Sunday, August 28, 2011

Podcasts, swearing, getting seats on the bus, and training wheels.

  • I heard some talk about China on the Mark Levin show.  It came from a caller, to Levin's call-in-show, who had spent four years in China getting a degree and learning Mandarin.  She reported she was sad to see what America was like on her return -- Obama's fault she said.  She also reported that she didn't at all like what the Chinese were doing.  
  • I report this China talk just because it was interesting that someone who had been in China was also a Marc Levin listener.  I have to admit I listen to all his podcasts.  He is a guilty pleasure for me, but only a little.  That is on the guilty part of the pleasure.  He may well be rude to Liberal callers, but they deserve it.   He may call his opponents names but so what?  The Left engages in the tactics a hell of a lot more than Conservatives ever do. 
  • Are there any other Levin Podcast listeners in China?
  • Taking Tony for a bike ride, and running into some toughs.  Really, it was the story of me losing my temper.  And the toughs were rather meek.  
  • Saturday night, I accompanied Tony as he rode his bike with training wheels around the neighborhood of Casa K.  
  • A foreigner walking through the neighborhood of Casa K will raise eyebrows.  In fact, on my Saturday walk I first saw this old man raise his eyebrows at us as we passed.  I decided to look straight ahead, pretend to ignore him, and take Tony on his way. 
  •  I have at times been able to hear passengers in passing cars and vans say "laio wai" or "Wai guo ren" in my neighbourhood.  Most of the time, it is like water off a duck's back for me.  But sometimes I am just not in the mood or I feel like I am being gawked at like I am some sort of monkey.
  • Tony and I, will, on our excursions, sometimes argue about which way to go.  Saturday night, at a point where I had determined I walked enough, I wanted to make a left turn so we could go back home.  Tony however wanted to continue straight on.  He cried when I insisted that we go left.  As he stood in place, I walked away in the direction I wanted to go, and he then started to cry louder and yell "Momma!"  I was compelled to turn around.  I walked back to him, gave him a hug, and then had to pull him in my direction of choice.
  • He calmed down, but then insisted that I carry him on my shoulders.  Normally, I have no problem with this.  But carrying him on shoulders and also pulling his bike is too much.
  • So  after ten minutes of carrying him on his shoulders and pulling his bike, I took him down off my shoulders and told him to ride his bike.  He said "No! One Two Three!"  (One Two Three is what he says when he wants to be put on my shoulders.)  I told him that the bike would be garbage, and he cried again.  I had to console him again.
  • It was at this point that I looked up to see that these two young men on an electric bicycle had stopped to watch Tony and I struggle.  Flush with annoyance already at Tony, I told them to "fuck off!" and gave them the finger.  I was not sure then if they understood.  For they then rode off, and I heard them say "we love you!"  I screamed "faggots!" at them, and thought maybe they did understand.
  • I was able to get Tony to ride his bike for a hundred meters or so, before I put him on my shoulders. As he rode, I was thinking about my reaction to the two young men, and wondered if they would come back.  I saw one of them pointed a phone camera at me and may have taken a photo of me and my middle finger.  I also thought about how Tony and I will be seen all over Wuxi next month on the bus videos, and I imagined the reaction of the few locals in Wuxi who may remember having been sworn at or offered a finger by me.  My reaction, I was loathe to admit, wasn't very Christian.  The swearing may also been a symptom of weariness of living in China.
  • Just after I put Tony on my shoulders, I saw the two young men on bike accompanied by another bike with another two young men drive past.   Seeing Tony and me, they turned around to get closer to us.   Seeing them, I decided that I was going to watch them and observe them in a disinterested manner as possible.  Passing close to us, they uttered a barbaric "hello!" and one of the riders raised his hand at me. I am not sure what the gesture meant.  I couldn't decide if it was meant to be rude or a how-ya-doing.  I maintained my stoic posture as they rode away.
  • Tony and I then arrived at home.  The riders didn't follow us.  They were on my mind through the rest of the evening and during the next morning as I made my way to work.  I imagined a photo of my giving a middle being circulated on the Internet -- either that or a video of me swearing.  Should I take Tony down that route again? I wondered.  Was it time for me to get out of China?  I wondered as well.
  • Sunday, the next day, someone gave me their seat on the bus, and I felt sheepish -- the Chinese are not so bad after all, I thought, and in some ways they were much, much better than me.    I later yielded my seat to a woman and a child, and the woman seemed tickled pink to have a foreigner give her a seat.
  • Perils of being so far from home.  My father's health is declining, and my mother is at her wit's end trying to take care of him.  I pray for my father and feel ashamed of my powerlessness -- it is the accumulation of a life of ill-made decisions.
  • A few more student names to pass on:  Easy, Elfie, and Silence.
  • Sunday evening, these men yielded a seat on the bus to me, just because I was a foreigner.  Ai ya!!  I really feel more of a heel for yelling at those young men on the electric bike!
  • I then listened to the Radio Derb podcast.
  • I am not always listening to conservative podcasts.  The twenty percent of the time I am not listening to a conservative podcast, I try to listen to what the left has to say.  For instance, I listen to the Slate political gabfest podcast, but it is just sad stuff.  For whatever reason, they choose to talk about Steve Jobs resignation from Apple.  Their talk was pointless, boring, and uninformative. 

No comments: