Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Thursday, June 1, 2017
May Day, the K family went to the Hui Ju (Livat) Mall. The place was not as crowded there as I had thought it would be.
We had gone to met up with a mixed couple: husband from Montreal; wife from China.
"The f***ing English Teacher gave me so much goddamn homework!" said Tony who told me that he likes the cartoon show Rick & Morty for all the swearing.
Can you take a toy gun on the Wuxi Metro? I wasn't sure about this because all the metro stations in Wuxi do have X-ray machines that you have to put your bag through before you can enter the platform area.
This question arose on two occasions in April when I had bought Tony toy guns in Nanchang Market. I bought Tony a toy pistol that looked very realistic and later a toy AK-74 (not AK-47) rifle. Each time, I thought it best to take the bus back because the driver doesn't check your bags. And I had seen a person forced to open his suitcase and take out a kitchen knife set that he obviously purchased.
A kid in one of my primary school classes didn't want to read a passage from a story I was covering with his class. I decided to tip over his desk in order to knock the contents on the floor. A minute later, he begged me to let him read.
Another kid gave me a "no why" answer to one of my questions. I screamed at him and the whole class to let them know in no uncertain terms that this answer was unacceptable because it was rude, bad English and lazy.
I had never heard that expression before I came to China. Many Chinese students seem to want to use it because it seems to me that they are never called upon by their teachers to think. They are just expected to regurgitate what the teacher tells them.
[I got some blow back from the first instance but it didn't make any sense because the kid claimed he didn't understand what I wanted. But what happened was, I wanted him to read and he said that he didn't want to read... The kid was lying and the teacher who will side with a Chinese parent over a foreign teacher had to join in.]
When it comes to how I approach my classes, I am like Burt Reynolds in many of the movies he did in the seventies. I am going through the motions, running out the clock.
No why. I hate these two words. They are often used by students who don't want to answer my demanding of reasons for the things they have said or done. This way of answering, I believe, is bad because it is bad English but more importantly it is stupid, lazy and rude.. A couple of instances in my primary school classes, I have busted the balls of students who have used these words.
And then I had to have an adult student say these two words in a company class. I had to let it go.
On a more gratifying note, some the children did show me that I had taught them something. One boy told me he want to catch an aircraft carrier when he went fishing. It was the kind of nonsense answer I was expecting.
Tony wants to buy a German world war 2 style peaked cap that he saw for sale in this army surplus type store near the Nanchang Temple market. When I asked him when he would wear such a thing, he said at Halloween.
While doing a class on adventure, I reflected how my childhood was filled with so much more adventure than Tony's. Tony spends all his waking hours, when not at school, being made to do homework or doing something involving a video screen. He has yet to have gone into woods by himself.
Chinese like to sleep at the beds in Ikea, a student told me, because they don't care what others think. I found this a strange answer because I find the Chinese to be a strange maddening combination of selfishness and conformity. They seem to do things without considering that what they are doing is inconveniencing many others and yet at the same time, they don't have an original thought or opinion on any subject.
On a Saturday morning, I was entering the Xizhuang metro station. I found that the very wide stairway at the front of the station was completely blocked by e-bikes and bicycles. The people running the station had placed roped off one part of the area in front of the stairway in order to mark it off as no parking, but these four cyclists couldn't figure it out. Talk about selfishness and lack of self-awareness.
One Friday evening, I left the Yanqiao metro station and was walking through a nearby bus stop area when an SUV coming from behind, turned in front of me so that I the passenger side back was right in front of me. Angrily, I pounded the the vehicle's window. The vehicle stopped and I walked around the rear end of the window and so as to be beside the driver's window so I could make a rude gesture. And the idiot had the temerity to roll down his window and yell at me when he should have been profusely apologizing. What is wrong with drivers in mainland China?
I walked away from the driver and like Dustin Hoffman declared I "am walking here!!"
The guy was an idiot and at least I could take joy in his being angry.
I should pray that he and other drivers of his ilk (who are mostly from Mainland Communist China) would have more consideration for pedestrians.
Hojo. Howard Johnson. Anka. Andis Kaulins.
And to think that Anka wrote a song that the great Sinatra made very popular.
I got my visa renewed which meant I had to re-register at a nearby police station.
There are many police stations near Casa Kaulins. Probably two on my street.
But it was at another police station that I had to register. There was a lineup there of people trying to register themselves in the Wuxi area. I didn't know where to go but with the help of the first uniformed person I could find and Jenny on my Iphone, I was shuffled into a lineup.
The queue was very oppressive. The people in line with me were a little too close to me for comfort, but there was no way I was going to make a scene about it: it was a cultural difference that I had no right to get upset about.
Ask the kids a question, I get one or two takers in the class. Ask the kids to greco-roman wrestle and I get 40 volunteers.
Lesson: there are ways I can motivate the students to participate, but the chances of my teaching them anything about the English language is practically nill.
Tony has been annoying the teachers at his primary school by declaring often that he isn't Chinese and so he shouldn't have to do some things the teachers ask him to do.
The truth is Tony is at least half-Chinese and his father is not all Chinese. I expose him to all sorts of western things that make him take a dim view of being a student in a Chinese school. Tony also has witnessed his father curse and denigrate many things that the Chinese do.
But still, who can blame him for not wanting to be Chinese? I would never want to be Chinese in a million years. I wish I could have been Jewish, English, Italian and American; but never Chinese.
Reading a book of Tang Dynasty Poetry translations is enough to make China alluring. But there isn't anything poetic about Mainland Communist China.
The kids are made to learn some of that poetry but it doesn't seem to make them poets. Poetry here is a subject that they have to learn to pass a test.
By mid-May, I was looking very forward to the end of the Primary School term.
Try as I might to keep my temper, and to ignore the bad behavior in class, something always happens that causes me to snap.
Through the class, I have to put up with the kids ignoring me, the kids talking to their classmates, the kids making paper balls and paper airplanes, watching kids doodle, the kids throwing their paper balls and paper airplanes at other kids, the kids making rude gestures at me, the kids giving me flippant answers to my questions, the kids mocking the things I say, and the kids making rude gestures at me.
I no longer want to enter the classroom till it is time for me to start the class so I don't have to witness their antics and have kids walk up to me and be rude.
But compared to the students from Meicun, who are the absolute worse, I do have a few students who do follow my classes and answer my questions properly.
I paid a parking ticket at the bank where I had gotten the parking ticket in the first place. The first time, I had gone to the bank to make a withdrawal of my pay and was ticketed while I was in the bank. I had parked on the corner of the intersection below a no parking sign. I took a chance and got caught. I hadn't been caught the other times I had stopped there. But the next time I went to the bank, I walked and was interested to see that a car parked where I had parked had also gotten a parking ticket.
The parking ticket was a red one which meant three points deducted from my driver's license.
Our staff of foreign trainers could be reduced to three in July which would be a big problem. Teachers have always come and gone at our school for whatever reason and so recruiting them has been very difficult, but the powers that be in China have made the process of getting teachers visas more stringent.
When I first came to China, I only needed an ESL certificate and a degree to be able to teach. I wouldn't be able to do that now. One now has to have two years teaching experience. I got those two years in China so now I can stay. Because this requirement had been very minimal, a lot of incompetents, alcoholics and other assorted weirdos were able to come to China, and so it was in China's interest to clamp down on this.
I can say I came to China at the right time.
As well, many teachers could come to China, quit a school and move on to another school. There are teachers who have taught at all the major training centers in Wuxi like HyLite, Web, EF and Wall Street English. As of May 1st, this month, teachers already in China or in Wuxi cannot do this. If they join another school, they will have to go back to their home country and go through the application process from scratch which will take at least two months. So hiring teachers who are already in China and want to come to Wuxi is now even harder. And teachers are stuck with the school that brought them to China unless they can afford to go back home for two months. So, they have to hope that the school that hires them would exploit them. [This is another aspect of teaching in China that may not be clamped on but should: teachers being brought into horrible situations with crappy accommodations or horrible working conditions.]
And so our school may be down to three trainers for the summer months because of another teacher leaving and one having to be let go.
I will just have to run out the clock on the primary school. The kid who I reamed out for using that expression, felt compelled to say it three or four times in a row in a recent class.
One thing I am thankful for in China is the fact that they don't have government liquor stores like they do in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba. In China, you can buy booze in at a mom & pop, at a chain convenience store and at a supermarket. Totally brilliant.
Some Chinese female student made a speech, at the university of Maryland, that generated lots of negative comments from Chinese internet commentators. The reaction proved the point that the student was making in the speech that there is a severe limit on freedom of expression in Mainland China.
Another driving anecdote. I was taking Tony to school one morning when I came upon an accident scene where the positioning of one car was just so inexplicable. This VW sedan, facing the completely opposite direction of traffic, had crashed into a center barrier fence thus hitting a van, on the other side of the traffic barrier, that happened to be stopped, waiting to make a left turn. With this sedan facing in the same direction as the van so that one had wonder if the sedan had driven in the wrong way for a long distance [the nearest intersection was a few hundred meters away] or the driver of the sedan had chosen the dumbest place to try to make a u-turn. [I ruled out that the car had been turned about by the force of a collision with another vehicle because that was no other vehicle at the accident scene, and the van was on the other side of the barrier and was no doubt in the wrong place at the wrong time but hadn't done anything wrong.] What I suspect happened was that the sedan made a right turn into the wrong lane from the intersection that was hundreds of meters away, and was able to proceed the wrong way until it got close to the next intersection where an oncoming car, probably making a left turn, came upon the sedan so suddenly that its driver reflexively drove into the barrier fence to avoid a collision.
After dropping Tony off, I was returning home and was about to drive past the accident scene when I got cut off by a police van. My instinctual reaction was to blare my horn but seeing it was a police vehicle, I held myself. I then found it ironic to see that the police van was driving to check out the accident scene I had passed earlier.
I learned the news of the Manchester bombing from an Englishman who works at our school.
Bertrand Russell wrote this about the Chinese in 1923:
"Is it really wise to be always guarding against future misfortune? Is it prudent to lose all enjoyment of the present through thinking of the disasters that may come at some future date? Should our lives be passed in building a mansion that we shall never have leisure to inhabit?
The Chinese answer these questions in the negative, and therefore have to put up with poverty, disease, and anarchy. But, to compensate for these evils, they have retained, as industrial nations have not, the capacity for civilized enjoyment, for leisure and laughter, for pleasure in sunshine and philosophical discourse. The Chinese, of all classes, are more laughter-loving than any other race with which I am acquainted; they find amusement in everything, and a dispute can always be softened by a joke."
I can't say if I have met any Chinese person who is like this. So, perhaps Russel was wrong or met some Potemkin Chinese. But if what he wrote was true, it tells you that a lot has happened in near 100 years since Russel wrote it; like the war against the Japanese, the creation of the People's Republic and the Cultural Revolution. Events have perhaps conspired to destroy this sort of Chinese person.
Or as David Warren wrote, China has been destroyed by a combination of capitalism and socialism.
Leaving the primary school one day, the handler and I could hear a class chanting en masse. "They're singing a Communist Party Song!" she told me. I stopped in my tracks and made some comment about indoctrination. The handler then told me how when she was in primary school, the teachers were always making them watch propagandistic films about how bad the Japanese were.
The Chinese that Russell talked of had probably been killed off and crushed by the Communists.
Evil still reigns in this land.
Tony read a book on the ride to Primary School one morning late in May. He had always been playing on my smart phone. Pleasing to his mother but I wonder if the powers that be are getting to him. He has also taken on this attitude of being busy which you would expect from an adult having entered the work force.
I have uploaded about thirty short videos to my Youtube Channel this month. Check them out! Type wuxiandis in the Youtube search engine.
The month of May ended with the Dragon Boat Festival. The K family did things in Wuxi. Two nights, members of the family spent time at the Nanchang Jie Bar street. The place was packed; so packed in fact, that Andis regretted having decided to go there. Tony found the place so crowded that he wanted to go home. One the last day of the holiday, the K family went downtown again. Tony had some photos taken and so while Jenny and he were doing that, Dad wandered around the nearby Hen Long shopping center. Again, Dad found the crowds annoying and he found a quiet spot on the mall's fifth floor which was far away from the crowds and had a bench to sit on so he could read.
Comments? Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Thursday, April 6, 2017
One morning in early March, I took photos of the traffic chaos around Tony's school and I was hoping that the drivers were wondering what this foreigner was doing.
I took the photos as I returned to my car after having accompanied Tony to the school gate. I especially made a point of taking the photo of a car that had parked behind me. This car had its ass stuck out into traffic big time. The driver was sitting in his car and noticed me taking the photo. He then had a look on his face that was priceless. I then gave him a big smile.
To become March, I binge-viewed the Lemony Snicketts tv series. I loved the style in which the series was shot. It was full of the elegant shots that I associate with films done by Wes Anderson. I as well loved the dialogue which was full of the wordplay of instant misunderstandings and the constant mentioning of synonyms of words that the characters had just used. It was a delight for this so-called English teacher to watch.
What is the problem with the Chinese aircraft carrier?
There is one pilot who likes to park his plane so that none of the other planes can land or take off.
I was hoping that Tony & I would be able to watch the Lego Batman movie in the cinema.
This won't happen because of our schedules and the fact that the movie is only getting limited show times in China (because it is a kiddie film). Tony is going to see the movie by himself. :(
Tony & I ended up going to see Lego Batman together after all. :) It was in Chinese and I could only understand a few sentences of dialogue. But I could definitely tell that it was Mandarin Chinese being spoken. No doubt had I about that.
So now, I have got impetus to again restart studying Chinese. This time, I will try to watch some Chinese movies with subtitles.
Is the world going mad? No. It is mad and always has been.
I ALSO binge-viewed a second Netflix series: 3 percent. The Process against the Cause. I highly recommend the series. It is basically a story about what people will do to try and get privilege and become part of the 3 percent that have it. The story of the series has candidates to join the elite try to get through the Process, a series of tests that determines who is elite and can thus live in a place called the Offshore. There are some plot conflicts though as there are people from the Cause, who are against the Process, who are seeking to infiltrate the Process as candidates. Meanwhile the committee overseeing the process is trying to unseat the manager of the Process...
This year in reading I have read some long novels. So far, I have gotten through Don Quixote and Kristin Lavransdatter.
The wonders and perils of technology. My wife Jenny does a lot of internet shopping. In China, I say she loves to go on Taobao, the big Chinese internet shopping site, or I say she loves to taobao, my attempt at creating a Chinglish word. Because of Taobao, I often have to pay a visit to one of the many lockers around our apartment complex which are set up for delivery drivers to conveniently drop off parcels and FOR internet shoppers to more conveniently pick them up. This errand I go on for Jenny is fraught with peril because something always seems to go wrong. Often, I go to the wrong locker – there are so many around the complex – or I screw up the pick up process by not being able to understand the prompts on the locker's keyboard which are in Chinese. A new wrinkle was added to this peril because people going to pick up their parcels, instead of entering passwords into the keyboard screen can press a key on their mobile phone that opens the locker door directly. The first time, I used this feature, it worked like a charm. The second time, it worked fine as well for the first of the two packages I had to pick up. But for the second package, I had a problem. I pressed the open door button and nothing opened in front of me. Fearing that I had opened a locker door somewhere else, I ran back to Jenny and she then noticed that the parcel had been dropped off at another locker. This delivery company had two lockers at our complex. So I had to run like a bugger to the other locker where the door was opened but the package was not taken!
One female student works at a factory in the purchasing department. She tells me she is so busy that she finds herself avoiding taking on more tasks. She admitted to me that she would tell people she wasn't available if they were looking for her... And thing about the factory is that is robotic. She tells me that her factory has more people in administration than in production, and that she would love in to be in production because they have less work to do.
I have been taking photos and publishing them in my Andis Kaulins in China photo blog (at wordpress) that show the little details I see living in China everyday.
I used to care a lot about the number of views that I got FOR my blogs, but when it became obvious that the numbers would never amount to much, I stopped paying attention. If one of my entries can get a hundred views, I am happy.
Of course, one hundred views must mean I have really one or two real readers.
A podcast I listen to mentioned that they had 40,000 listeners. Being a near regular listener to this podcast, I felt privileged.
The podcast in question is the Federalist podcast which must be made in Washington D.C.
I should really write an essay about something and make a blog entry about it. But what topics do I have anything interesting and original to say?
For the first time, I used the GPS on my Iphone to get me around Wuxi. What had happened was that Jenny had bought a second hand lamp on WeChat and I had to drive out to the New District to get it. The directions, to the apartment of the seller, which were given to me by the maps app worked like a charm. I got there with few problems.
They have these new types of public rental bikes in Wuxi. Unlike the previous type of public bikes which are to be picked up and then left at a bike stall, the new rental bikes are tracked by GPS and can be left anywhere once the rider is done with the bike. The bikes can be rented using an app on one's smartphone.
I am keen to try the bikes but haven't gotten around to it. There are five companies renting out these bikes which means one has almost too many choices. And because each company requires a deposit on an account before you can rent the bike, the prospect of making more than one deposit is not attractive. As well, Jenny tells me that there have already been people gaming the system so they can basically hog one of the bicycles for themselves. These hoggers can do this by physically hiding the bicycle as well as removing the bicycle's scan code. The latter tactic can be employed because the hogger already knows the code that will access the bike.
The kids at the primary school I teach at have been asking me for my signature, aka autograph. Unthinkingly, I accepted the request in one class and the result was that in next class, I was mobbed by twenty kids all wanting me to write my name on a piece of paper or in their notebook. It was an ordeal that made me glad I am not truly famous. And what was very annoying was how disorderly the children were when crowding around me, as well as how greedy they were. Like Chinese adults, they couldn't form an orderly queue and like Chinese adults faced with the prospect of free stuff, they got really greedy. Thinking that there were not so many kids wanting me my signature, I expected the mob to get smaller and the ordeal to end; but I then noticed that some kids were coming to me to again for more and more of my signatures. One kid actually tried to get a third signature off me.
A story in a textbook I was using with one of the primary school classes I do had a sentence in it that went as follows: "Roy had a budgie named Joey." So, I did a substitution exercise with the class in which I got the students to tell me something like "I have a dog names Spot." This exercise was quite popular with the students and many raised their answers to give me answers. Frequently, the students try to give me wise guy answers. One student said the following: "I have a monster named Mother."
A student told me she was tired because she was trying to teach her daughter some math. It was hard because the girl wasn't interested, she added.
I asked her how old her daughter was, thinking of the trouble my wife was having teaching our nine year old. The student told me her child was two, as in two years old. Her child was going to enter kindergarten soon so she wanted to prepare her, she added.
I thought she was nuts. I didn't tell her that but I did tell her child was still very young, would figure it out and for the mother to not to worry about it. I then complained to this mother about how parents these days spent far too much time supervising their children and not giving them a chance to figure out some things on their own. She responded that she was Chinese and didn't have a problem with these way of doing things.
I asked some of the students if they thought their parents were happily married. A few said they didn't think so because of one of their parents having a bad temper. I asked them if it had been suggested to these angry parents that their temper was a problem. They told me that these bad-tempered parents thought they were always right about everything.
Is Christianity true?
My imagined response had been that smarter men than me believed it was and that smarter men than me believed it wasn't. I know think that better men than me believe it and better men than me don't.
Class 5-1 at the Big Bridge Primary School all bowed in apology to me at the beginning of one class. They had not done well the previous class. I really could have done without grovelling. I would rather have had the class just behave better. I am certain that if they had, I would have noticed and said something complimentary.
Tony tells me that he doesn't have to do homework because he is Canadian.
The Chinese are frothing at the mouths over THAAD in South Korea, I have read on the Internet. From the students, I heard mention but have avoided the topic because their reactions are predictable in that they trumpet the government line. What struck me as strange about it was how it suddenly came up after the half-brother of Nork's Fat Boy had been snuffed out in strange circumstances. Talking about that incident, I had students trying to tell me about THAAD.
Looking back over what I have blogged so far, I see I have made but one mention about local drivers. Now I will make my second.
We uber it to get to the primary school. That is, instead of taking taxis, we use an uber-like app to get private cars to take us to and from the primary school.
Unlike the taxi drivers who are all overly aggressive, the local uber drivers have varying styles of driving. Some are aggressive and some are inexperienced and thus drive passively.
One day in March, we had a driver who was very aggressive. I tried to ignore his driving by concentrating on a e-book on my Ipad, but one instance, the driver swerved and caused me to look up and ahead. I saw that he was heading, at too high a speed, towards the end of a line of cars stopped at a light. He had to brake the car hard and just as he got close to the stopped cars, he thought to use his horn. I thought then that he was trying to get the cars to get out of his way and that he was being very stupid. I shook my head and talked about it to my colleague as we left the car at the entrance to the primary school. I then thought that maybe he was trying to warn them and that thus there was some logic to his using the horn. But after more pondering, I don't think it would have saved him from hitting the car if he hadn't been able to stop in time.
Overbearing parents have been a problem since time immemorial. But I am certain that the one-child policies whether enforced by authoritarian governments or cultural norms have exacerbated the problem.
We have at our school this one student, name of Hannah, who has such a parent. Hannah's English is not so good. In fact, we are getting her to repeat the entire beginner level of classes because she isn't ready to go to the next level. She can't make a sentence to help herself and it is hard to get her to say anything that she hasn't memorized beforehand. She also seems to be very inhibited. Many Chinese students are, but she is an extreme example. Our suggestion to have her repeat the entire level was met with resistance from Hannah and/or her parents. It was then that I learned from Hannah's Chinese tutors about her mother.
Her mother is not so much a tiger mother, as a monster mother. She is constantly supervising every moment of Hannah's existence. She personally accompanies Hannah to our school and is waiting for her when she is finished her class. And so being forced to lay eyes on the mother, I am struck by how permanent the scowl is on her face. The mother's countenance suggests that Hannah is subjected to non-stop, seven days a week and every waking hour of the day bullying. Poor girl.
One Friday evening, I had Hannah in a conversation class, the topic was "In the kitchen." Hannah told me that every time she wanted to do something in the kitchen, her mother would tell her to read a school book.
So her mother doesn't want her to learn a practical skill. Does her mother think that cooking is too lowly with her precious one and only daughter?
Anyway, other complaint about Chinese students is that they don't have any life experiences.
Meicun TOEFL students.
These students from Meicun high school are attempting to pass a TOEFL test so they can go to university in America. They are a pretty useless bunch actually and teaching them is a waste of time because they aren't interested in participating in classes. I have hated teaching them as did every other foreign teacher.
Still, I have some sympathy for them. It would seem that it's their parents that have these lofty academic goals for them and so they are forced to come to our school on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays so they can try to achieve this quixotic goal. Despite the kids not being academically inclined, they are stuck in a system where not going to university means they can't make their way in Chinese society.
This sympathy I have for them though is in the abstract. Practically, I despise the sight of them and would be happy if I never saw their faces ever again. Like every other lazy students, they are on their mobile phones all the time. Now, I wouldn't care about this so much except they have to occupy classes next to classrooms where I and other foreign teachers are trying to conduct classes.
One Saturday in March, I had the misfortune of having to teach a class of eight students while this group of Meicun students occupied a class next to mine. [Our classes have glass walls] I would have moved but there was no other classroom I could use. And the Meicuners were loud. I had to tell to interrupt my class and tell them to keep quiet. They didn't. So I had to go again and I called them a bunch of shitheads. At least, it got them to speak some English.
The incident hasn't changed anything other than those kids instead of having ignored me, now are a little more aware of me and are staring at me.
Apparently, some of their idiot parents are friends without someone in the Chinese management of our school.
Driver goes into right hand bicycle lane so he get around a lineup in the car lanes and make a left turn.
Another driver is on my right at an intersection. He wants to go straight while I want to make a right right. The lane he is in is really a cycling lane.
This though occurred to me as I was in traffic: do the locals use their horns so much because it is a form of self expression that isn't censored?
Of course, it could be that frequent use of horn is part of Asian culture.
A 112 rmb taxi ride. It was the most expensive taxi ride I can remember taking. I went from Johnson Controls which is located near the Wuxi Airport in Shuofeng to Casa K in the Hui Shan District near Yanqiao. The distance was 34 km. And the students keep telling me that Wuxi is a small city.
I ended March with a renewed effort to improve my Chinese. Instead of just learning characters and reading, I am trying to improve my listening by concentrating on certain recordings and listening to them over and over again till I know every sound by heart and can understand each word as easily and casually as listening to English.
Wind and underwear.
I left the laundry hanging on rails outside the window of our third floor apartment. It seemed a safe bet to leave them out there while all of the K family went to the nearby shopping mall.
But about two hours later, Tony & I started to walk back home from the Mall and saw that it was now very windy. As we got close to the apartment complex, we saw that sheets and what-not, that had been hung by other residents, had blown off and were resting in bushes.
Tony seeing this became very panicky. He wanted us to run home and take in the laundry we had hung out.
When we got home, I saw that one pair of Tony's pajamas/underwear had blown off the rails and was resting on the roof of the first floor neighbor's veranda. Seeing this as well, Tony started crying. I assured him that I would be able to retrieve them, but this didn't stop him from crying and saying that he really liked that underwear.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Friday, February 3, 2017
- It lacks soul because like China, it has been ravaged by Communism and unbridled greed-driven materialistic Capitalism. [Communism is actually a very materialistic philosophy.]
- I feel like a loser because I am unable to get out of China for the holiday like many other Expats do.
- Chinese family dinners bore the hell out of everyone involved. Most of those attending, especially the younger ones are looking at their smart phones to while away the time.
- You can't do anything during Chinese New Year where you cannot escape the crowds if you are with a party of Chinese people. A foreigner, left to his own devices, can walk in places where there are no Chinese or Chinese won't go, and enjoy peace and quiet.
- Chinese are perfectly content to sit around and do nothing during the Spring Festival.