Saturday, June 10, 2006

What, Where, Why

I'm going to China through the America-China Teaching Center (ACT). In exchange for 22 days of teaching conversational English to Chinese teenagers in a soon-to-be-determined city, I get a round-trip flight, room and board in an air conditioned hotel, a bike, a cell phone and a week of touring in my city of choice (Beijing).

Worded differently, I am going to China to teach Chinese teenagers English so that they might take over the world economy. I am well aware that China is invading deeply into our economy, expropriating our most valued assets and in so doing, undermining our ability to counter. I am going to help them do that more effectively by teaching them our language.

(A friend suggested to me recently, "Well, when China takes over the world, they might remember your kindness toward them.")

How did I get so lucky (I hope that's what we will all call it in the end)? Through Craigslist. I have truly come to expect universal synchronicity to occur in all of my dealings with that site. Past examples include:

Last year, when I responded to a Craigslist ad regarding a writing desk, I was unaware that I had actually answered a call made to the universe by the owner; the desk had been with her for years and she wanted a beginning writer to be graced by its mojo. I answered the call and 1.) got the desk plus 2.) training to take over the desk owner's public relations job for Doc Maynard's in Pioneer Square. Since then, Craigslist has provided me with 3.) a microwave from an acquaintance's parents (through an anonymous posting), 4.) a refrigerator containing two "human heads" along with 5.) the "opportunity" to appear with those heads on Evening Magazine. And now, because of Craigslist, 6.) I am going to China for "free" and 7.) I have a delightful Texan subletting my condo during my five weeks away and her "only vices" are a.) an obsession with cookbooks, b.) an obsession with the University Farmer's Market and c.) the fact that she carries her own set of knives and a mini Cuisinart with her wherever she goes.

See what I mean?

Finally, along those lines, to relate what sealed my final decision about my summer plans, I will simply quote from a book called China, Inc. (about the rise of China's economy) "…then I come upon a noodle stand where a man and his teenage son work over an enormous pot of steaming beef soup. On China's streets, noodle making is a kind of performance art…"

Noodle making, a performance art…'nough said.

When I am not training Chinese teenagers to take over the world economy, I will be on a covert mission to spy on the Noodle Performance Artists on the streets of Shanghai and Beijing, attempting to expropriate their noodle making secrets in order to bring them back to Phinney Ridge so that I might undermine the Phinney Market's Friday Night Dinners with my non-copywrited Performance Artistry. (Click on the neolithic noodles above)

Forcing universal synchronicity, training China's youth to take over the world, expropriating secrets, undermining small local grocers…actually, all of these important crusades aside, my trip is mainly about providing entertainment for you on this blog. I hope you all appreciate my efforts, and that an American with a Chinese explorer's name is not planning to research the net this summer in preparation to teach with ACT in the fall.

China, China, China... what's in store, Craigslist?

8 comments:

Linda Fitz said...

What a great adventure! I will be following your journey to teach the world English. We just got back from a three week trip to Italy where we tried to eat and drink (wine) everything in sight. Why are some of those Italian cooks so thin? Looking forward to future news from you.

Lynda Hughes said...

I am sure that you have read The World is Flat...which I think is a book every American should read...Anyway, I got Eddie the Puggle off Craig's list and my world has not been the same since.
Have a great adventure. I love it that you are getting a bike and a cell phone!

Carol Bowker said...

I am so excited about experiencing China vicariously through your wonderfully descriptive writing. Yeah Marjie!

Crystal '85 said...

Wonderful- absolutely wonderful !! I can't wait to " travel through the pen of Marjie"- Have a wonderful time, will be visiting your blog often- sharing China with my kiddos. Hope we can get together when you return. Travel safely.

Angie Griggs said...

I like your blog beginning, Marj!

I still can't really believe you will be halfway around the world all summer, but I should be used to it by now. It will be fun to have you keeping us posted on all of your culinary (and other) experiences in China. I think I will make our "summer school" unit study here at the Griggs Academy for the Gifted. Can't wait to hear more!

CecilieIsaksenEftedal said...

Hi, there...

Still trying out this thing...

CecilieIsaksenEftedal said...

Jippi, I finally made it! You will have the best time in China. It is a fabulous country. And DO NOT FORGET to climb the wall! The best experience of my life. You feel so little, yet so GREAT!

CecilieIsaksenEftedal said...

"Ni hau" - hello/hi in Chinese comes in handy. They love it when you say a word or two in their language!