Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back to Work: Ramblings of Andis on a Cold, Damp Thursday (his Monday) in Wuxi, China

Couldn't get to sleep!
Dennis, one of the foreign trainers (from Ireland), was at work early this morning; that is, earlier than he had to be.  I asked him why and he told me that he couldn't get to sleep last night.  I knew exactly how he felt.  I couldn't get to sleep last night, as couldn't Jenny.  The spike in the temperature I complained about is causing a weather change that is making it hard for many of us in Wuxi to have a good night's sleep.

Dreary Wednesday
The weather on Wednesday was so drab that it was enough to make one have a dark night of the soul.  I don't mean to belittle these dark nights of the soul, but the weather, in fact, cast such a pall over my mood that the comparison I have made made gives you an idea of just how dismal I felt yesterday.  I couldn't decide if I hated China or my life.

Thankfully, Tony was able to get me out of my valley of despair with a simple gesture -- he grabbed my hand as we sat together on the couch watching television.  But of course, these little moments of joy with children have to be well-earned.  For Tony then proceeded to do three hours of constant demands of me accompanied with whining.

His mood made me want to take him somewhere, get him out of the house.  I notice that when we go for long walks, Tony is more passive and less demanding (but, notice, I say less).  Jenny had an idea that Tony and I would take the #610 to Qianzhou, a village bordering on Hui Shan and Yanqiao.  There, we could walk around, buy some KFC, and take it home for supper.  It was a splendid idea, but outside, the drab and gray was too much.  I went to Qianzhou, took Tony for a cursory walk, purchased the KFC bucket, and returned home.
Brown Wins!
The news of the election result for Ted Kennedy's old seat was splendid.  It was a bad result for Obama, no doubt about it.  But whether it signifies a continual loss of confidence in the governance of O and his party remains to be seen.  In '94, Clinton had a much more significant electoral spanking, but he learned lessons from it.  The Republicans with a weak party chairman, have benefited from Obama's fumblings, but have done nothing to show they have a solid alternative to what the Democrats are doing.  The chairman of the Republicans seems to want to be Democrat-lite -- not a good sign when the Democrats are being their traditional incompetent selves.

Still, a repudiation of Ted Kennedy's legacy is worthy of celebration and there is a good chance that this result marks the start of a significant backlash against the Democrats and O.
Jets - Vikings?
More immediately, does the surprise victory of the Republicans of Ted Kennedy's senate seat portend some upsets in this weekend's NFL conference championship games?  I hope.  Go Jets!  Go Vikings!
What Tony can do now
Tony can:
  • sing the chorus of Queen's "We will Rock You".
  • say "What".  I don't know if he means "What?", though.
  • when sitting on my shoulders, slide himself down the side of my body to get to the ground.
  • get into things he shouldn't like basically everything.
  • act -- he can fake crying.
  • give long kisses -- not pecks, but wet juicy lip-on-lip kisses.
The Chinese encounter this Foreigner
The Chinese person encounters a laowai  set-piece is old-hat for me.  But the encounters still happen a lot.  Tuesday night, I shared a motorcycle taxi ride home with a gentleman who could speak very good English.  He told me he learned his English by reading lots and watching movies.  He sells apartments in the Dream City complex that is being constructed by the MoreSky360 building.

At the bus stop yesterday, the sight of Tony sitting on my shoulders, caused a pair of locals to run up to me and just stare, all agog. I wanted to run away.  But the two asked me questions, in Chinese.  I pretended to know less Chinese than I really did.

Reasonable and Animal
Pascal says we have to contend with two natures:  to be reasonable and to be of base passions.  I had this observation borne out to me full-stop while contemplating one of his Pensees,  I found it to be particularly wise, and then I thought of how I could use this wisdom against some people I knew, and I then felt a spasm of anger against those people.  The spasm took me aback, but is was like a slap of common sense.  The battle against bad inclinations is constant and never-ending.

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