Monday, March 17, 2014

The Andis Kaulins in China Diary Entry for March 11 to March 17, 2014

  • I tried to make this week's entry longer than normal. Last week's entry was four pages long at font size 12. This week, I got to the ninth page
  • I was in the doghouse for most of the week with Jenny.
  • I began to watch video of the 7th game of the 1965 World Series. I can say I was at the stadium where the game took place.
  • I work six days at the school, having taken on a day of overtime.
  • I made dark jokes about the missing Malaysian airliner.

Tuesday [March 11]
[Home Laptop]
  • My shift will be 13:00 to 18:00.
  • I will have six days in a row of shifts this week. I am working on Sunday. One of our trainers has gone home for a vacation, so more shifts for me!
  • Take pains with every word. Take pains with every word I write? Can I?
  • No time to take pains?
  • I have watched the first inning and a half of the seventh game of the 1965 World Series. I am cheering for the Twins.
  • I asked the question about pains above because of that piece I read yesterday, written by Theodore Dalrymple, about Joseph Conrad. Dalrymple has a way of making the great literature of the past relevant to today. Conrad, said Dalrymple, admired people who did their duty, because it was their duty and not because they had some highfaluting theory about why they should do their duty. Or in other words, Conrad derided egoists who abound in this world. [I am probably one myself.] Conrad took pains to describe the things he saw properly, using the right words to give up the right effect so the reader feels like he is there with the writer.
  • I feel like I am in the doghouse with Jenny. I earned her ire by her having earned my ire. But I found evidence that it was that time of the month and so the storm will pass.
  • Tony & I shrugged our shoulders to each other last night. Mom! What can we do?
  • Tony & I went to bed as soon as we could.
  • I listened to a podcast about China, from Australia's RN, that really didn't say much about China that I didn't already know. But, the expert interviewed did say one thing about Mao that was worth remembering: Mao tried to change the way the Chinese people were and failed.
  • Funny, how Joseph Needham, a man who supposedly loved China and the Chinese, cavorted with Mao who didn't really like the Chinese so much. [Mao was responsible for more murders of Chinese people in his time in power than the Japanese of World War Two.]
  • Anyway, I will email this file to my school laptop, and time permitting, I will carry on with my random thoughts. Hopefully, I will observe something worth chronicling on my way to school.

[School Laptop]
  • Jenny was still mad at me. I tried to give her a goodbye kiss but she shoved me away.
  • I took the 25 bus to get to school. Getting on a bus, I felt of spasm of rage as some man ran to get on the bus and cut in front of me. Standing practically on his heels, I had to check myself from kicking him in the heels or punching him in the back of the head.
  • It was probably just as well that I didn't attempt to assault the man. It was not like I didn't get a seat and not it wasn't the same as someone cutting off a pedestrian with a fast-moving car.
  • On the bus, I see a woman squatting next to a seat in which her baby was sitting. I wondered why she didn't have the baby sit in her lap.
  • I then saw grandparents get on the bus with a baby. The grandfather walked to a seat, in the middle of the bus, but the grandmother just stood on the steps next to the boarding door. It seemed that she was watching the grandchild playing with the change-box. The grandfather saw this, once he had turned around to look for his wife, and he was indecisive as to whether he should come from his seat to help them. If I was the old man, I would have been cursing the slowness of his wife.
  • Off the bus, I walked down some side streets to get to my school. I enjoy the walk because it feels like I am seeing things that are authentically Chinese and interesting. This morning, I saw two beggars. One was a male with no legs who was not wearing a shirt. He had a full backpack strung on his back and was on the road, not the sidewalk. Having change in my pocket, I thought, as I had already passed, to give him some money but I wasn't interested in making a dramatic gesture of turning around and doing so. My conscience was then assuaged by being able to give an one rmb coin to the second beggar I saw: a woman holding a child in her arm as she sat behind a bowl placed on the sidewalk. She was about twenty meters down the street, on the sidewalk, from the legless man.
  • The next sight I noticed was an old woman who was slowly crossing the street at an angle almost parallel to the street. In China, she really is unremarkable, but she would be a sight in Canada. She was wearing those cloth shoes typical of the older and poorer sorts in China, her back was stooped as she walked, and her face was skeletal, her skin not at all loose.
  • My English Corner topic for this afternoon? Dancing. Dancing, of all things.
  • One more thing I will mention for now. The smog or haze was bad. I hazard to say it is a sunny day because the skies are brown with little hint of blue. Best to say the weather is dirty. [On a rainy day, it is dull.]
  • When I walked into the school, I saw that the posters of the teachers on the walls of the school's main lobby had been changed. The previous poster of me had been on the wall for six or seven years. I hadn't realized that I had been posing for the new poster last week. I am not too enthused with my appearance these days. I look old and bitter.
  • Since I have arrived at school, I have prepped four of my five lessons, put money in Tony's toy fund, did my half-hour of Chinese typing practice, and entered a Don Colacho quote into Dispatches from Akicistan #8.
  • After the English Corner about Dancing, I went to the nearby Xinjiang Restaurant and had a plate of fried noodles. I had ordered a potato and rice dish but I was told that they didn't have any potatoes.

Wednesday [March 12]
[Home Laptop]
  • I took the taxi home last night. I had taken the 118 bus to the stop by Baoli to transfer to the 635. I thought I had arrived in time to catch the 635 but I then saw the bus pull into the stop across the street. I was hesitant to run across the road to board it – the traffic on the road was busy and fast. So, not wanting to wait thirty minutes for the next bus, I waited for a 312 bus which got me halfway home and then caught a taxi.
  • What went wrong? Why did I miss the bus? The first cause was the dump trucks at the construction site at the corner of Zhongshan and Renmin roads putting traffic to a standstill for three to five minutes. Despite this, I thought that I still had enough time when the 118 bus was able to move again. And so as the 118 bus approached Baoli I didn't look for the 635 bus. This inattention might have been the second cause. I just assumed my timing was fine. And when I got to the stop, I may have been distracted by the free wifi I could get there. My spending at least a minute concentrating on my email and not looking for the bus may have been the second cause. So, I can say for sure that the dump trucks and my inattentiveness, on the bus or at the bus stop, caused me to miss the stop.
  • After getting off the 312, I had to catch a taxi driving away from Hui Shan District because the stretch of road I was on didn't appear to have taxis cruising there looking for fares going to the Hui Shan District. The taxis going in the direction of the Hui Shan district already had passengers in them which was why they would have been heading to the Hui Shan District in the first place. When I flagged the driver down, he didn't at first understand my pronunciation of Jiazhouyangfang, hui shan wanda, and hui shan huameida. I was thinking that he didn't want to go back to Hui Shan which is out of the way, far from the city center, and thus a bad place to get fares. But he then understood Hui Shan Wanda. He drove me there and it cost me twenty rmb. From the Wanda, I walked home past the businesses that congregate around the Wanda Plaza mall. I enjoyed the walk and if the weather is good tonight, I make get off the 635 bus – provided I don't miss it again – earlier and walk past the businesses again. Normally, when I got off the 635, I walk home in darkness past grass and closed buildings.
  • In my last class of the evening, there was a woman who was very attractive and looked older than she was. Her appearance was that of a well made up store clerk or even store manager, and so it shocked me to learn that she was in the third year of a Flight Attendant studies program. My first reaction upon learning this cause me to say that she looked like she was already a flight attendant. She really contrasted with another student in the class who was a flight attendant classmate of hers. This classmate had coke-bottle glasses, braces, was slightly plump, and a pimply complexion. The woman and the girl classmate look to have a ten year age difference, and so it seem so incongruous that they acted with similar levels of maturity.
  • Jenny is still mad at me. She gave me the silent treatment last night. Nothing for me to do but wait for the storm to pass and be on my best behavior.
  • I had a student in my seven o'clock class who liked philosophy. She was interested in the classic Chinese philosophers and was unfamiliar with any modern ones. Her favorite western philosopher was Schopenhauer. She was unable to explain to me why she liked him.
  • Schopenhauer is the sort who appeals to young minds. As one gets older, one tends to forget about him.
  • Like last week, I will email this Wednesday file to myself so I can upload it to my school laptop. I will then cut paste and the text to my diary file.
  • I have just washed some dishes. I am trying to get back on Jenny's good side. The chances are that she will say I didn't clean them properly.
  • It is raining outside.
  • I saw there was a new entry on the David Warren blog this morning. It was about a columnist named Needham who wrote for the Globe and Mail. This Needham, unlike the Joseph Needham of the Man Who Loved China book, was a thoroughly decent man in the old-fashioned sense. The columnist Needham was a man of duty to his job and to his family. The columnist Needham was eventually forced out of his columnist job by younger types who saw him as something of a dinosaur with his reactionary views. Warren, who had contact with Needham, after this ousting said Needham became somewhat bitter. Though sympathetic to the Canadian Needham, Warren had to say that one can't be bitter. A commenter to this Warren blog post said that Misanthropy is the pitfall of the Christian. The Christian has to love everyone, even the stupid, fashionable, idiotic, self-righteous, self-important, egotistical, dull, and unimaginative types that comprise 99.9 percent of humanity. That is the hardest cross to bear for the Christian – more than pain and suffering and loneliness.
  • Misanthropy and Christianity are the two things that very much appeal to me? Why?
  • Perhaps I will continue with these thoughts anon.
  • For now, I will email this entry to myself so I can continue it at school. I will report on how my attempting to talk to Jenny went and what I happened to observe on my bus ride downtown.

[School Laptop]
  • I have decided to make this diary blog entry long. My goal is to have ten pages typed using the times roman font size 12.
  • It was raining outside but not heavily so using the umbrella was optional. I decided to use the umbrella.
  • Jenny still seemed annoyed at me, but not as much as yesterday. Yesterday, She was still in bed when I bade her good bye and she was smacking me when I attempted to kiss her. This morning, she merely drew the sheets over her head.
  • What did I see on my way to work? At the bus stop, the Jia Zhou bus stop that is, that I go to most mornings, workers had dug a pit in the lawn that was behind the bus stop. The pit was deep enough so that a wall of bricks one brick high (bricks laid width wise)could be built on its periphery. Inside the ring of bricks, cement was being laid. I suspect that they are building the foundation for a public bicycle rack. They have been building them in the Hui Shan District.
  • Also while waiting, I saw an old man get out of of the back seat of a black sedan that had pulled up near the bus stop. Another passenger in the sedan came out from the front passenger seat, and restrained him. It seemed that he was trying to pull the old man back into the car. I could tell from their manner that it was a friendly sort of restraining like the wrestling that takes place among Chinese when it comes to paying the restaurant bill. This tug-of-war went on for a minute till they shook hands and parted company.
  • I spend my time on the bus listening to the GLOP podcast on my Ipod from and studying chapter 23 of my New Practical Chinese Reader on my Ipad.
  • I did look up from my Chinese study to see that the street cleaners were wearing those traditional looking Asian farm worker hats, the kind that are round, brim-less, and slope downwards uniformly from a pointed center. Or in other words, they look like a very wide and flat cone.
  • On GLOP, I heard mention that Harold Ramis was on cocaine the whole time he was working on the famous film Caddyshack. I wish I hadn't heard that.
  • Ah. The life of the rich and the famous is really the life of the depraved and lucky. Meanwhile, decent guys like the Needham that David Warren knew rate only a mention in an obscure blog.
  • I did hear a new word on the podcast which I will teach to the students every available opportunity. The word is bingeview which describes the phenomenon of watching many consecutive episodes of a series at one time, like for example someone watching a whole season of Game of Thrones in ten hours. My wife bingeviews many series as do many of the students.
  • [Later] My 13:00 class was a no-show. So, I went back to working on my Chinese.
  • [Later] What to eat? I decided on Dico's and their fifteen rmb special. I had had Muslim Noodles yesterday and I had had Niurou Fan (Beef Fried Rice) on Saturday and I had had McDonald's for breakfast.
  • I taught a student named Tiny. I asked him what the opposite of huge was and he hesitated. He was embarrassed when he realized that the answer was his name.

Thursday [March 13]
[School Laptop]
  • My shift today: 10:00 to 21:00.
  • Jenny is still mad at me. I got the silent treatment when I arrived home last evening and then this morning when I tried to talk to her. I was only able to get her to say one thing: “You only love yourself!”
  • This storm (Jenny being mad at me) started on Monday evening.
  • David Warren had another blog entry today. Re-reading the previous one about the journalist named Needham, I realized that its tone was pessimistic as was the latest entry which I read this morning. This morning's entry was about marriage and how the Catholic Church, instead of sticking to its gun about the seriousness of marriage, is being cowardly and trying to accommodate the modern world's attitudes toward it.
  • Do I really only love myself? That charge of Jenny is probably all too true. I suppose I have the left wing habit of thinking that my nice thoughts are sufficient to show my love. But what to do to get on Jenny's good side? I can't talk to her about it. She just issues a series of ultimatums that leave one exasperated and without hope.
  • I read in the Bible earlier this week about Jesus's suffering in the garden on the night before he was arrested and then put to death. One of the disciples, Peter(?) stayed that night with him but ultimately failed in his duty to be with Jesus and fell asleep. In my younger days, I would have wondered how Peter could have done such a thing. As I age, I realize that part of my wonder was a one brought on by hindsight. I also recalled the last night I spent by my father's side (he lived one more night and then died in the middle of the next day.) Despite knowing at the time, the seeming sacredness of being beside my father, I had to deal with the discomforts of the moment: the boredom, the urge to play with the Ipod, and my wanting to sleep. The disciple Peter was dealing with the same sensations. I, like Peter, failed in my duty that night.
  • I taught(?) a student named Tony last evening. This Tony –Tony is popular English name with the students – is very talkative. He told me about how the government is preventing real estate companies from selling apartments at the market rate, which would logically be cheaper than they are now since there are clearly too many empty apartment buildings all about Wuxi. The government (Tony agreed with me on this point) had lent out too much money to developers and thus had paid too much for the apartments. To try and manipulate the real estate prices and get the money back, the government is moving schools out to the areas where the new apartments are being built. Chinese parents will pay to live near a good school. One example of the government doing this is Big Bridge School which is on Xueqian Road, about a block from my school. Two years ago, Big Bridge students who come to our school started to tell me about the school being moved out by Lake Taihu – far away from its present location but near recent real estate development. The Big Bridge School move would seem to be an attempt by the government to manipulate real estate market.
  • It is cold outside. I had to put on my toque and scarf as I made my way to school.
  • Not much to report about my bus ride to work. I took the 602and then transferred to the 118. There did seem to be more people on the bus, as it pulled into my stop, and so I had to take a seat that wasn't at the back of the bus where I usually happily ensconce myself.
  • Last night, I had to catch the 635 bus as it was leaving the downtown. I made sure, unlike Tuesday evening, to look for it, as I rode the 312 to the two stops where I can catch the 635 at Baoli. Seeing the 635 pass while on the 312, I had to wait for the 635 at the stop in front of the Hotel (the leaving the downtown stop), instead of at the stop across the street (the entering downtown stop).
  • Four pages of journalist efforts completed!
  • My 10:00 AM class was with a housewife of what I assumed was a car company executive. She just got her visa to go to Japan.
  • It bugs me that I can't just phone Jenny and talk her. I have become so used to waiting out her silences that I only rarely – like I am now – think about how silly and frustrating it is. It should be so if she could somehow act rationally. As it is, I am scared to take any initiative. Jenny, with her ways, kills it and makes it worse by getting upset about it which then makes it more unlikely that this dream world she wants can ever come close to being achieved.
  • My English Corner will be in the evening. The topic will be Eating.
  • I wonder what my Mom is up to now. I suppose at the very instant that I type this, she is asleep.
  • Talk to the students who get to travel and I reflect on my father who didn't travel at all in his later years.
  • This : 引领群众接受革命传统 教育 translates to To lead the masses to accept the revolutionary tradition. [I am working on translating a very short article I have found in a local magazine. It seems I decided to translate an article where a government official makes a visit to some place. And I never would have thought, judging from its appearance, that the magazine was so Communist.]
  • I hope Jenny stops being mad at me tonight.
  • I had niurou fan, beef fried rice, for lunch. I ate it at the restaurant to where I had brought my Ipad so I could fulfill my daily Shakespeare and Aquinas requirement.
  • 15:00 Class with Steven, a clever boy, who talks a lot. Not a good conversationalist however, his style is monologuish.
  • The sentences that the girls ask me to explain to them. Sheesh! I really need to see the sentence in context. Some sentences taken from their article make no sense.
  • Twenty minutes to Six. What Jenny said this morning still stings.

Friday [March 14]
[School Laptop]
  • My shift today: 11:00 to 21:00.
  • I was just thinking. As I took my daily photo of Tony which I post to my TKIC Wordpress blog, I labeled the entry Thursday Morning Tony. I am going to have to change that later.
  • My concentration on my routine was ruined this morning when I realized that I had forgotten to download the photos for my City Hall English Corner onto my Ipad last night. I had mailed them to myself from work yesterday, and planned on opening the email when I got home later. But when I got home, I immediately washed my feet and face, and went to bed without bothering to open the email on Ipad and download the photos.
  • I realized my forgetfulness when I was on the bus. Instead of concentrating fully on my Chinese text, I was thinking of what I could do to get Wifi and be able to download those photos. Unfortunately at school, there is no Wifi. The nearby 85 degree bakery has a sign saying they have complimentary Wifi but it turned out to be bunk because while I did lock onto a signal there, I wasn't able to open any web pages or get email.
  • This quickly going to bed upon arriving home from work is not something I usually do. But with Jenny giving me the silent treatment, I thought I would just be quiet in my own way.
  • As for Jenny, she did speak to me today, and she did answer one of my questions. When giving her a going-to-work goodbye kiss, she didn't throttle me, so things were looking up as far as being in the doghouse was concerned.
  • One of my favorite podcasts is the Sunday gospel program that I get from Vatican Radio. It presents a reading of the gospel presented in a dramatic fashion and is interspersed with poetry readings from great poets modern and old. I listened to two of the episodes this morning.
  • Sophia, my 635 bus mate, was on the bus last night. I was able to ask her why she was working at an other school and she told me that she preferred the teaching she was doing there which was more about teaching English writing than English speaking.
  • I was thinking that I should have yielded her my seat last night. She looked weary leaning against a pole.
  • In fact, I spend a lot of the time, when on the bus, thinking that I should be yielding my seat to people because I feel a little guilty for always being so successful at ensuring that I get a seat.
  • I took the 25 bus to work this morning. A pretty woman stood near me who I stole glances at till an older woman stood between her and me; and so not wanting to notice the older woman and feel compelled to yield her my seat, I concentrated on the Chinese text I had up on my Ipad.
  • I say I concentrated but I really should say that I stared. As I mentioned earlier, I was thinking about how I was to get Wifi. I was actually thinking of getting off at the bus stop near Baoli where I can get Wifi, but it seemed too risky. I tried 85 degree instead.
  • I had a good turnout at my English Corner last night, or at least much more than I am accustomed to. I made jokes about how I was glad to see some old faces having worried that they might have been on that flight from Malaysia that had gone missing.
  • This morning, I have an English Corner at City Hall. The photos I forgot to download are meant to be used at that English Corner. I was going to talk about parts of cities with the students and so I had some photos to show them.
  • I am rushing to get things I want to do done before I head off the City Hall with Dwight.
  • [Later] There were only four people at the City Hall English Corner. What a shame!
  • I had lunch at McDonald's: the bacon and potato burger.
  • After the city hall English Corner and having prepared for my classes this evening, I have not much to do but my daily projects. I have looked at 575 flashcards, typed a page from the New Practical Chinese Reader, read an article of Aquinas, read two acts of All's Well that Ends Well, typed about fifteen characters into a database, and I am about to try and understand this article I have been reading in a magazine. I mentioned the magazine yesterday.
  • As we (Dwight and I) rode back from City Hall, we saw lots and lots of apartment buildings.
  • I was trying to figure out how to make a database program with Python.
  • The 701th to 800th flashcards I was working with were difficult. I was only able to identify 49 of them on the first try.

Saturday [March 15]
[School Laptop]
  • My shift today: 10:00 to 18:00.
  • After I arrived home last night, it seemed like I was still in the doghouse with Jenny. She didn't say anything to me.
  • I really haven't talked to Tony much since Monday. He has been asleep when I have arrived home in the evening. In the mornings, he doesn't say much to me.
  • A girl named Ritz, who I gave a package of Ritz Cheese Sandwich Crackers to, told me that she ordered a box of them on Taobao, the popular Chinese Internet Shopping Site. If she really likes them, she told me she would buy more.
  • One of my classes last night was a waste of time. I had a junior high school student who didn't want to be there. His life, from what I could make out, was boring to the extreme: homework and classes. Of course, if he took the right attitude to this work, it would pay off for him in the future.
  • On the bus this morning, I read an actual book instead of an e-book on my Ipad. The book was a Chinese grammar and workbook that I bought all those years ago when I was preparing to move to China. I felt I needed to review the grammar in the book. I have been concentrating so much on learning characters that I am now at the point where I can recognize many characters in a sentence but not have any idea of the sentence's meaning.
  • I listened to a John Derbyshire podcast as I got read to go to work.
  • I could say I had two breakfasts. At Casa K, I had a bowl of oatmeal, an apple, a package of the Ritz Cheese Crackers, some dry meat, and a cup of tea; downtown, I got a egg sausage burger with hash brown from McDonald's.
  • [Later] It is lunchtime. I can say that I have had two classes. They were both one-on-one, nothing difficult to do, though the second student I had to chastise because she hadn't been paying attention to what I had just taught her. Five minutes after teaching her the proper way to answer the question What do you do?, she told me she didn't understand the question. Flabbergasted, I ended up drilling the answer into her. Five times I asked the question; five times she answered it in the proper manner.
  • For lunch, I will eat a can of oranges that I have had in my backpack all week.

Sunday [March 16]
[School Laptop]
  • I am doing an extra shift today: 10:00 to 17:00.
  • Yesterday evening, I meet Jenny & Tony and Ling Ling & Jerry at a restaurant in the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza. Tony was happy to see me and immediately asked if he could play with my Ipad. I let him and justified it to myself by thinking how he hadn't actually played with it since last Saturday.
  • I drank two beers instead of my usual one for dinner. I was thirsty and bored.
  • Afterward, I went to the DQ in Wanda to get an Oreo Blizzard. The women and children went to this honeymoon dessert place to get their desserts. Tony & I left the Mall early because Tony wanted to go home early and play on the computer. But before we left the Mall, we took a look at the spring clothing on the shelves at Uni-Qlo, a chain store that reminds me of the Gap. At Uni-Qlo, they sell Takara TOMY t-shirts which Tony likes very much.
  • At home, I played with my Apple TV device and played Real Racing Three on the Ipad. Tony played Train Simulator on my computer.
  • Was affectionate with Jenny, hmmm hmmmm, during the night.
  • This morning, I had two breakfasts again. At home, I had a cup of tea and four slices of bread; before going to school, I had coffee, an egg sausage sandwich, and two hash browns.
  • On the bus, read the second chapter of my Basic Chinese Grammar and Workbook.
  • At school, I got a lot of things to do. My priorities are classes, this diary, printing off next week's todo list, emailing myself these files, and looking for good B2B sites on the 'net.
  • And of course, I do want to get some Chinese study in.
  • Yesterday, I had a class with a girl who is learning Cello. In the morning, her father drove her to Shanghai to have a lesson. The other girl in class was learning to play the wujin, a harp like instrument that instead of being stood up, is laid on a table top or on legs.
  • [Later] Lunchtime. I am eating 牛肉饭(Niurou Fan or Beef Fried Rice) at my desk after having executed a perfect order-take-out-and-then-pick-it-up-operation. The restaurant is near my school and so I walk into it, say 牛肉饭 and then say 我去买东西 (I go buy things.) I then walk to a small convenience, buy a drink, and return to pick up my rice which is usually waiting for me to be picked up.
  • In my first morning class, I had a coincidence and a near-coincidence. A student Jenny was born on December 24th – the same birthday as me. The other student Grace was born on April 13th – the date before my mother's birthday.
  • I gave Jenny her English name. She had a Chinese name of Jin and that was the only English name I knew of that could approximate it.
  • People in the West who are born on December 24th are an aggrieved minority. December 24thers are probably more aggrieved that the American Negro and even more aggrieved that a white person speaking the truth.
  • In my second class, I asked the students if today in Wuxi was an ideal day for a picnic. It being a nice early spring day, I was expecting the students to answer in the affirmative. But this one student, a male high school student named Unicorn, said that today wasn't a good day because of all the smog. So I then asked the students if there wasn't so much smog today would it be a good day for a picnic. Another student, another male high school student who likes to always buttons his shirt up to the very top button, said that there were too many people in Wuxi. Saying okay in an exasperated manner, I then asked the students if there wasn't so much smog and weren't so many people today in Wuxi, would it be a good day to have a picnic. One of those two students then said that there weren't many facilities in Wuxi to have picnics. “How about this?” I asked, “Would it be a good day for a picnic if we were in Canada and had today's weather?” Unicorn said that he didn't like going to picnics. “Okay!” I then said. “We are in Canada, Unicorn can't come with us, and the weather is like today in Wuxi. Would TODAY BE A GOOD DAY FOR A PICNIC?!?!?”
  • [Later] One more class to teach! Not much to report from the two classes I have taught since lunch.
  • I will now mail the contents of this file to myself so I can continue on with my blogging when I get home tonight.

Monday [March 17]
[School Laptop]

  • I didn't continue on with my blogging last night. After work, I met up with my wife and son downtown. We then took the bus to the Wanda Plaza where we had dinner and did some shopping. When we got home, we played with our devices. Tony wanted to use my laptop to play Train Simulator which meant I could do no blogging.
  • Today, the high is to be 23 degrees Celsius. I won't be wearing a toque, scarf, or jacket today.
  • I have typed about 81/4 pages of blogging at font size 12!
  • I have spent an hour and a half going over this entry. There are probably still many mistakes.

1 comment:

Harry Moore said...

A Canadian man who prefers the life of self-imposed exile featured in last night's episode of the documentary "I Shouldn't Be Alive". He, Jordan Nicurity, decided to settle in the fairly quiet environment of Hornby Island, because he "likes small numbers of people", he explained.
Went off a cliff near Vancouver Island when out alone, fell off, broke his pelvis. yet, dragged himself back to the top after four days! Totally bushwhacked.

Or read "Lone Sailor", by Jon Sanders, the lone sailor from Perth, Western Australia, who circumnavigated the world three times, continuously!,i.e., he intended to do two circles, but then liked the trip so much he decided to go around the globe one more time! all by his lonesome, in the early 1980s.

These people are comfortable with their own company, and in those two instances, went through horrendous ordeals without another creature to help them.

Personally, I have no desire to exile myself, to the extent that those two guys did. But, I love the choice, that is, the freedom to make the choice, of when and where I choose to be gregarious, or, alone. And God gave us that ability, that freedom - to make that choice.