Thursday, July 9, 2009

More Randoms

  • With so many other things intruding into my waking hours, and now having Tony intrude into my sleeping hours (he dragged me out of bed at five this morning), I will have to do blog entries in this bullet form.
  • Yesterday, I received a care package from my parents who live in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.  The package, they sent, was full of books and other things.  Tony got a whole lot of children books which I eagerly await being able to read to him.  I received three Michael Crichton novels, a Holy Bible (King James Edition), and the non-fiction work The Black Swan:  The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.  I read about fifty pages of The Black Swan last night.  The first thing I turned to in the Bible was the Psalms.  We also received chocolate which may be all consumed by this afternoon.  I also received a pair of trousers which I desperately need.  I have had five trousers become fit for retirement in the space of two weeks.
  • Many students told me of having watched the Michael Jackson funeral on the Internet.
  • The students don't seem all that interested in the solar eclipse which can be viewed in Wuxi on July 22 at about eight a.m.  One student told me that if forced to make a choice, they would rather watch the MJ funeral than the solar eclipse.  But that is not so astounding when you take into account how cloudy and smoggy it is in Wuxi.
  • I shouldn't but will also mention that I received a stick of Deodorant:  Speed Stick with odour of Irish Spring.  It is getting these things that make life bearable here in humid Wuxi.  I don't how many times  a stick of deodorant in the backpack has been pulled out to restore my confidence.   I don't want to be like the many stinky ex-pats I have had to experience.  Whooo!!!!
  • Thanks now to the extra books coming in, I now can say I have four books on my currently-reading plate.  I am in the midst of this translation of the Iliad, the Mill on the Floss, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and now the Black Swan book.  I suppose I will plow through the Black Swan book before returning to the others.  Although, neglecting the Iliad and the Mill on the Floss may mean getting the characters mixed up.
  • (Exclusive to Blogspot readers outside of the PRC)  I asked the students about Xinjiang but there really wasn't anywhere I could go with the topic other, than to ask them if they had heard the story and had any opinions.  The students had heard about it and were following it.  Though some said they were more interested in the Michael Jackson funeral.  I asked them how they thought the Xinjiangren in Wuxi would be treated and one student expressed a fear of them saying they were always trying to steal bags and wallets (this I have witnessed myself).  No idea if the Wuxi locals would go to Xinjiang Noodle houses of which there are many in the city.  Another student told me he had to Xinjiang for two years around 2001 for business.  He said the place was beautiful but he didn't tell me anything about how the Xughurs treated him.  I finally asked the students if the events in Xinjiang would impact Wuxi and all seemed to agree that Xinjiang was too far away to worry about.

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