Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Evening Headlines.

Spengler Says Obama Worries China
Obama gets it wrong, again.  Here is what Spengler has to say.

Summer Winding Down
Most of the summer students are gone.  The high school students are preparing for classes which start on August 31 or September 1.  This week, they are getting their books.

Chinese Lover's Day
I was told last week about this holiday (it falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the traditional Lunar calendar so it sometimes hits the Chinese as a surprise), and then I forgot it.  The holiday was yesterday (Wednesday) which I spend most of riding the buses.  Jenny, when she planned to go to Beixing, must not have been aware of it.  I didn't detect any more annoyance with me than normal yesterday morning.

Ted Kennedy Dies
Ted Kennedy's death is reason enough to avoid political news for the next few days.  I have read some articles and their comment strings.  Boy!  Are some of them long and fractious!  No unity in the American Realm.  I thought Obama was supposed to fix that.

I will ask the students at my English corner tonight, if they have heard of Ted Kennedy, or any of his brothers. (*When I said Ted Kennedy died, one student asked if he was the President.  Otherwise, no one knew who he was*)

Change in Procedure
The procedure to get a teaching job in China has changed since I came here  in 2004.  Then, I just had to get a tourist visa and everything was sorted out once I arrived here.  It was then required that your school send you a formal letter of invitation which you would take to your local Chinese consulate to get a proper Visa.  But, schools were sending out these letters of invite willy-nilly.  And so the procedure was changed yet again.  Now, the department or bureau of education, the government, has to approve a letter of invite before it can be sent out.  That adds at a least a month to the process.
Haircut in a Tunnel
On the bike ride home Thursday night, I went through a tunnel that goes below railway tracks.  This tunnel has a bike path and a sidewalk for pedestrians.  On the sidewalk, I saw a man getting a haircut - there was that business and a hawker selling sunglasses and other items.  That is capitalism.
Dealing with the Heat
It must be very hot in Wuxi.  On the bike ride home, I saw about five people sleeping on the street.  Four were sleeping on mats placed on bridge sidewalk.  Another laid a cot with legs on a bicycle path.
What did they do before there was A/C?
This question came to me when I contemplated the heat in Taixing.  I noticed there was a man swimming in a canal and I thought to myself that there should have been more.  It would be the logical thing to do in the intense heat.  But alas the water is dirty and polluted. 
I asked the students in my English corner this question.  One student talked of bamboo chairs and mats, bamboo being a good way to avoid hot surfaces.  Others talked of water being put on floors, sleeping on boats, and standing in pails of water.  Some richer people in the past could afford to have water pumped via ox onto the roofs of their homes.  A lot of people in the past could do nothing but fan themselves constantly.  Clever ones in the past could make a fan full of feathers which could be cranked round and round like the modern electric fans.
Jenny and Tony Update
I am in constant contact with Jenny by phone.  She and Tony are surviving the heat in Taixing and getting to bed very early.

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