Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 1 to October 7 Blog Entry

This week:
  • I had four days of holiday.  Not enough!
  • The students couldn't stop talking about Japan and the Japanese.
  • I have a VPN on my Ipod Touch now, so I can be a Tweety Bird.  This Tweety Bird followed the Obama Romney Debate.  The result was a sunnier disposition for me.  I was happy to hear of the Big O's misfortune.

Thank God that I have a child!   
Thanks to Paul Rudkin for setting up a VPN on my Ipod Touch.

I have a long list of things that I have to acknowledge.  I should perhaps change the title of this section to Acknowledgements.   Anyway,  this week's acknowledgement:   I am very out of step with other Wuxi Expats.  The Expat who said I was not worth talking to about Wuxi was right. 

I hope Tony outlives me and never goes missing on me ever again.  

The Wuxi Corrupt Officials
Monday:  Your  2-0 Corrupts, the official NFL Fantasy Team of Wuxi Expats, are trailing in their third match-up 107-102.  The Corrupts' opponent The Black and Yellow Attack have used all their players, and so have no chance to get more points.  The Corrupts have to hope for a good performance by the Chicago Bears in a Monday Night game against the Dallas Cowboys to pull out the victory.

Tuesday:  Corrupts win!  Corrupts win!   129-107 thanks to the Chicago Bears Defense!  Wuxi's Corrupts are now 3-0!

Canada Ain't Cool
It is a country of substance.  For example, it can boast of these three important writers:  Mordecai Richler, Marshal McLuhan and David Warren.

Links of the Week
What sort of people are members of the Christopher Hitchens Fan Club?  Christopher's brother Peter ponders this question.

Tournament Eight
Team A defeated Team B 5-0 in a Group One matchup.  
Team A has a 2-0-0 record and six points.  They won't be in last place and thus will be some extra games.
Team B has a record of 1-1-0 and three points.  Their final round robin game could be an elimination game.

Shanghai Expats
Apparently, many Expats living in Shanghai think Wuxi is not a modern enough place for them to live.  What a bunch of cavemen!

Is Mitt Romney worse than Stalin, Mao or Hitler?
Of course not.  So, he is much, much better than Obama.

Tony and I went train spotting on Monday (You will be able to see video and photos of this).  To watch the high speed Chinese trains, we stood on a bridge deck over which the high speed track, resting high atop fifty feet tall columns, ran.

A foreigner with his child standing on a bridge deck would be quite a curious sight  for passersby  whether they be drivers, cyclists, passengers or pedestrians.  One pair of gentleman who walked past, stared hard at us -- so much so that Tony got very shy and stood behind me.  The gentlemen meant no harm.  

I wouldn't have given the pair another thought but then I saw them again.  Tony and I had ridden the K family E-bike to our train observation spot.  When we rode back , we past the two men sitting on grass on the side of the road.  They waved at us.  I waved back.  Usually I ignore this sort of thing.

What struck me as strange, being a Westerner, was the sight of the two men resting on the grass.  No one from Canada would do such a thing.  They would have to have a seat on which to sit.  

I then began to wonder where the two men were going and where they had come from.  That is, what was their purpose?  Near our train observation spot, there were not too many stores or residences.  There was only the road on the bridge which took people from Jiangyin to Wuxi.  Were these gentlemen just going for a stroll?  Or were they too poor to afford to have bikes?  Were they transients?  So many questions.

  • We had guests from Shanghai: Paul and his wife, from Wuxi, Lily.
  • I got VPN capability on my Ipod.
  • We went to a nearby Korean BBQ restaurant.  I drank beer and Soju (a Korean form of Bai Joe) -- I quite enjoyed it.

  • I can now tweet, make Facebook entries, watch YouTube videos and read my blogs on my Ipod thanks to the VPN.  My first urge has been to tweet useless information on Facebook and Twitter.  Alas, I don't have much to say, so I won't be doing this for long.
  • Tony and I go to an canal side embankment.  The barges come so close, we can say Ni Hao! to the bargemen and barge-women.  Of course, there is plenty of video and photos of this.
  • The K family went to Nanchang Jie and to the Nanchang Market.  Dad got on a new wristband for his Swiss Army watch (which he had inherited from his father).  
  • Nanchang Market was crowded and for whatever reason there were a few people fascinated enough with Tony to want to take his photo.  I haven't seen this phenomenon in a while.
  • Some young men walked by me, and one of them muttered "fuck!"  It being crowded, I was paying more attention to Tony and so by the time I looked to see who might have said the f-word, the person had melted into the crowd.  I wondered if he  said it because I just happened to be a foreigner or because, as I first thought, they had seen me muttering "fuck!" in public.  I don't know why but I worried more that the f-word was said because of some previous sin of mine.  In this day and age, there is something joyous about being an innocent victim of racism.
  • Thanks to having a VPN on my Ipod, I was able to see reaction on Twitter to the presidential debate.  I knew Romney had won when I read Bill Maher's mealy-mouthed tweet that said that Obama had facts on his side, but lost on style.
  • My wife wasn't impressed with Nanchang Jie.  It doesn't look like much in the daytime when one notices all the rubble behind the facade.  There is a lot of that in Wuxi: rubble behind a facade.
  • Always on my mind was that I had to keep Tony in my sight.
  • On Tony's mind:  get an ultraman doll.
  • Back to work.  What fresh horrors awaited me?  
  • Well.  There weren't many people at school.
  • I forgot to bring my mobile phone with me.  One of the bad aspects of having an Ipod Touch.  Your forget about your mobile.
  • "How were your holidays?" I asked.  Most students answered that it was boring.
  • What did the other trainers do on their holidays?  I didn't bother asking.
  • I had a student tell me that war with Japan would be desirable because life in China is so boring.  
  • Be careful what you ask for! I told her.

  • Stat of the day: 32 years of the one-child policy: 400,000,000 abortions.
  • The topic of today's English Corner:  Freaks.  Stupid topic.  All I can say in my defense is that I choose it.  One of the students said the Japanese were freaks.  "Whatever!" I said.  That serves me right for being flippant about the island affair:  there have been a few times where I have made jokes along the lines of "I know!  I know!  You somehow want to make a sentence talking about the Japanese!"

No comments: