, seriously! A hot dog. It was small and pale, and the bun was cut funny, but it was hot and edible.
On Saturday, I got my HDMI cable! Now I can watch stuff from my computer on my TV. I’ve recently started watching Bones and Smallville. I got the 7th season on House, but it won’t play in my Mac because it’s the wrong region. When Dale and Janet get back, I’ll see if it works on their PCs. If not, I guess we’ll take it back. Or find someone who can make region-free copies. I hate this region junk.
That was pretty much my holiday. I’m back to work now. That gecko I was taking care of is back home with its owner. And the skies are hazy again. Or they were until it snowed, anyway.