What did I do wrong?
The wife is away so I will attempt to cook for myself. Not that I haven't cooked before. But, I am out of practice, and doing something, not according to my wife's ways, in the kitchen is a risk -- I could end up in the doghouse -- something I am used to, but will never ever like.
So, I goes to buy vegetables at a market near the school -- nothing that I haven't done before. But I go to this store expecting to find plastic bags to put the vegetables in, like you would find at Carrefour. Once I have the vegetables in le sac plastique, I go to the scale in the veggie section to get les sacs labelled, and then proceed to the checkout. I have a few times embarrassingly forgotten to do this. And so you are at the checkout and you run back red-face to the vegetable scale realizing you have wasted lots of time in line.
Anyway, at the market I went to today, I couldn't find any plastic bags. I tried to ask a clerk where the bags were, using the word I thought was Chinese for bag. I, of course, was greeted with total incomprehension -- Ting de Dong! I tried to do some pantomiming. They finally understood what I wanted but everyone had a good laugh at my expense. I just carried on, buying some carrots and vegetables -- resisting the urge to give the crowd the bird.
Thinking about it now, I suppose in some places, the bag law applies even to vegetable sections. I notice that others had brought their own bags for the vegetables.
Tonight, I cook. Which should be another adventure.
I did an English Corner about acting Thursday evening which I thought went quite well. When I asked the students if they ever acted they said no. They understood "acting" to be mean performing in plays or movies. But when I explained to them that acting was pretending to be something you weren't, whether a person or emotion, the students came up with numerous examples of acting they had done -- usually it was feigning enthusiasm to their boss, or pretending to be interested in someone talking about their child (What?!?!). I then did some role plays. In one I pretended to tell my parents that I was getting married to another man. The male student was going to hit me -- absolutely brilliant acting. The mother said "as long as you don't marry the Kow! That would be a bad gay marriage!" Another student played my wife on the Titanic. When I explained to her that I may have to die because there weren't enough lifeboats. She said it was okay and she would see me in the afterlife.
Liu Shi Ge Nian
None of the students seem particularly excited by the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. None have said they will do anything other what they normally do on the October 1 holiday - sleep and shop.
Tony in Beixing Update
Jenny tells me that Tony doesn't like staying in the grandparent's compound. He wants to wander around like a wild countryside boy, even in the rain.
I miss them but I look forward to trying my hand at some cooking tonight.
Tom not Tony
I named a student after my son. And he changes his name to Tom.
"Why?" I asked him.
"Because Tony is you son!" he answered.
I growled at him the entire class.
Never had a Grandparent
We do a salon class about grandparents. It is a class I enjoy doing because I have lots of questions to ask the students about their grandparents. (I like to tell them about my grandfather who fought for the Russians in World War One, and for the Germans in World War Two, and so picked the losing side in two wars.) I had an older student in one class who was the youngest of seven children and whose grandparents all died before he was born. Not having had a grandparent, he won't know what to do when his son becomes a father, I teased.