Saturday, March 28, 2009

AKIC's Saturday in Wuxi

What does this Wuxi Expat do on a typical Saturday? Well... I will tell you.
This Saturday began early. 500 a.m. to be exact, as I awoke to see Tony standing in his crib. I picked him up and put him between Jenny and I. He kicked us both and when I arose at six a.m., I wasn't chipper and well-rested.
I took a shower and ironed some clothes in preparation for work. I may have made a blog entry this morning, but I can't recall with an exact degree of certitude. I do remember making Tony a bottle of formula which put him to sleep but, not me.
At about 815 a.m., I left the apartment. I walked to the bus stop where I took the two photos above. If you look very carefully in the second photo, you may be able to see the two cops I had told you about in a previous entry who look to be loitering at the intersection down the street from the bus stop.
I took the #610 bus to work. It costs me an extra rmb but it is worth it to get a seat, and even walk for twenty minutes, once downtown, to get to work. Seated, I read a few pages of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged - Dagny Taggart sits in a meeting with central planners, and laughs at them.
Off the bus, I walked to McDonald's for breakfast. I ordered the usual: A coffee and and egg sausage sandwich for 11.5 rmb. I took the food to work.
Before my first class at 1000 a.m., I waited for my computer to boot up (ten minutes at least) and prepped for my first class: an Advanced Business Class with Seagate employees. I surfed the 'net to look for business things to talk about with the students, but I couldn't find anything other than deflation and the gold standard. I also brought out a list of Business Idioms to try on them to see if they could guess the meanings. Two of the four students who booked the class showed up. It must have been too cold for the two absentees. Sad to say, some of these company students are indifferent to the idea of improving their English. The two students I had were terrible at guessing the meanings of idioms.
After the class, I ordered, for delivery, some of the beef sandwiches that I had mentioned in a previous entry. I got Nancy, a study advisor from Sichuan, to order the sandwiches for me. I ordered four of which I gave one to her for her services. She told me that the sandwiches would not arrive till 1230. I still made the order. I quickly prepared for my classes in the afternoon as well as gave the booking girls the trainer's shift schedule. I decided to rush to the top floor of the Nanchang Temple Book Market to buy some more old DVDs.
Referring to the list I had printed off from Yahoo of 100 movies to see before death, I bought Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion, The Lady Eve, Bring up Baby, and Double Indemnity. I also bought a Goofy Disney DVD, and You Never Looked so Lovely starring Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth. The six DVDs cost me 20 rmb, about three dollars Canadian.
I was able to make it back to school in plenty of time to receive the sandwich order. I read the latest edition of the China Daily to come to the school, as I waited. In the newspaper, I saw articles about the real Tibet, what the USN was up to off the coast of China, and a list of the sexiest female politicians in the world - Sarah Palin was #27. The sandwiches were delicious even if I had to have a long sit down at the W.C. afterwards.
I then had a 1300 and 1400 class. In the first afternoon class, I had one student. At the end, he said he wished he could have me with him all the time. He saw having an Native Speaker constantly at his side as the best way to improve his English. He had earlier asked me what I thought of the Taiwan situation. I told him I would like to see the Mainland and Taiwan united peacefully. In the 1400 class, I talked about Internet Love with a group of students who had not made any friends on the Internet. None of them knew of any acquaintances who had met a romantic partner on the Internet either - this seemed strange to me because more and more students have told me, through the years, of these Internet romances leading to marriage among people they know.
At 1500, I prepared to show the students the Bride of Frankenstein. I also uploaded WTUs 304 and 305 to the Youtube for your enjoyment. (See previous entries).
The students weren't enthusiastic about the film. Some seemed scared at the start of the film when the Monster killed an old couple, but they didn't seem affected by the famous scene where the monster is befriended by a blind man. Asking students to rate the movie on a scale of five stars, I was given mostly three star ratings.
After this class, I headed home. Taking the #25 bus, I was able to get a seat. Seated, I listened to podcasts on my mobile phone. I heard the likes of Hugh Hewitt, Roger Simon, and Andrew Klavan opine away.
At Casa K, supper was ready when I got home. The wife fed me chicken and green beans on rice. And she baked chocolate cake for dessert.
I sang for Tony in hopes of amusing him.
I spent the evening watching Hollywood musicals. I watched the last half of Yankee Doodle Dandy. A patriotic American musical which I know would put many a leftist's teeth and tongue on edge, but I didn't mind it all. I find the some of the flag-waving scenes to be genuine and not propagandist. James Cagney did a great job. His dancing was something to behold, but yet he didn't seem the best man to perform the role of George W Cohan, the songwriter-dancer-performer given a congressional medal of honour by FDR. I then watched the entirety of the Astaire-Hayworth musical. Astaire wouldn't have been suitable for the Yankee Doodle Boy role either, but in the movie I watched Saturday night, he was his usual aristocratic aw-shucks self. I have to say that Astaire has the coolest screen presence I have ever seen. He puts Eastwood and McQueen to shame because unlike those two tough guys, he can sing and dance and be cool in a happy way. Rita Hayworth was a sculptured goddess. And not only was she a looker, she could dance and be elegant in a manner that can't be replicated now.
Between the movies, I helped put Tony to sleep. After making him another bottle of formula, I lay with him in our bed, playing with him till he conked out.
I now type this blog entry. I am downloading podcasts through iTunes to put on phone and listen to next week. I have a bit of a cold and a mild stomach flu. Thankfully, I don't have to go to school tomorrow.
Good Night!

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