Monday, July 14, 2014

Diary: July 8 to July 14, 2014

  • Andis is rather distracted these days on account of it being summer.
  • He means to answer a question about television series.
  • Andis downloads and watches some Seinfeld episodes.
  • Andis is surprised when he reads the score of the Germany – Argentina game.
  • Andis has some complaints about the bus stops near the Yanqiao Metro Station.
  • Andis has complaints about WC kickball.
  • Andis decides to take the 602 bus to the Xi Bei Canal Metro Station.
  • Andis runs into 635 Sophia on the Wuxi Metro.
  • On Monday, Andis sees some ominous things on the Wuxi Metro.
  • Andis watches the 1973 movie Badlands.
  • Andis expresses a great dislike of remote controlled toy cars.
  • Andis spends Monday with his son Tony.
  • Andis goes to the Mao Ye Mall for the first time.
  • Andis decides that he will say kickball instead of soccer or football.

Tuesday [July 8]
[School Laptop]
  • This week's shift: 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 wanted to ride the subway today. Not to be.
  • I walked to the Yanqiao Subway Station. The walking I that I had to do made another ten minutes seem not such a big deal.
  • I downloaded a bunch of Seinfeld episodes (Season 2) and some movies (Ida, King's Row) on my day off.
  • I suppose I should answer a question over the next week. I forgot to last week. I think I will talk about my favorite television series of all time.
  • The first one is the Civilisation series done by Kenneth Clark. It was only thirteen episodes but I have watched it all at least six times. I never fail to watch it without getting something new out of it.

Wednesday [July 9]
[School Laptop]
  • I didn't have my glasses on when I checked the score of the Germany – Brazil WC semifinal match. The Brazilians definitely had one goal. The German number was blurry. When I put my glasses on, it was a case of oh my!
  • I don't want to run into any Germans today. They would be insufferable.
  • People who annoy me. I will accuse them of being Brazilian. Oh! Want to cry! Brazil boy! He he he he he!
  • If I owned a pub, I would go on an Wuxi Expat forum and tell any Brazilians in Wuxi that they could cry in beers at my pub for half price today.
  • Today's shift: 13:00 to 21:00.
  • I had a Chinese class this morning. The vocabulary was easy for me. However, my tones. 我的声调!不好! 很不好!
  • I took the subway this morning. For the first time, I pulled out something and tried to read it.
  • One thing I really hate about the Yanqiao Subway Station is the lack of nearby bus stops. After getting off the bus 602, I have to walk about 300 meters to get to the station. After getting off the subway, I have to walk a little further to get to the nearest bus stop. Two times in the past week, I have gotten off and was making my way to the bus stop when the bus I was wanting to take would come by while I was still too far away from the bus stop to be able to try and hoof it to catch it. Hopefully, this will be rectified.
  • The bank where I could usually do a quick in-and-out to put money on my bus card has had long lineups the last two times I have gone. Yesterday, the lineup was so long that I decided to put 200 rmb on my card instead of my normal 100.
  • Rare readers may remember my reporting seeing a little boy, in defiance of his mother, pissing right at the top of the stairs at a Nanchan Subway Station entrance. I told my wife about this and she warned me that if I talked about the incident too much, I would have the locals thinking I was denigrating them.... Guilty as charged
  • Yesterday, I published last week's blog diary using my Ipad and found it quite convenient. My VPN on my laptop needs to be updated by my tech guy. Unfortunately, I am working evenings the rest of the week.
  • Study Adviser Edith has not taken the subway yet. Her attitude is that she has taken the subway in Nanjing and all subways are the same.

July 10 [Thursday]
[School Laptop]
  • Last night, as I was waiting at the train station, I tried to type the characters for Yanqiao,堰桥, on my Ipod. Dumb me, I saw this: 往堰桥, and I thought the first character was “yan” when really it was “wang.” means towards.
  • I got this morning in time to catch the extra time and the penalty kicks in the Holland – Argentina WC semifinal. I am glad I didn't watch the game from the kickoff. From what I read, the first ninety minutes of the game had few scoring chances.
  • This match shows why Americans are right to loathe soccer. In the biggest games, nothing seems to happen. I lost any interest in rooting for a team to win, and I found myself hoping that someone would score. Typically today's game was decided on penalty kicks.
  • It was said the Brazilians lost the game because they were actually taking offensive initiative early in the game. But soccer typically awards the teams that counter attack well. Germany scored their first two goals because of this and Brazil folded after that. Perhaps, that is why the Dutch and Argentines played so conservatively.
  • Perhaps the Dutch were unaware that the object of penalty kicks is not to hit the goalie with the ball.
  • The Brazil – Holland third place match will probably be more entertaining than the final.
  • I took the 602 to get to the Xibei Canal subway station, the next station down the line number one from the Yanqiao station. The 602 bus does there what I wish it would do at the Yanqiao station: it stops next to the subway entrance. At the Yanqiao, you have to walk about 300 meters from the 602 stop.
  • I have watched five episodes of Seinfeld. Why? Why not? Something to do. Yada yada.
  • A student tells me the following story. In 1976, friends of his mother take the train to Tang Shan at the time of the earthquake. They tried to find a hotel to stay in but they had no luck so they tried to sleep at the train station till staff kicked them out. Walking away from the station, following the tracks, they felt a great shaking. They looked back to see that the train station had collapsed.
  • I am scheduled to teach a student named Orange.
  • Last night, Tony was watching Seinfeld with me. He didn't care much for Kramer but he laughed aloud at something that the Elaine character was doing.

July 11 [Friday]
[School Laptop]
  • I work 11:00 to 21:00 today.
  • I took the 602 to Boston Glory to catch the train.
  • There weren't too many passengers on the train.
  • I have two classes with a student named Unicorn today.
  • Outside it was very humid. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a heavy rain shower sometime this afternoon.
  • Otherwise, I don't have much to say for myself today.
  • Oh yeah. I did change the wallpaper on my Ipad Home Screen. A Jewish site had this photo of a man with an index finger pointed upward against his lip in a sh sound. I had to capture that image.
  • David Warren's site is currently unavailable. Did he pull the plug on the site or was he the victim of malicious leftists?

Saturday [July 12]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 18:00.
  • Humid. Humid. Humid.
  • Taking the 602 to the Subway Station (Xibei), I saw the aftermath of a collision between a taxi and a motorcycle. The motorcyclist sat on the pavement, near the left-over hulk of his cycle, clutching onto his leg. In the midst of debris was the torn-off bumper of the taxi.
  • I was thinking. It is only slander if it is not true....
[Home Laptop]
  • At the Nanchan Subway Station I saw my former 635 bus mate Sophia. I had wondered if I would ever see her again what with the subway being so big. Last time I saw her, she told me she was pregnant. Today, I told her that she didn't look pregnant – I saw no evidence of a tummy. She told me that she had experienced morning sickness and has a craving for sour food.
  • When Sophia has the baby, she will be going to Henan province (or is it Hunan) where her mother-in-law will help her look after the baby.
  • Sophia and I sat together on the ride to the Yanqiao station. Currently living at the Olympic apartments, she loves the subway. It is in a perfect location for her. She wondered if it was trouble for me to walk to Casa K, it being further from the subway station than the 635 bus stop where I used to disembark.. I told her it wasn't and I needed the exercise anyway.
  • Getting off the subway, passengers can either take the escalator or the stairs to go down and then out of the station. Sophia thought I was crazy to want to take the stairs. I don't like being in a crowd, do like being one of the few to take the stairs, do want some exercise, and I did in fact get downstairs faster then Sophia did. In fact, I got down stairs so much quicker than her that I had to wait a minute for her to join up with me.
  • When I arrived home, Jenny was taking Tony to Tae Kwan Do class. So I eat some cold fried rice and fired up the Apple TV machine with which I finished watching this movie Badlands, a 1973 movie starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek. Badlands was based on the real life killing spree of one Charles Starkwater. I liked it. Its violence was subdued by 2014 standards. I loved its great scenic shots. The acting was minimal and effective. But it did seem to make mass murder seem like a fun adventure. And at the end Sheen's character was treated like a celebrity. Flown back to his native state, the movie ends in the clouds...

Sunday [July 13]
[Ipad Mini]
  • No shifts today.
  • The k family goes downtown for a buffet lunch at the jinling hotel.  Tony didn't like that  we had to take the 25 bus to get there.  He wanted to take the metro.
  • Lunch was fine.
  • Jenny said that I am eating less but getting fatter.  Happened to my Dad in his middle age too.
  • We then went to the Baoli Carrefour to get some margarine.  Tony wanted to play on the kids paddle boats in the mall courtyard.  So Jenny did the shopping by herself while I watched the Tony.
  • To satisfy Tony, I and he took the metro home, catching it at train station.  Walking from the bus stop to the metro stop, I noticed the walking surface around the train station had become very uneven.  Not being paved but tiled, the surface seems like a pile of slightly shaken dominoes.
  • The train arrived at platform just as we did,  we got on quickly a center car, not one at the ends and had a hard time finding a seat.
  • Someone we know bought Tony a remote controlled operated toy car.  If Hitler had a kid, I wouldn't buy his kid a remote control toy car.  They are the most annoying things.  This toy car hits the wall of our apartment very hard.
[Home Laptop]
  • I been watching some Johnny Carson, Dean Martin and Foster Brookes videos courtesy Youtube. They were good for some chuckles.
  • Why can't all drunks be like Foster Brookes? The ones I encounter in real life are always pathetic.
  • Barack Obama, in a speech he made recently, tried to refute charges that he was not bi-partisan by praising some things done by Republicans Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon. So, it would seem that he only liked dead Republicans.
  • Kickball is a good name for the sport that is usually called soccer or football.
  • I satisfied my David Warren craving by reading his piece about the Germany – Brazil 7 – 1 match on the Catholic Thing. The Germans, said Warren, bestowed a blessing on Brazil. Perhaps the defeat will make the country less obsessed with kickball.

Monday [July 14]
[Ipad Mini]
  • I have taken Tony on the train.
  • On the Wuxi Metro, I saw the red hammer and sickle flag on a wall by the driver's door.
  • On the Metro video screen, I saw Jimmy Kimmel hosting a kid's round table.  Why are the Chinese still harping on that?
  • Anyway, two evil signs.
  • I have taken Tony to the Moi Ye Department Store.  Bought him a toy.  Jenny won't be pleased.
[Home Laptop]
  • No shifts today.
  • I didn't hear the alarm that was to wake me so I could watch the World Cup Men's Kickball final between the Jerries and the Argies. I had predicted a zero – zero tie with penalty kicks and I was but eight minutes from being correct when Germany scored.
  • Why not call Germany Germmany? The Germ-mans are full of germs. Ha ha.

  • From the toy department of Moi Ye, where I typed into my Ipad, we went to Burger King to satisfy a craving I had. As soon as I satisfied my need for a Whopper, I felt guilt and remorse. For I had given in and the reward was pitiful, and now Burger King seems like an ordinary and depressing and like the Jack in the Box I once went to in Washington state.
  • We wondered around Moi Ye, a cavernous mall that is still under construction and full of lots of empty store space. The only reason I would want to return to it is to try out the ice rink. Yes, it has an ice rink.
  • I will say that the mall is easily accessible by the Metro and that it had a tank full of sharks.
  • Then, Tony & I went to Taihu Square. The walk to it from the Mall was ghastly because of the humidity and the appalling appearance of the area which was still under construction and was thus full of trash, dirt, and musty smells.
  • Like last Monday, Tony spent an hour driving the toy cars around the square. The weather was hot which meant that Tony had the square to himself. I hated the heat but I was glad to not see any other children.
  • Local children, who Tony did run into today, were asking Tony if he was a foreigner.
  • Tony wanted to go the Wuxi Museum where I then discovered that I had only seen half the exhibits last week. On the other wing of the building, there were technology exhibits which Tony quite liked. We spend two hours there in air-conditioned settings. Tony talked to the museum workers in Chinese while I sat mute.
  • I will answer my television question next week. If I remember.

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