Monday, October 31, 2011

Confession, Atheists, Halloween, and Property Soaps

  • At the bus stop, a young man walks up to me and asks if he can practice his English.  I say yes, and we talk at the stop and then on the bus.  I learn that he is studying for a Masters degree in Economics.  I ask him about the Chinese economy.  How is it? I ask.  He says that it is not so great because of the property soaps.  I tell him he means property bubbles.  We pass elevated Wuxi Metro tracks.  I ask him if Wuxi needs a subway.  He says he thinks it doesn't.  He also says that subway is being built very quickly and will probably be shoddy when completed.  He then tells me that I am the first foreigner he has ever talked to.  I found this hard to believe.  His English was at an advanced beginner level.   I questioned him.  He told me that he read a lot on his own, and listened to VOA.
  • Confession:  No matter how many times, I watch documentaries about Stalingrad, I always find myself wanting the Nazis to extract themselves.  They didn't of course, which was a good thing.  Only problem was the Soviets won which wasn't a good thing either, except for the fact that the Nazis lost.  I cheer for the Nazis over the Soviets because they looked cooler.  The Soviets were dour-faced and savage looking.  This thought must be a strange residue from my childhood when I found myself happy that Trudeau won elections in Canada.  He was cool-looking too.
  • Someone asked how the Poles could like the Germans more than the Russians.  The Russians, I said, were Barbarians.  I mentioned that I was Latvian and how faced with a similar choice, they choose the Germans as well.  The Germans did nasty things in WWII but they redeemed themselves.  The Russians never did recognize the barbaric nature of the Soviet Union.  Thinking more about it, I should have also mentioned that the Poles were Catholics and the Russians, especially the Soviet variety, were atheist.  Catholics, have had to deal with thugs throughout their history, but they can't deal with people who want to destroy their Church.  That is why they took the Fascist side in the Spanish Civil War, for instance.
  • I am in China.  I have been so for over seven years.  Who would have thought it?  I still see something, that so Asian and not to be seen in Canada, that makes me aware of the fact.
  • Interesting dynamics at school with a full-pledged atheist and an avowed Christian in the same office.  The atheist talks of converting the Christian.  The atheist's hatred of the Christian is scary to behold.  See the hatred, and you believe that the Devil exists.  However, the Christian is loud in his own right, and says things as well that make me bristle. 
  • I have often thought that the two most annoying types are atheists and born-again Christians, but I will take the Christian over the atheist.  Atheists, I notice, don't have to be held to any standard, so they have it easy.(Full disclosure:  I want to be a Catholic.)  Christians do have high standards that they must try to keep to.  Anyone who tries to keep high standards is always going to look to be lacking.  Christians are not perfect.  They may often not seem better than those who aren't Christian, but they are often better persons than they would otherwise be because they are Christians.
  • More than anything, I hate Communism.  When atheists praise Communists for clamping down on religion, I have good reason to be religious.  How can one live a life so devoid of spirit?
  • One problem about having been in China so long is that I am completely out of the loop when it comes to my parents.  My mother is out of the hospital, but she hasn't fully recovered from her surgery.   Thankfully, my sister is there to help her for two weeks.  But after that, Mom will be on her own.  Dad may never be able to return home. 
  • Saturday night, the school held a Halloween Party.  Tony came to it.  He tried to steal the microphone of the party's hosts.  When they took it away from him, he became very upset.  He was only placated when someone allowed him to play Angry Birds on their I-Phone.  However, Tony did like wearing a mask, and I was able to take good photos of him doing so. You can visit the Tony Kaulins blog to see them.
  • Sunday evening, the K family went to a restaurant in the Nanchang Temple Market.  The restaurant, set along a canal, was narrow.  In theory, it was set up nicely.  In practice, it had a shoddy feel to it, and the area besides the canal was filthy.  

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