Monday, June 23, 2014

Diary: June 17 to June 23, 2014

  • Andis watches the WC.
  • Andis gets Wifi in his office at school.
  • Andis thinks up reasons to keep to himself.
  • Andis has a thought about what is happening in Iraq.
  • Andis watches the last episode of the latest season of Game of Thrones.
  • Andis sees an e-biker run a red light.
  • Andis has a student tell him that the high school teachers in Boston are lazy.
  • Andis vows to not watch the WC anymore.
  • Andis offers opinions on pragmatists.
  • Andis watches the WC anyway despite his harsh thoughts about the manliness of soccer players
  • Andis has a student tell him that the Chinese political system has to change.
  • Andis reports a rumor that the opening of the Wuxi subway, which he hears will open on June 28, will be delayed.
  • Jenny takes Tony to Hangzhou for a photo shoot.
  • Andis goes to the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza on its first anniversary.
  • Andis buys new glasses.
  • Andis & Jenny eat at the Wuxi Blue Frog.

Tuesday [June 17]
[Home Laptop]
  • Rain. And so I dread going to school for today's 13:00 to 21:00 shift.
  • I read that a soccer fan in Suzhou died because of sleep deprivation brought on by watching World Cup football games.
  • I haven't been able to see any WC games since the England Italy clash because of the time zone difference. All the games are being played between midnight and 8 AM Wuxi time.
  • I am glad to see that the USA beat Ghana.
  • These are the teams that I will cheer for in the WC: USA, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Croatia.
[School Laptop]
  • I got Wifi at school! I got Wifi at school! Jenny gave me this USB device which installs in my laptop here at school and creates a Wifi signal that my Ipad and Ipod can pick up.
  • The first thing I do with the Wifi is communicate with Jenny using the We Chat App.
  • This week's shifts: Tuesday 13:00 to 21:00, Wednesday 13:00 to 21:00, Thursday 10:00 to 21:00, Friday 11:00 to 21:00, and Saturday 10:00 to 18:00.
  • Tony & Jenny are going to Hangzhou this weekend for a photo shoot.
  • Not much to say for myself. I am extremely distracted and I am finding it hard to stay focused. And my co-workers are talking shit.
  • Almost forgot. What question to ask myself this week. Reasons to keep to myself as much as possible?
  • Reasons to keep to myself as much as possible? I have witnessed what it is like when people get together...

Wednesday [June 18]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 13:00 to 21:00.
  • Chinese lesson this morning. I still have trouble with the second and fourth tones. So I now try to raise my eyebrows when saying the second tone and stamp my foot when saying the fourth.
  • What is happening in Iraq shows the tyranny of good intentions. It should be a warning to those who pat themselves on the back for believing they have good intentions. Bush's intentions in invading Iraq were good. Obama, a god to those who think they have good and noble intentions that can't be questioned, abandoned Bush's good intentions. Let that be known. Now, Barabbas may have been right to do so; for foreign Policy is a tricky thing for America, especially because it has so much power. But good intentions can also cause lots of damage in domestic affairs as well. So those Leftists who mock Bush are mocking themselves.
  • If I wrote an English text book for ESL students, what would I do? Hard to say. So many factors that I would consider and so I wouldn't be able to say anything about it in one sentence. All I can say is that it really depends on the students
  • Reasons to keep to myself as much as possible? I am married, I have a child, and Western culture is a cesspool.

Thursday [June 19]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 21:00.
  • Watched most of the Holland – Australia match last night. Australia played pretty well and in the first half of the game, they seemed to control the majority of the flow of play. But Holland can score goals.
  • When the Dutch scored to take a 3-2 lead in the second half, there was an half-hour to play in the match, but it was also about 1:30 AM. So, I decided to go to sleep and found out this morning that I hadn't missed any more goal-scoring.
  • I watched the game on my Ipad using the C-Box app.
  • I should have mentioned the following: 1) I watched the final episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones on Tuesday. 2) On Tuesday, I also saw an e-biker run a red light while coming awfully close to me. I was crossing the intersection near Casa Kaulins on a green pedestrian signal when the e-bike, going at full speed, swerved to avoid me and raced through the intersection as cars, that had stopped for a red, were beginning to move on the green. It was a risky maneuver for the e-biker because the cars coming from opposite directions gave him an Indiana-Jones style shrinking opening to get through. I stared hard at e-biker, a man in his twenties, as he rode away from the intersection, and noticed that he seemed to look behind himself sheepishly, possibly on account of the close call he had just had. Maneuvers such as that performed by the e-biker on Tuesday are very common. If I was looking for it, I would see the maneuver every time I took the bus to school.
  • Reasons to keep to myself as much as possible? I am becoming more and more of an misanthrope. Also (I say this now in case I forget to say this tomorrow.), I am nothing important, so there is no need to thrust myself on people.
  • I enjoyed the fourth season of Game of Thrones. The final episode of the season was full of surprises. I am glad to see that Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf character wasn't executed. I found his murder of Tywin Lannister to not make sense. How could he get into Tywin's privy so easily? Yet, I am glad it happened, although in a way I will miss Tywin's authoritative sounding villainy.
  • What do I hate about the series? The Zombies. If the writers wrote off the characters with a zombie apocalypse, it would make me happy. What appeals to most people who watch the show is its castles, knights, kings and queens aspects.
  • With the Wifi at school, I couldn't get email on my devices until I realized that I could get my email using the Ipad Safari browser. Having found this out, I have just emailed some photos to my Ipad so that I can show them to students in a salon class tonight.

Friday [June 20]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 11:00 to 21:00.
  • I didn't watch any WC last night. Watching the Australia – Netherlands game the evening before ruined me for yesterday. I am afraid that I will be watching highlights for the rest of the tourney – live games are out of the question.
  • That student who went to a Boston high school tells me that the teachers there were lazy. He told me that when he tried ask them a question at the end of the day, the teachers were already out the door. Ask me tomorrow!!! If teaching was a calling for those people, they would never be doing that. [I admit I do that all the time – go out the door to catch my bus home.]
  • I finished watching Blazing Saddles, the Mel Brooks Western. It seemed dated to me.
  • I finished reading the Shakespeare Play Coriolanus last evening. A man versus the mob play. I take the man's side.
  • Next Shakespeare play that I will read: Cymbeline.
  • The World Cup is just a bunch of homosexuals in shorts trying to put a ball in a net. Soccer is just a kid's game that my seven-year son would take a passing interest in for three minutes. Why do grown adults insist on turning it into an organized fetish?
  • I am having an email exchange with a person who labels himself a pragmatist. A pragmatist is someone who doesn't bring a dish to a potluck. The potluck in this case being a potluck of ideas.

Saturday [June 21]
[School Laptop]
  • I am in slow motion this week as can be witnessed from my paucity of blogging so far.
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 18:00.
  • Classes seem to drag and so, during each one, I look at my watch at least fifteen times expecting time to go faster.
  • Tony & Jenny are to spend some time in Hangzhou today. Tony is posing for some advertising. I will meet them at 7:30 tonight at the train station.
  • Costa Rica beat Italy 1-0. It seemed a surprising result.
  • Reasons to keep to myself as much as possible? I will have to think of two reasons today since I forgot to answer this question yesterday. 1)The world is full of pragmatists who are cool with everything no matter how messy it is and who go on happily fucking up the world. 2) People have a habit of boring each other. I bore others most certainly as they bore me.
  • It is also raining today.
  • I finished reading President Me by Adam Carolla. He comes across as a self-righteous libertarian. Not that there is anything completely wrong with this, for a lot of his criticisms are correct. His book is also very funny at points. Sure. Elect him president. If only he was more religious and less pornographic.

Sunday [June 22]
[Home Laptop]
  • I am blogging at home which means no shift at school today.
  • Yesterday at school, an adult student, who is an engineer and who frequently makes trips to Japan, told me that China needs to change its political system and its educational system. He expressed these opinions to me without fear. though we silently mentioned 6/4.
  • Also yesterday at school, six students booked but only one showed up for an afternoon salon class.
  • After school yesterday, I took the bus to the Baoli Starbucks where I had coffee, finished a book I was reading about Ancient Greece, worked on some exercises in an English grammar book, and just passed the time till I was to meet Jenny & Tony as they got off the train from Hangzhou.
  • In Hangzhou yesterday, Tony participated in a photo shoot with three other mixed-blood children, two of whom were living in Shanghai and one who was living in Hangzhou.
  • Jenny also told me the following little details about the shoot:
  • One of the mixed blood children was a girl was from Denmark.
  • There was a boy from England.
  • Tony and these children were all wearing expensive clothes for next season.
  • Tony did well posing but became bored at the end when he was forced to stay longer than the other kids who got done early and could leave.
  • Tony enjoyed the four hours of train riding to and from Hangzhou and Wuxi. Jenny said he spent his time staring out the window.
  • I walked from Baoli to the High Speed Train exit area. Usually I ride past the area in a bus. Yesterday's walk did nothing to disprove the adage that China doesn't look so good close up. I walked through grime, bad smells, and dilapidation. Uggh.
  • Reunited at 7:30 PM, the K family took a taxi from the train station to the Wanda Plaza.
  • The Plaza was very crowded for its first anniversary. For the day, the plaza offered many items at fifty percent off, had the stores open all night and held many other promotions. Funny how on the Monday, when Tony & I went to see a movie, the plaza was deserted. Yesterday, I had to hold onto Tony's hand for fear of getting separated from him.
  • We were able to get seats easily enough, however, at the Mr. PIZZA. It being past the normal dinner time.
  • I watched the Argentina – Iran game which was played after midnight, Wuxi time. In the scoreless first half, Argentina had the run of play and had ball possession over 70 percent of the time but couldn't get any substantial scoring chances. Iran either defended well or Argentina was lacking finish. In the second half, Iran had the majority of quality scoring chances because Argentina started to press, allowing Iran opportunities for some counter-attacks. On one of these counter-attacks, Iran could have been awarded a penalty. On another, a header sailed not too far above the bar. It looked like the game was going to end a scoreless tie because Argentina was frustratingly, to its fans, being easily thwarted by the Iranian defense. But then Messi had a brilliant kick curving the ball around the Iranian defense and away from the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper. Till then, I had been wandering what was so wonderful about this Messi. Except for some missed opportunities off set-pieces, he was invisible in the game.
  • I had heard that the Subway was to begin operation on June 28th. With less than a week away from that date, I was becoming excited. But I have just heard that the opening may be delayed because of a sinking problem discovered at the end of the line near the City Hall in the south (My stop is north at the the other end of the line.). Some engineer told this to a taxi driver who in turn told it to an acquaintance of mine in Hui Shan.
  • I have heard that the land in Wuxi was soft, what with its elevation, which is not too many meters above sea level, and all the canals that run through it. A few years ago in this blog, I published a rumor that the Moresky360 building had a dangerous tilting problem because of the softness of the land around its base. So the news is not quite shocking to me. It does make me wonder about the powers that be. When I first heard about the plans for a subway in Wuxi, I wondered how tunneling could take place in such a moist underground.
  • Reasons to keep to myself as much as possible? I distrust mobs, crowds, and groups.

Monday [June 23]
[Home Laptop]

  • In two months, it will be Tony's seventh birthday.
  • In three days, Tony's summer vacation begins.
  • No summer vacation for AKIC.
  • No shifts today.
  • Yesterday afternoon, the K family went downtown. We first went to an eyeglass seller at Houxixi. The place we went was the place where I bought my first ever pair of eyeglasses. From what I remembered, the place was a veritable eyeglass emporium. There were lots of merchants selling lots of glasses. Yesterday, the place seemed to have gone downhill. Half the stalls had been shut down and the whole building was dirty and showing signs of neglect.
  • It just goes to show how development works in Wuxi. Something new shopping center is built and the old places just go to shit. The retail business is shuffled without being increased.
  • The glasses I bought yesterday are great for reading. However if I am not looking at my Ipad or some book with small Chinese characters, I have to take the glasses off because everything more than a foot away becomes a blur...
  • I suppose I should be wearing bifocals. My father did, I recall.
  • From the glass shop, we went to the Xinhua book store so Tony could buy an Ultraman book. I was almost regretting my eyeglass purchase because I realized when perusing the shelves that my new glasses were only good for looking at things closeup. The books, the shelves and the signs were a completer blur if I wasn't reading a book.
  • We then went to the Hen Long Plaza which is across the street from the Xinhua Bookstore. We had coffee at the Starbucks there. After finishing my coffee, I took Tony to the toy area where we hung out till Jenny joined up with us. Note to myself: Tony wants to buy the number two monster from the Bai Dan Ultraman toy collection. After Jenny joined her two boys, the K family wandered around the Hen Long Plaza. We saw the perfect bicycle for Tony at the Hummer shop. Unfortunately, it was 2500 rmb and very out of our budget. Tony would have to do two photo shoots before he could get that bike.
  • At the end of our wanderings, we found the Blue Frog Restaurant (it is at the Hen Long plaza but not in the mall area) and had supper. Jenny really liked the place and the food, and she wants to go back. I thought she would have written the place off as too expensive.
  • There was one other foreigner in the Blue Frog who kept looking our way.
  • I like the food at Blue Frog. I had Grilled Salmon Sliders and two large glasses of Heineken draft. Jenny had a lamb platter. Tony had chicken fingers and chips.
  • It was my second time at a Blue Frog. In 2013, Tony and I were taken to one in Shanghai by the eventual 2013 Shanghai Expat of the Year Paul Rudkin.
  • We walked past some downtown metro stop entrances. Looking down the stairs, I saw dust and garbage from construction. It would seem that the Subway won't start operation on June 28.
  • We took the 635 bus home.
  • I phoned my mom last night. I learned that my nephew Kyle is now working in Australia for a month and that Mom may have to get cataract surgery.
  • I couldn't be prouder of my nephew. The kid not even twenty yet and he is able to get a work visa in Australia. It's proof that he isn't a BC druggie.
  • This morning, I saw a Wuxi Metro train running. Maybe, there is a chance that the subway will start operation on June 28. We will just have to wait and see.
  • Reasons to keep to myself as much as possible? Pleasant as places like the Blue Frog can be, I have to avoid going to them. I have to think of Tony's future. Unless going out can advance Tony's cause, I shouldn't be going to pubs. They are too expensive.
  • Guns and Cars, both of which kill, are apples and oranges says the Left. Well by that logic, rape and murder are apples and oranges too. Sure they are both crimes....
  • I finished watching Lawrence of Arabia for the umpteenth time, and yet there are parts of it that I seemed not to have paid close attention to in the previous viewings. Usually I have watched the first half or so of the movie. The scene with the Turkish general depresses me.
  • This evening, I took Tony to the Wanda Plaza. Having a late dinner at the McDonalds there is becoming a father & son tradition.
  • Tony took a spill while riding his push-bike on pavement. He wailed so loud that Jenny could hear him a hundred meters away.
  • I saw an ass-hat Wuxi driver take a corner,, where pedestrian traffic is heavy, near the Wanda Plaza at 60 kmh.


Anonymous said...

Another good read Andis....
Life goes on!

Lynn Yao said...

Where is your bar in Wuxi?

Andis Kaulins said...

Where is my bar in Wuxi?

I don't have a bar or a pub.

Trying to stay on the proper side of civilization, I rarely go to them.