Monday, May 2, 2016

April 2016 Notes

Another short entry. The history teaching gig at the high school ends in late June.


Early in April, the Kaulins Family China drove to Jenny's hometown to observe the Qing Ming Festival.

The drive out to Xinjie wasn't as bad as the one we experienced during the Spring Festival. Traffic did slow down by Jiangyin, but not so much. However, we did see a driver, in the jam, who was incredibly impatient. His swerving and weaving through traffic was of a person who was desperately impatient to the point of having lost his reason. When there wasn't a space for him to try to move ahead to, he would weave side-to-side like he was trying to get a better glimpse ahead for open space. He didn't miss a chance to show his impatience. We would should have taken a video.

Later, after having crossed the Jiangyin bridge, we saw a car doing 150 Km/h that was intend on not slowing down. How it didn't cause a collision was a miracle and an instance of cosmic injustice. Driving through a narrow gap between cars, it missed clipping one of the cars by inches.

Lots of idiots on the road in China. On the day before we drove to the hometown, Jenny told me there had been a thirty car pileup on a highway headed to Nanjing. I am almost certain that one or two idiots in a hurry caused the crash that had result in two deaths.

At the hometown, we stayed one night. In the afternoon of the first day, we visited four tombs. Three were located among crops on fields that the family used to own; one was located in a veteran's cemetery where dates of death on the tombstones were 1945 and 1947.


Mother Angelica R.I.P.


There is a square across a road from the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza. Alongside the square is a narrow road that becomes perilously narrower as local drivers, not wanting to pay fees at the Wanda's underground garage, park their cars on both sides of the road. Jenny & I don't park on that road very often anymore. We instead park in an area that is on the other side of the square. Though it means a longer walk to the Plaza, it is easier to get our car parked and to exit.

At the end of the narrow road that is right across from the Wanda, some drivers park their car on a corner space of sidewalk. One day, I enjoyed the sight of a car parked on that corner being blocked out by two cars that had parked at angles to it so that the space with which it could back out between the cars on either of its sides was agonizingly too narrow. Served that driver right though one of the other two cars shouldn't have been parked where it was either.

This parking that blocks strangers cars is not uncommon in China. It makes me shake my head when I witness it or hear of it. To me, these occurrences say this about Chinese society: People here don't give much of a care about other people. Also, one could say people here are very rude but tolerant of the rudeness.


Tony can now ride a bicycle without training wheels. He learned just all of a sudden, without a plan on Jenny's or my part. One day, we went shopping at the Hui Shan Decathlon. We were looking at bikes and Tony tried riding some around the store. He rode the bikes precariously and so we decided to get him to ride the bike he already had. This bike had been sitting by apartment door for the longest time. We took it a nearby bicycle repairman and had him fix the tires and take off the training wheels. Tony protested about this, but after five minutes of riding without training wheels, he got the hang of it and even began to brag of how fast he could go.

Tony is eight so I suppose he was a little late learning. But this is China and it is hard to find a place he can bike safely. Too many inconsiderate drivers and e-bikers.


Tony doesn't go back to school till September. That's four months as I type this and yet this it already starting to feel like the last evening of the weekend before one has to return to work. I don't want Tony to go back to school. I really don't. This period of home schooling has been wonderful. But like anything that is wonderful in this life, it is zipping by so quickly. And I can't escape the feeling of my impotently squandering the time away. Most of my plans for this time didn't and won't materialize. No great teaching experience of Tony and no trips.