Sunday, September 16, 2012

September 10 to September 16 Blog Entry

This week:   Another weekly entry where you get your week's dose of AKIC in one dump.  

The world looks to be entering a dark period:  
  • Israel and Iran could go to war.  Japan and China could go to war. 
  • I have has students tell me about their brouhaha with Japan without my asking them.  On the bus and on large video screens around Wuxi, you can see images of the islands.  
  • They are also going nuts again in the Middle East about some stupid movie that no one had heard of till the U.S. ambassador was killed.    Mitt Romney who didn't make the film that the Muslims are mad about, who didn't organize the attacks on the U.S. embassies, who wasn't the person responsible for not reacting to warnings about the attacks, and who didn't make that cowardly statement about tolerating religions, is a bad guy for pointing out the last fact.  And then there is the economy and the NHL could suspend operations because of a strike. Obama could very well be re-elected.
  • Obama could very well be re-elected.

At least, the weather has cooled down in Wuxi.

The school is the school as it has always been since it began to be.

In two weeks, there will be a National Holiday in China.  I will get six days off in a row.  Most Chinese workers will get eight.  I hope to spend the holiday in Wuxi.  I will happily go to Beixin in February.
And now for the regular weekly AKIC features!!!

Gratitude:  Thank God the temperatures in Wuxi are cooling down.

Acknowledgement:  When I get a seat on the bus, I hope that others will yield their seats to the old person who just got on.

Request:  Visit my Youtube Channel and increase my view counts.  I want to be able to say that my videos have been watched over two million times! (In fact, they have if you count my Youku views, but what I am trying to say is that I want two million Youtube views).

Canada ain't cool
It isn't and it shouldn't bother trying to be.  And I am saying this out of affection.

Not having any other Canadians to talk to Wuxi, I find I never talk about Canada at all.  I follow it via podcast.  The concerns of these podcasts are very Canadian and so very provincial, and yet I feel more and more homesick for them.

I wonder if Australians feel the same way, that is about Australia.

Anyway, the Chinese view of Canada is that it is a nice place. They don't know much else about it.  They know a little more about America, but they most always conform to the idea that they think they are the Middle Kingdom.  

The obscurity of Canada in the world suits me.  Canada has a good thing going, being close to the great country of America.  It doesn't have to suffer the burden of greatness that the Americans have and so it can skate through tough times with little effort.

Curling:  can you think of a more uncool sport?  I can.  Synchronized swimming.  Still, Curling is very uncool.  

Curling is a Canadian obsession that will never make it worldwide.  I don't really care if the rest of the world plays it.  It is our excuse to drink.
And now, everything else:  a collection of observations and tweety bird thoughts.
Monday was Teacher's Day
I got one email from a student.

Douche Bag Drivers
From this headline, you may guess that I have been listening to Adam Carolla.

Anyway, there are lots of these kinds of drivers in Wuxi.  Some of them take their expensive sports cars and drive them very fast in traffic.  When I see these cars weaving through traffic, I hope that they have accident -- hopefully with another douche bag in an expensive sports car or a light standard.  

Who are these people?  Are they the spoiled children of kleptocratic parents?  Probably.  

And why don't the police stop them?  Wuxi Police seem to be more into using road blocks than having their cruisers chase speeders.

I have also heard that these children of the kleptocrats laugh at the policemen who give them tickets.

Podcasts I have discovered recently
So many podcasts, so little time!

I have subscribed to:
  •  Alison Rosen is your New Best Friend?  Alison Rosen appears on the Adam Carolla Show which I have started listening to in the last month.  The first episode was stupid modern girl dating and growing-up talk.
  • Donald Kagan's lectures on Ancient Greek  I highly recommend them.
  • The David Pratt Show  He is a talk radio show on Vancouver's CKNW.  I listened to five minutes of the first episode.
  • The Dave Dameshek Football Program  This is the NFL podcast I have chosen.  There are many such podcasts.  I have chosen this one because I have heard Dameshek on Adam Carolla.

Tuesday I had breakfast at the local KFC
I drove the e-bike to it.  

They got my order wrong.

Links of the Week

I don't have them.  Thank God and Knock on Wood!

But I have heard others in the downtown have the problem, even an Expat who owns an apartment in Wuxi.

The problem where I live is ants.  There are so many of them here that when they gather together, they clump.  The solution:  baby powder.

My golden week holiday
I will have six days off from September 29 to October 4.  I hope to stay in Wuxi the entire time, but we got invited to wedding in Beixin on October 2, and it will be hard to get bus tickets for October 2&3.

Tony wasn't a happy camper when I took him to the van that takes him to kindergarten.  Mom and Dad had just scolded him for not wanting to put a shirt on.  When he said good bye to Mom, she said "no good bye!" to him.  I had slapped him on the hand.  And he wasn't all keen on my telling him to behave better.  He gave me the "Oh yeah whatever" look when I kissed him goodbye.

I shoot another commercial for the school in which I have to wear a tie.  I walk into an office and tell the receptionist I have an appointment.  I did just one take.  I would like to have done it again, but it probably would have been worse.

My sister tells me that she is going to Morrissey in concert in Bellingham, Washington State.  Do I wish I was there?  Hard to say.  Morrissey has put on weight.

Cairo and Benghazi
America had coming to them!

Anyone who knows me, knows I don't agree with that, but I know many feel that way.

What thoughts do I have about it?  It looks like a failure of Obama's foreign policy.  It was in Cairo that he made his famous make-nice-to-the-middle-east speech.  In was in Libya, that some Obama sympathizers said that he had found a new foreign policy paradigm.  Come on!   I thought that Obama would make everyone love America.

If any good can come from it, let's hope that it results in Obama's defeat in November.

Quote of the Week:

"To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others." - Blessed Pope John Paul II

Friday on the Bus
Sweatpants and pullover.  For the first time since April, I wear them in the house.

My eyes and the Bus 617 driver met as he prevents me from crossing the street.  I was halfway through  crossing when he turned his bus right in front of me.

Nothing to say to some at work.

No seat on the bus.

I didn't observe 9/11 this year.  I should have.

Time to wear a jacket?  Others on the bus have started to....

A car passes our bus rather foolishly I think.  The car driver, a male, cuts it close, weaving between an oncoming meridian and the bus to get ahead.  But he then comes to a red light and the bus pulls up beside.  Hah!!

Friday at School
Oh God!  More talk from some students about hating Japan or wanting to fight Japan over the islands.  Then, a teacher tells me that he is constantly being asked about what he thought about the island controversy.

I had been paying attention to the middle east flareups.  I hadn't though much about the Island controversy.

There is normally no point, or rather no urgency, in following Chinese politics that closely.  It is a dictatorship.

Saturday Blogging on the Bus Ride to Work
Friday evening in one of my classes, a young girl tells me that she was accompanying her friend to the hospital.  Why? I jokingly asked.  To have an abortion she replies.

Oh! I says.  I didn't want to know that.

Anyway.  I do get a seat on the bus.

Saturday: Later
  • Cultural Difference:  Just as the bus was approaching my destination, I saw two boys, probably middle-school aged, share a seat that had become free.  One sat on the other's lap.  
  • McDonald's:  The girl gets my order wrong.  I say nothing.  The mistake wasn't grievous:  instead of getting a double sausage sandwich, I was given the breakfast hot dog.  I knew that mistake was made as soon as the girl entered the order into the register.  I was charged less than I was expecting.  Sometimes, it isn't worth the trouble, and perhaps I would get the girls in trouble, I reason.
  • The Islands are Chinese:  Near the McDonald's on the corner of Zhongshan and Xueqian is a huge video screen.  Going for lunch, I noticed they had pictures of the disputed islands, and I could make out from the Chinese writing that they were saying the islands were Chinese.  This was all in big letters and something is going to happen on September 18th.  Oh my!

Saturday Evening Bus Blogging
Make a sentence with organize I tell the student and so I get:  Students will organize a demonstration against the Japanese  on the 19th.

Then, I tell them to make a sentence with shower:  I can tell you take a shower every day.

Got a seat!  (I have an urge to blog something so I mention this trivial fact!)

Will the bus station big screen say those islands are Chinese?  I just see advertising.

Sunday Morning Bus Blogging
I accompanied Tony, the previous evening, as he rode his bike (with t/w).   I first had to get the bike's tires fixed.  We went to a nearby bike repairman.  Tony knew the way.  All that was needed was to put air in the tires.  The man did it for us and refused payment for the service.

We then went to the square where Tony rode about with the skaters.  Just as it was time to leave, this female skater, a little girl, pushed Tony knocking him and his bike over.  Tony got himself and his bike up.  The girl pushed him down again.  I saw this from a distance and as I walked over, it happened again.  I screamed at Tony angrily and told him to fight back.  He stared at me and just pointed at the girl who watched our scene and backed away.  There was no sign of her parents.  It was time for us to go home anyway so we left the square.  I continued scolding Tony but he didn't understand.

As we walked home, the foreigner and his son were quite the sight.  So much so that this one teenage girl, who was walking ahead of us with two older women, kept staring back at us.  This happens all the time to us in Wuxi, this being stared at, but the way the girl smiled, like she was looking at freaks or clowns, made me feel furious.  If she had been closer when she had given us the look, I would have said WTF to her.

I stand on the bus.  Sunday morning, the 25 bus is always packed.

Sunday at School
Another student asked to make a sentence with a lesson vocabulary word, made a sentence talking about the conflict with the Japanese over some islands.  "They are going to war!" said another student.

What would I do if China and Japan go to war?
I don't know.  It would be an experience.  

But at the back of my mind, I have always wondered what would happen if trouble happened here and I was  in danger.  I have about the time I swore at the locals and imagined them getting back at me.

Whatever happens, happens, I suppose.

Sunday Night and the 1972 Canada Russia Hockey Series
I ran into an American named Ian who lives in my area.  He speaks good Chinese and tells me that Chinese television is showing nothing but the Island controversy, and so the Chinese will talk about nothing else.  He seemed a much nicer fellow that this Canadian guy named Ian who lived in Wuxi for a while.

I  then find my 1972 Canada Russia Hockey Series Documentary DVD and watch it.  I felt very emotional as I watched the video, even after all these years.  There was nothing finer done by Canadians than to put those Left Wing Commie Soviets in their place.  

One thing really struck me about the documentary was how the Canadian players were so emotional and violent during the series.   The violence of the Canadians shocked even the Russians who surely must have been dulled by the brutality of their regime.  That series was more than a sporting competition, it was a war.  M

Mild-mannered Canadians can be violent when the situation demands.  That's why they were the best soldiers in World War Two.

The Canadian Players had some really temper tantrums during the 1972 series.  Watching JP Parise want to beat the referee Kampala in game eight, I thought of my occasional tantrums against the locals here.  Parise checked himself as I have.

Much as I admire America, I will always be Canadian.

September 28 is Paul Henderson Day, or it should be.

No comments: