Saturday, November 19, 2011

Random thoughts and observations for November 2011

  • Am I an expert on China?  Hell no!  The more time I spend here, the less I know.
  • Am I trying to learn about Chinese culture?  Yes. 
  • Am I trying to learn the language?  Yes.  But I am not learning very quickly.
  • Why does America defend the weak and the small?  Great column by VDH!
  • An employee at Carrefour starts at 1400 rmb a month.  A cashier gets 1500.
  • Things I am looking forward to:  Giving Tony his Christmas presents, and the death of Pierre Trudeau's pallbearer Fidel Castro.
  • Things I am devoutly hoping for: the defeat of Barack Obama in the 2012 Presidential election.
  • Will it be Romney versus Obama in 2012?  The Squish against the Marxist?
  • Friday, November 18 was a foggy day in Wuxi.  This meant traffic was heavy as the elevated roads were closed.  It took me 30 more minutes to get to work.
  • Check out this site from a Shanghai Expat.  His connection to Wuxi is that he has a Wuxi wife.
  • The problem in life is you are what you do; not what you want to do.  Your interior life is invisible to others.
  • But then again, if one's interior life is rich, who cares what others think!
  • Saturday, November 19, the bus I was taking to work broke down -- a not uncommon occurrence.  I had a seat on that bus so I noticed as I pulled my head out of my Chinese textbook, and saw that the bus driver was outside examining something.  I shrugged in a mental way and thought  "I am going to have to get off and catch another bus and I will have to stand the rest of the way."  But I waited till others got off because it meant that the driver had given word.  Then as I joined the others who were getting off the bus, I noticed  that it had stalled in the worst possible place for other traffic.  Because of subway construction, the road, the bus was on, had been narrowed from three lanes to one lane going each way.  The first thing I saw as I got off the bus was another bus, right behind, unable to pass the stalled bus I had just been on.  There was no room to go around.  And behind that trapped bus, I could see a long lineup of traffic and several more buses stopped and unable to move.  These were all the other buses I was going to take!  I realized that I was going to have to walk down the road to a bus stop past a major intersection and hope to catch another bus going downtown.  But I didn't know of buses I could catch down that road.  I thought to catch a taxi, but I instead walked twenty minutes to get downtown and to a bus stop where I knew I could catch a bus.  Thankfully, it wasn't raining so heavily.  And I didn't see any buses go down the road that the bus was to have proceeded.
  • Walking an area you frequently drive or ride through is a radical change in perspective.  Many areas become tawdry when seen close up.  Walking on my bus route, I saw trash, dog turds, and muck.  I was going through an soul-less industrial and market area.
  • I now have two laptops.  The IT guys at school have fixed my old one.  I would like to give it to Tony, but Jenny probably has some other ideas about what to do with it.
  • I hear that the U.S. Army is deploying in Australia.  My reaction to the news?  Bloody good thing.  Those Australians need some civilizing.  I know the Australian anti-Yanks in Wuxi will hate it, but they prove my point.  Anti-Americanism is akin to Antisemitism, and is therefore barbaric.
  • I trust that my friend Harry Moore in Brisbane will welcome the U.S. Marines with open arms.  He may even buy them a few drinks.
  • One of the Chinese staff at my school spent six years in Vancouver I learned.  I grilled her with questions.  She knew nothing of Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Langley, Surrey or Pitt Meadows. She spent all her time in Richmond.  Her excuse for not knowing of these places?  She said she was Chinese.
  • Who do I want to see win the Republican Presidential nomination?  All of the Republican candidates, even Jon Huntsman, would be better that the current occupant of the White House.  But of course, anything in the product line of Lay's potato chips in China would make for a better president than Obama who is running the worse administration since the invention of electricity.  I will stick with Herman Cain as my first choice.  His gaffes are unimportant.  His so-called sexual harassment misdeeds are inconsequential legally.  The one concrete allegation against him seems to have come from a very questionable accuser.   My second choice is Michelle Bachman.  It is a shame her campaign has gotten no traction.  Newt Gingrich, I hear, was getting money from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and his excuses for doing this are making him sound like a Democrat.  This disqualifies him.  I like Gingrich but he is a Republican Clinton.  Clinton, who was a pervert and probably a rapist, was an idea guy in a way.  Of course a lot of Clinton's ideas were Democrat-stupid.  But Clinton was able to embrace Republican ideas that gave him the veneer of competence.  House leader Gingrich, an idea guy, probably gave President Clinton a lot of these Republican ideas and like Clinton he had a lot of personal baggage.  Unfortunately for Gingrich's presidential aspirations, Gingrich is a Republican and so he has to be held to higher standards.  Gingrich was no rapist, of course.  But the things he did in his past, which he has tried to redeem himself through by converting to Catholicism, though of no importance to Democrats, are disqualifying for a Republican.  I would take Romney over Huntsman or Paul if that was the choice, but I would do so holding my nose.

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