Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Scraps, Visas, and Greyhounds

A good scrap
Going through the WND, Friday afternoon, I saw a great tussle in front of some hotel.  These two gentlemen were attacking each other with flying fists and roundhouse swings.  It was a shame that the taxi driver couldn't stop to let me watch more of the spectacle.  

I have to say that I haven't seen so many street fights as I have in Wuxi.  Of course, coming from Canada, where people are few, conflict will be less.  But I still wonder if what I am seeing here is a sign of some of societal sickness.  I am going have to collect some statistics answering the question:  Is the proportion of street fights seen in Wuxi as a percentage of the total population greater than the proportion of street fights as a percentage of total population that one would see in Canada?

Anyway, here are some of the public physical conflicts I have seen:  Men attacking security guards and traffic cops.  A man running at a full sprint for 50 meters to administer a flying drop kick to someone.  People coming out of their car to attack the driver of a bus behind them.  Men swatting women.  To recall a few.

Monday: From the Shores of Taihu to the Halls of Montezuma?
Monday afternoon, I went to the part of Wuxi that is close to shores of Taihu.  It was very green with vegetation, and it had hills, and of course there was construction.  I told myself what a shame it was that I didn't go out to that part of Wuxi more often.

Jenny gets her Canadian Visa
One problem solved.  Booking flights and arranging transportation will be the next problem for the K family's odyssey to Canada.
Greyhounding it across Canada?
I am seriously considering the possibility to save money and let Jenny see the real Canada, from Left Coast to Center.  The question is will Tony be able to stand it?
Karl Marx
The students don't like him.  Hooray!

Saturday, I did an English Corner about Germany.  Asking the students who the third or fourth most famous Germans were, they said Karl Marx. The entire class said they hated him.  His theory was "outdated" they said.  
I had a more accurate word starting with "B" and ending with "T" that they could have used.

10 DVDs for 20 RMB
The movies:  Little Caesar starring Edward G. Robinson and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.; Cimarron starring Wesley Rupples; Arsenal: a film by Alexander Dovzhenko; Sullivan's Travels starring Veronica Lake; Come Back, Little Sheba starring Burt Lancaster and Shirley Booth; Quo Vadis starring Peter Ustinov; Sergei Eisenstein's Strike; State of the Union starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy; Mr. Deeds goes to Town starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur; and I Know Where I'm Going! starring Michael Powell.

Tai Chi in the Darkness
Saturday Evening, I took Tony to a nearby public square where there is a canal for Tony to throw rocks in.  The place, though dark in the evening, is usually deserted, quiet, and very safe.

Imagine my surprise, when this Saturday Evening, I found that our secret spot was being used by a group of six people practicing Tai Chi.  
The plop, plop, plop of Tony's rocks hitting the canal surface would have disturbed them, so we had to find somewhere else to do rock plop rock plop.

Tesco Story
A neighbour, who can speak some English, told me she wasn't too happy with the service at the Tesco that has opened near our apartment complex.  It appears that the prices on the signs are not the same as the prices entered into the computer system.  She feels she is being cheated.  One time, a cosmetic product she bought was said to be 16 rmb for one bottle.  It was rung in as 19 rmb.  It then took her thirty minutes to return the product and get a refund.

Thinking myself happy
It is hard to do this sometimes.  The thoughts, the reasons, all valid, are there, but the body seems unwilling.  Which raises the question in my mind about the spirit.  How do I know I have the spirit with me battling the hard physical reality of sadness and/or numbness?

TS Eliot Quote

Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it; or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.

One person who is very guilty of this:  Reverend Wright's former parishioner. 

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