Sunday, September 2, 2012

August 27 to September 2 Blog Entry

Here, I am at 700 a.m. Monday morning, trying to finish off this entry before my self-imposed deadline!

For me it was just another week, so I have been reduced to writing some descriptions of some things I have seen.

First my regular scheduled features:

Something which I would previously thought to be wonderful is now no big deal.  (See below.  Hint: it happened on Thursday)  Nothing like getting perspective!!

Acknowledgement  I don't buy cigarettes because it is easy to bum them in China.  All I can say in my defense is that if no one around me smoked, I wouldn't feel the urge to smoke.

Request  I ask the powers-that-be to give me more a backbone.

Canada ain't cool, it is full of substance
Another attempt to prove my love for my country, while at the same time, reserving my right to criticize it.

It is cool to be anti-American.  Of this can there be no doubt.  A lot of Canadians fall to this temptation and their hatred of America is probably their quickest reflex.  Strangely, some Americans also fall to this temptation and become self-hating.  This bunch along with the world anti-Americans were absolutely elated when Obama was elected.   Obama was so cool they said.  Some even gave him a prize -- the Nobel Prize for his coolness.

Of course, many Canadians don't share this anti-Americanism.  Many loathe it as much as I do.  I will never forget selling an American Flag I had at a garage sale I held before I came to China.  "This will annoy our Leftist neighbors said the purchasers!" said the purchasers.

Many anti-American Canadians don't do what the logic of anti-Americanism dictates -- boycott all that has a taint of being American.  They couldn't.  So much of what they love about being Canadian comes from the fact that they live so close to America.  They couldn't abandon their favorite TV shows and movies and restaurants.

When it comes to practicalities, no Canadian is anti-American.

So why isn't Canada cool?  It is America's best friend.  Canada and America have a relationship that the EU is trying to impose on Europe.

And now......

The Weather Spites Me
If we had gone out on Monday, it would have rained.  If we had stayed at home, which we did, it wouldn't have rained.  

It didn't rain.

Tuesday Bus Blogging
250 hits for my Niel Armstrong piece.  It was a record for Wuxi China Expatdom Wordpress.  I wrote the piece and published it just before the announcement of his passing away.  I published it late at night and woke up to read of his passing away the next morning on my RSS Reader.

So a trick to getting hits is to write about someone just hours before we know he as died.

Listen to this John Derbyshire Podcast.   It contains a great tribute to Niel Armstrong and America.

Americans versus Americans in the War of 1812.  I listen to a podcast.  I learn that a lot of Canadians, on the American side, were actually Americans who had come to the Canadian colonies to get land -- they weren't loyal to American or the English King.  They were in it for their own self-interest.

I see a t-shirt that says:  Is it too late to be good? 

Looking for observations to make:  
  • A lot of Chinese Woman wear high heel shoes.
  • There are long-haired Chinese males but they have never gone to our school.  The students, especially the females, hate males having long hair.

Traffic cop won't let car go down bike lane.  I don't see how the standoff ends.  I cheer for the traffic cop.

Tuesday Evening
What to do when I see another child hit Tony?  I would hope Tony would fight back so I don't have to.

What to do if a child repeatedly calls you Waiguoren baba?  Hope, I take it gracefully and resist the urge to slap him.

Students say the darnedest things
"I like to watch skyscrapers," said one student.

Another student said "Juice is more fantastic than mineral water!"

I asked the student if mineral water was fantastic, and she replied "no!"

Thursday morning
I wear my black slip-on shoes, black socks and shorts!

I get a seat on the bus.  My machinations pay off.

I see a man wearing jeans, no shirt, and a tattoo of a wolf on his chest.

Pull out my Chinese textbook.

Thursday Commercial Shoot
I was chosen to appear in a commercial for the school.  These commercials are shown on the local transit system video screens.

The idea of these commercials now to show role plays.  Instead of talking about Canada as I had done the previous commercials, I have lunch with a "student" after a class. 

The novelty of being in commercials has quickly worn off for me.  I want to get the things over with so I can prepare for my classes.   When we record them, there is too much standing around for my taste.

And I would have thought it so remarkable, ten years ago, to be have been doing that.  The co-star of the commercial is very pretty was for one thing.

Thursday evening on the 635 Bus
I am listening to the audio of Milton Friedman's TV series Free to Choose.  An interesting thought:  No government created language.  Language was created by people freely associating with themselves.

Student lived in Oz for four years for school.  He could have stayed but he choose to return to China.  Why?  He said he didn't like the life style.  He was lonely.  He also missed his mother.

Paul Ryan shown on bus TV  Still, none of the students would be able to tell me who he is. (The appearance of Clint Eastwood at the Republican Convention was talked about by the teachers at school.  I detected that they were disappointed by what he did.  I, of course, was elated.  I will put him in the Wuxi Expat Hall of Fame.)

Moresky360 hasn't sunk yet.  I remember I wrote a blog entry about it after being told the building had problems because it was built in soft earth.

Friday Evening 
I thought I had put my Ipod Touch in my backpack as I left from school to catch the bus home.  But a thorough search backpack didn't locate my Ipod.  So, I spent my forty minute bus ride home having to think and all I could think about was the question of where I had left it.  Did I leave it on the desk?  Or did I leave it on a table at the restaurant where I had brought it but never used it because I ended up talking to someone?

Saturday Morning
It turned out that I had put my precious Ipod Touch in my backpack.  

As I was getting ready to get to work so I could retrieve precious, I heard its alarm coming from my backpack.  Happily rifling through my bag I was relieved to locate it.

I saw that when I put the Ipod in my bag Friday Evening, I had buried it very well.  After hearing its alarm, it took me two minutes of rifling through my bag to locate my precious.

Sunday morning bus ride
I see a  t-shirt that says:  Don't forget me simplicity man from HK.

Woman smiles at me with look of familiarity.  I don't know who she is.

I stand on bus as sun blares through window.

It is Standing Room Only on the bus.  As it approaches the next stop, I see that  ten people await.  Oh God!  I think, how are they going to find space for them?  

The bus stops.  I hear the bus driver and the trying-to-boarders have a discussion.  

Eventually, the bus moves.  I look to the front and see that the passengers there are more scrunched together.

And more await at the next stop.  This time, the driver quickly opens and closes the door.  He says something which must have gone along the lines of "No Dice!" with a "Wait!" thrown in.

At the next stop, some passengers get off.  Not being able to close the door quickly ,  the driver can be heard arguing with a trying-to-boarder.

A seat near me becomes available.  Another passenger beckons me to sit.  I refuse and pull a nearby old man to the seat.

The day before, I had been beckoned to a seat by old man.  I,  believe-it-or-not, decline to sit and insist that the old man do so.

The locals are sometimes far too kind to me.

Chinese Traditional Values
I readily tell the Chinese I am married.  I don't tell them that I married late, however.  It is my shame. If I was Chinese, I couldn't have married at my age.  I was lucky that I had a status that I couldn't have had in Canada and that the girls in China were traditional.

The Chinese view of marriage and the pressure that is put on the Chinese to get married has existed in most cultures for most of human history.  Western civilization has evolved to the point where many of its members think it is some kind of imposition to be asked why they aren't married.  It is unique in that view in human history.  To not put pressure on young people to marry is unnatural and inhumane.

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