Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Andis Kaulins in China Diary for January 20 to January 30, 2014

  • I worked nine days in a row in order to make more money and to get to Jenny's hometown on the day before Spring Festival.
  • I saw a 3D movie for the first time in a cinema.
  • I learned that a lot of students like watching the series Downton Abbey.
  • The K family is going to Beixin for the Spring Festival.

Monday [January 20]
[Home Laptop]
  • No school for Tony today so he slept in till eleven.
  • I go back to work tomorrow. Sigh.
  • The Seahawks will meet the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Yes!!

Tuesday [January 21]
[School Laptop]
  • Last night, we went to the Wanda Plaza movie to see the second Despicable Me in 3D. It was my first time to see a 3D movie in the cinema. It was a gimmick, I thought. Tony, who did say he liked the movie, kept taking his glasses off. The movie was dubbed in Chinese so I understood maybe five percent of what was said, but this didn't stop me from understanding what was going on.
  • The audience was well-behaved except for Tony who talked during the movie.
  • Back to work today. I went to a German restaurant in the Nanchang Jie Bar Street to eat with the government workers with whom I had been doing those SPCs.
  • I am not in the swing of things. I haven't been to school for two weeks.
  • I still have my cold. I need lots of tissue paper and Halls (strawberry flavor now) to deal with it.

Wednesday [January 22]
[School Laptop]
  • During the last class of last evening, the two students told me that they both liked watching the TV series Downton Abbey. I couldn't have been happier. On the way home last evening, I watched the third episode of the first season.
  • I will be working nine days in a row: from the 21st to the 29th. I switched days off with one of the other trainers in order to be able to get to Beixin on January 30th. I would have had Monday the 27th off.
  • On the 30th, the K family will be catching a 12:20 bus to Taixing where they will have to take a bus to Beixin. Direct tickets to Beixin will be sold out that day.

Thursday [January 23]
[School Laptop]
  • I work 10:00 to 21:00 today. The 10:00 shift start means I go to McDonald's for Breakfast.
  • However, I didn't have a sit-down breakfast. McDonald's was packed this morning.
  • I forgot to mention. I worked 13:00 to 21:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • When I come home in the evening, my six year old son Tony wants to play with my Ipad.
  • I don't participate in the office chat – it is nothing to do with me.
  • Did I have a kidney stone act up yesterday? I had a brief sharp pang of pain in that region when I was eating dinner yesterday.
  • This is the third of the nine consecutive days I will be working.
  • Jenny is floating the idea that she & Tony will go to Beixin earlier so that I will have to take a bus there myself. She is doing this even though she insists that it is my idea that we spend the Spring Festival in her hometown. [Jenny had a falling out with her parents and wasn't talking to them; and so I haven't seen them for a year. She seemed to have reconciled with them a few months ago and so I thought it would be a good idea to go to the hometown for the Spring Festival. She says she rather not go.]
  • Six foot tall Chinese girls. Holy Moly!!!
  • Speaking of Chinese girls. Tony & Jenny & I were at the Wanda Plaza Sunday evening [the 19th]. While Jenny was in the washroom, I espied two models, slender and long-haired, who were brought to the mall for promotional purposes. They wore red caps like Marlon Brando wore in the biker movie he did, skimpy red shorts, boots, black sheer stockings, and tops that left their midriffs bare. I wanted to get a closer look at the models and get Tony to pose for a photo with them. [It had been my experience that young women like to fawn over him] So, I pointed the models out to Tony and told him that we were going to say hello to them. Tony couldn't have been more uninterested; and chiding me like a school-marm, he told me that we weren't going to say hello to the girls. “NO! NO! NO!” Tony said and he even spread out his arms to block me from approaching them.

Friday [January 24]
[School Laptop]
  • I am ____ years and one month old today.
  • I work 11:00 to 21:00 today. It is the fourth of nine consecutive days I will spend at the school. I will go to the city hall to talk to civil servants for 45 minutes on their lunch break. Then, I will teach three classes in the evening.
  • I had breakfast at McDonald's. It seems that a lot of people go, to the particular M's that I go to (at the corner of Xueqian and Zhongshan Roads), not to eat food but to use the seats. This morning, I saw about six or seven women knitting as they took up tables that seemed devoid of any McDonald's products.
  • I had lunch at King Burger where I enjoyed my flame-broiled Whopper and the novel Jeeves and Wedding Bells which I am so fortunate to have gotten on the Internet.
  • Before eating at King Burger, I did go to the City Hall where I had a great conversation with the civil servants about Acting. Acting, I told them, is behaving and pretending, depending on the situation.

Saturday [January 25]
[School Laptop]
  • I work 10:00 to 18:00 today. It will be my fifth day of a stretch of having done nine days of employment in a row.
  • I am adding discussion questions to my salon class plan for men. What do real men do in these situations? I will ask the students. One such situation I will ask about is what a man would do if he came to a door as the same time as a woman. I have thought to ask the students if a real man plays computer or video games. [The correct answers to these questions are that a man holds a door open for a woman and he doesn't play video games. I supply these answers for my rare reader who may, on the off chance, not be a reactionary curmudgeon type.]
  • I would have left Casa Kaulins five minutes earlier than I eventually did because I had to wait for my podcasts to download on my Ipod.
  • I found that I can download epub copies of newly released books. For instance, Jeeves and the Wedding Bells.
  • I don't know what is going on but I notice that when I ride the bus in the evening, my Ipad power meter is under twenty percent. It had been at forty percent at that time of the evening before. So either my Ipad's battery is getting old or I have been using it more during the day I spend at school.

Sunday [January 26]
[School Laptop]
  • I work 10:00 to 18:00 today. Rare readers may be aware that I normally don't work Sunday. I am putting in a day of overtime.
  • It is my sixth day of my nine day stretch of consecutive days worked.
  • Last night, it was nice to spend an evening at home although Tony, without my permission or even asking me, was playing on my Ipad Mini.
  • Not willing to try and wrench it back from him, I watched a movie on my Laptop: Raising Arizona. It was a four star (out of five) movie. It had some good dialogue and outstanding over-the-top performances. I laughed a few times. However, it starred Nicolas Cage (he ought to be put in a cage.) and at times, the motivations of the actors didn't make any sense.
  • After watching the movie, I soaked my feet and went to bed. I read on my Ipad till it ran out of power (I saw that having the Ipad plugged into the charger at 1 percent charge wasn't going to keep the Ipad from shutting down).
  • When the Ipad ran out of power, I put my head down and thought I would be able to arise thirty minutes later and keep reading; but after ten minutes, I became very drowsy and abandoned the thought.
  • Tony wanted me to make him some hot milk just as I was drifting off. I told him to get Mom to do it.
  • I was scared that this morning I had caught the eye of some pretty thing while I was at the McDonald's. To my horror, I saw her on the street and thought she was smiling at me. I decided to plow straight forward and get myself to work.

Monday [January 27]
[School Laptop]
  • I work 11:00 to 21:00 today. This is the day I exchanged Thursday [the 30th] for.
  • Yesterday, I asked the students about abortion. I posited the question in an Agony Aunt way. I told the students that a woman had a husband who wanted her to get an abortion. All of the students said they would have to more information about the situation before they could give the women advice. They all obviously thought that abortion was an option women could have. They all obviously thought abortion was not necessarily murder.
  • A new wrinkle in my getting to work this morning! I took the 602as I always do but I choose to get off at a stop near Wall Street English. I used to get off at this stop and walk to Zhongshan Road to catch another bus to get to school but I then decided to get off at a stop after this stop and walk to Zhongshan Road instead for the change in scenery. This morning, I decided to get off at the old stop because I realized I can walk up the street about half a block the other way to get to a stop where I can catch the 118 bus. This 118 makes a turn onto Zhongshan Road, passes the stop on Zhongshan Road that I had been catching buses, and eventually gets me to the school.
  • I have been telling this joke to the girls at school to see if they understand it. A man walks into a room with a pile of poop in his hands and exclaims “Hey everyone, look what I almost stepped in!”
  • Their reaction, so far, has been quizzical.
  • Damn it! It's my wife birthday on January 30th or whenever the day before Chinese New Year is!
  • I went to 汉堡王 to eat a whopper and to watch the end of The Women, a classy film with an all-star cast of woman made, I believe, in the 1930s. No men appeared in this film which was about divorce.

Tuesday [January 28]
[School Laptop]
  • I work 13:00 to 21:00 today. It is my eighth of nine consecutive days worked. So it feels like a Monday after having worked the whole week before.
  • In less than 24 hours, Jenny & Tony will be in Beixin. Someone, from Shanghai, will pick them up on the way, early tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, and take them to Beixin. I will be going the next day (Thursday) by bus.
  • Before I came to work, I put out four days of clothes for Jenny to pack in the big bag she will be taking to Beixin.
  • I can't decide to take my laptop. I want to but I wonder if it will be more trouble than its worth to do so.
  • Looking at the weather for the next week, I saw a forecast saying the temperature would get up to 21 Degrees C. This will make it complicated for me as far as what clothes to bring. I will have to be prepared for feeling chilly and feeling overheated.

Wednesday [January 29]
[School Laptop]
  • I work 13:00 to 21:00 today. It is ninth consecutive day of work.
  • Tomorrow, I won't be working but I will be preparing and then going to Beixin for the Spring Festival.
  • Jenny & Tony are already in Beixin. A friend of Jenny, coming from Shanghai, picked them up this morning and drive them out.
  • I got a lot of preparation to do tonight.
  • The last class of last evening put me in a foul mood. I had three students who I wished would not have come at all. Looking at them, I snapped and told them so.
  • I will publish these diary entries within 24 hours.
  • It rains today.

Thursday [January 30]
[Home Laptop]

  • It is just past midnight. I am trying to get ready to go to Beixin in the morning.
  • I will be taking a bus to Taixing and one of Jenny's brothers will drive me the rest of the way to Beixin.
  • Right now, I have to decide what videos to put on my Ipad.
  • First, I publish this.

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