Sunday, August 30, 2009

Almost Five Years.....

Strange Exchange on the Bus
Sunday Morning, I took the bus to work.  It was crowded so I had to stand the whole way (forty minutes).  I occupied my time looking out the window and mulling over things.  I don't dwell too much on my being the only foreigner on the bus.  And generally my presence does seem to create too much of a stir.  

This morning, however, I found this girl starring hard at me.  It was very disconcerting and annoying.  So, I stared hard back at her.  She blinked, turned her head, and then starred hard at me some more.  I continued my glare back.  She then pulled her earphones out and said in good English:  "Do you know where you are going?"  I said "Yes.  I am going to work.  The same place I have been going for the last five years!"  She was taken aback - that was all the reaction I was able to see - and then she got off at what I assumed was her stop.

The incident happened so fast that I quickly wondered if I had done the right thing.  Certainly, part of my reaction came from her assumption that I was a lost foreigner. I felt insulted; my pride was bruised.  And her starring at me as she did was certainly rude from my perspective.  But she did have good English.  The Chinese do like to use their English to talk to foreigners - nothing at all wrong with that.  She probably wanted so much to be able to talk to me.  

So thinking about it now, I shouldn't have been more understanding and friendly.  I did wrong.  I should know by now that the girl meant well, and it was my being in a peevish mood that I took offence when none was intended.  If I see that girl again, I should apologize to her.
Addendum:  Reflecting on the exchange a little more, something else dawned on me.  When I said the girl got off at a stop almost immediately after our little exchange, I recall now that the stop was at the train station. Perhaps she thought I was going to the train station.  I was wearing a large backpack (overpacking runs in my family) and carrying another bag.  So, further reflection reveals the incident was a big understanding where I, if I could, should apologize profusely.

Bring out your Jackets
Jenny told me that she had to buy a long sleeve shirt for Tony in Taixing because she had not brought any along.  This morning, I looked out my window to see cyclists wearing jackets.  How quickly the weather has cooled since I took the bus to and from Taixing. Wednesday, the heat was unbearable.  Now,  I will have to be bringing out my jackets.
Addendum:  On the phone late Sunday  night with my wife, I received orders to bring long sleeved clothes to her when I pick her and my son up this Tuesday.  The temperature changed very quickly catching us quite unprepared.

Drug Addicts in Wuxi
I haven't seen them but I have been told there are drug addicts in Wuxi.  You can see them, I have been told, if you do the bar circuit, which thankfully I don't do anymore.

Students' English Names
The students can give themselves English names.  Here are some they have chosen for themselves this summer:  Silence, Alien, Gigi, Cici, Rye, Cyndi, Youna, Boey, Shine, Kobe, Seraphy, and Computer.

Names I would like to give some Students
Here are some names that would be good for some students:  Farrah, Zeus, Egbert, Daphne, Andis, Benita, Arnis, Aina, Wilma, Sneezy, Dopey, Meat Head, Plastic, Space, Waste of Space, Einstein, Jesus, Mohamed, Meryl, Yakum, Oswald, Shirhan, Madame Bovary, Stone Cold, Wilt, Frederick, Randolph, Eggy, Corky, Porky, Bashful, Shy, Menachim, Barney, Pee Wee, Goldilocks, Bruce Lee, Simbad, Captain, Major, and Farquin Tin Win Bin Fergus Tin Bin Ole Ole Biscuit Barrel Z-bang Z-bong aluminum Obama sucks Ted Kennedy sucked I worship Andis the King of Wuxi is a heretic Deity who deserves to be fired disco inferno baby rap my soul man Smith.
Pegasus and Ned's
I went out Sunday evening, a rare thing for this reporter.  I first went to the Pegasus pub in the Nanchang Market where I joined Maralin and Joe, and a whole lot of Germans, including Ziggy. Wuxi's most famous German Expat.  The beer was great and the pub is in a nice location, and if you are bored you can walk to Ronnie's.  The three of us, in fact did just that.  Although we went to Ned's Kitchen which is above Ronnie's pub.  The food was alright and I won't be craving western food for a while.
I can also report that after three tall mugs of draft, I am three sheets to the wind.
The World don't need no more Sinologists.
Whatever this blog is, it isn't the blog of a would-be Sinologist.  The world doesn't need any more Sinologists, and frankly I don't want to be one.  China is just too big for anyone, especially a foreigner, to understand it.  I respect only those opinions about China that don't try to make predictions.  Anyone who has lived in China, is familiar with it, and knows its' history should temper everything they say with "I just don't know where it is going, and I don't know enough."
This blog is what the title says it is: about me in China.  What I am in China, is a guy who has found another place on this globe to live.  I like China but I don't feel guilty for not completely immersing myself in it.  I follow Western things that interest me but revel in the fact that I am here because I don't have to be exposed to the bad Western things.  And China always gives me a show.

1 comment:

Magnus said...

wow. what a post. interesting stuff. I like the name of one of your students, one I hadn't heard before...but I can predict the rationale for it: COMPUTER. Hilarious.

I hear you about SINOLOGISTS... but since you live there you have to understand that you are more knowledgeable about China than most foreigners. I have come across that too. Just a normal guy who has chosen a different place to live...