Why, I couldn't get tickets yesterday will have be attributed to my brutal Chinese skills.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Why, I couldn't get tickets yesterday will have be attributed to my brutal Chinese skills.
I went to downtown Wuxi, at about one o'click, to buy a bus ticket to go to Beixing where my wife and son are staying. I found out that the earliest available ticket to go there was on the fourth of October. I had been hoping to get a ticket for second. Unavailable to get tickets, I decided I would phone my wife and see if there were other arrangements we could make, like I would get a ticket to a town near Beixing and get someone to pick me up. But I couldn't get the wife to answer my calls. I spent four hours in downtown Wuxi hoping she would call back but she never did. I then returned to the ticket booth and found out that then even tickets for the fourth were sold out. I was facing the prospect of not being able to spend any time with my wife and child over the holiday. And not being able to get a hold of my wife was irksome as I was wondering what the hell was going on.
I returned home and found my wife's Xiao Ling Tong phone -- a cheap mobile phone that uses the ground line number of our apartment. On the Xial Ling Tong, the number for my in-laws was sure to be found I reasoned. The only problem was trying to find their number because I couldn't navigate the phone's menus which were all in Chinese. I phoned the last made calls and got a neighbor at the apartment complex who can speak some English. With her help, I was able to find my in-laws' number and finally get a hold of Jenny.
It turned out that her phone had been shut off the entire afternoon. The plan now is for me to try to get a bus ticket to Taixing where someone will pick me up and drive me to Beixing. If I can't get tickets for the first or second, Jenny and Tony will come back to Wuxi. I hope that I can't buy those tickets. But I do have to do some scrambling tonight on the off chance I can get a ticket for the first. I will have to clean the apartment and pack -- activities I meant to do tomorrow, the first.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Talking to the students I have the impression that the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China is not something worth commemorating. They all appreciate having the time off, but aren't fill with any patriotic fervour One student told me that the government is making an effort to rouse patriotic fervour but isn't succeeding.
Monday, September 28, 2009
In the photo below, Tony boarded a bus parked near his grandparents. He then got into the driver's seat. The driver didn't mind and thought Tony's interest was amusing.
I went to the pub last night with the KoW. To be more exactly, I will tell you I went to the Blue Bar. I went to the Blue Bar. I was thinking, or rather in the back-of-my-mind, was the proposition that I should phone Jenny soon, as has been my evening habit while She and Tony have been in Beixing. But the KoW and I got to talking. I wasn't wearing my P.L.A. wristwatch. I lost track of time.
I might as well put this weekly feature, I am now doing, in historical context.
Marx and Smith, mated in captivity
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tony on a One Coin ride in downtown Beixing. While he enjoys myself, I take video of the surrounding scene.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
This video taken on my last trip to Beixing shows Tony on his 25th month birthday. See what can be seen when I leave my in-laws' compound.
Friday, September 25, 2009
As Tony does his thing, I survey the surrounding scene. I even talk to some local yokels.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
- The prospect of being alone with our thoughts, without any outside stimulus, terrifies us. If we find ourselves in any of those places or situations where thinking was once possible, we immediately start casting about for people to call on our cell-phones.
- The decline in our capacity for thinking in depth has been greatly accelerated by modern communications technologies.
- I always feel something between awe and wonderment whenever I meet someone who doesn't have a cell-phone. I'm not prepared to go there yet. But I've noticed that such people are generally among the deepest and happiest that I know.
- in international relations there is far too little laughing, and far too much sneering. But I believe that there is a better way which largely consists of laughter; a form of friendship between nations which is actually founded on differences.
- GKC has two principles: The first principle is that nobody should be ashamed of thinking a thing funny because it is foreign; the second is that he should be ashamed of thinking it wrong because it is funny.
After crossing the bridge in WTU 416, we continued down a lane....
After the reunion, Tony and I went for a walk, during which I took WTUs 416 and 417.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
- Tony wouldn't let his father sit and eat.
- Tony had a cold and a very runny nose.
- Tony likes to bite his father.
- Tony gets out of eating by telling his mother he has to use the bathroom.
- Tony likes to throw stones off bridges. Looking at it through a child's eyes, I can see the wonder of it -- the rock arching in the air, and the big plop as it hits the water.
- Tony gave his father a kiss at the reunion.
- Tony can count to three.
- Tony likes to get on parked buses.
- Tony thinks goats are hilarious.
- Tony touched a pig.
- Tony likes to watch his father pee. He laughs when he does.
- Tony can go around without diapers. I appreciate the savings.
- Tony when meeting peers likes to go running with them.
- Tony collects rocks.
- Tony being with you, on an evening walk on a pleasant evening, is a wonderful thing. Especially when he falls asleep.
- Tony gets spanked and slapped. But he will slap back.
- Jenny is doing alright. She has her parents helping her look after Tony. Although, I wish I was there in the evening so I take Tony off her hands. The little guy does not want to sleep.
- Jenny misses me. That is all that matters.
- Her whatever-she-is-doing is proceeding well.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I am going to Beixing. I will be back in Wuxi Wednesday Afternoon.
This is the last WTU I have made. Expect to see more when I return.
This video was more than likely taken at an abandoned old museum.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
This video really shouldn't be a WTU. Tony is in it, but the video is really about what I saw across the street from my apartment.
You will see a bus in the foreground of this video. The marchers eventually returned to it. And while the Marchers were waiting for the bus to move, Tony was waving at them and they waved back. I couldn't see a group of similarly aged people from the West getting amusement and enjoyment from Tony's actions.
united in heart.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The Kaulins Family: Jenny, Tony, and Andis live in the Hui Shan Economic Development Zone area of Wuxi, China; or you could also say about forty minutes from Wuxi's downtown. The Hui Shan area is an interesting mix of government-ordered economic development and old countryside. So, it is fun for Andis and Tony to wander the area for they see strange things like they do in this video.
Friday, September 18, 2009
- I saw the Canadian Junior Hockey Team beat the Soviet Junior Hockey Team seven to nothing. Nothing better than seeing the cock-sucking fucking asshole Soviets get hammered. The cheers at the end of the game were something else -- the loudest I have ever heard.
- I saw Johan Cruyff score a goal for the Washington Diplomats against the Minnesota Kicks in a N.A.S.L. match.
- I saw R.E.M. and U2 concerts on consecutive nights in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
- I saw Queen Elizabeth II in Brandon, Manitoba.
- I saw the back of Pope John Paul II's head in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- I saw the KoW naked on Vancouver Island. His skin was a pasty alabaster colour. His muscle tone was a little off. But, I felt myself privileged nonetheless.
- I saw the Sex Pistols perform in Vancouver.
- I saw an Expat, with a broom, chase his Chinese girlfriend down the streets of Wuxi.
- I saw two streakers at a British Columbia Lions game which was also the last regular season game of Luis Passaglia's career.
- I saw Shaun Alexander run eighty yards for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
If your grandson is a thousand miles away. A video of him drinking may be interesting. As for the rest of you, you are welcome to watch. If anything, this video shows you that consumer culture has come to Mainland China in a big way.
How has "liberty" become the inspirational code word of conservatives rather than liberals? (A prominent example is radio host Mark Levin's book "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto," which was No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly three months without receiving major reviews, including in the Times.) I always thought that the Democratic Party is the freedom party -- but I must be living in the nostalgic past. Remember Bob Dylan's 1964 song "Chimes of Freedom,"made famous by the Byrds? And here's Richie Havens electrifying the audience at Woodstock with "Freedom! Freedom!" Even Linda Ronstadt, in the 1967 song "A Different Drum," with the Stone Ponys, provided a soaring motto for that decade: "All I'm saying is I'm not ready/ For any person, place or thing/ To try and pull the reins in on me."
Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian. And as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.
- Reading is enjoyable and useful for people whose mind is structured so that it's suited to reading.
- The fact, seldom discussed, is that reading is an interactive occupation. A reader gets about as much out of a book as he or she puts into it. A good book gives its reader a decent return on the investment, but readers who bring little to the table will leave with little. At the risk of a warning from the discipline committee of the Writers' Union, I'll suggest that a book is only as good as its reader.
- I like some individual children, but I don't like children as a group. (I like my Tony. I hate other people's kids, but I like talking to their parents.)
- When you have children, you may end up having something in common with them. Regard it as your bonus, not your due. The way you raise them does make a difference, but not as much as you think. Children are their own people, for better or worse. If you try to have them for joy, companionship or security for your old age, you're having them for the wrong reasons. They may give you all that and more, but you can't count on it. You can count on nothing, except on nature's imperative. (Already, Tony has his own personality and his own tastes. He exhibits barbaric and selfish behavior. I hope I can change this. He is what he is. He is a handsome bugger, but I hope he has brains. What do we have in common? We like to travel together on a bike. We like horseplay. But the time Tony reaches adulthood, I will be old if not dead.)
- Children put me off. I don't find them adorable or intriguing. I find them tedious. (Tony can be tedious. He likes to do things for a longer time than I would. Example: ride escalators).