Monday, July 31, 2006
When I last blogged (I am not lonely any more, thank you all for your emails, you can't imagine how good it is to feel remembered in a country that makes sense!) I was heading to Stir Fry Street to try the clams, at last. Well, I got them to go (after a lot of pantomime and pointing) then went into the grocery store to buy a drink (stir fry vendors only deal in live fish and vegetables). I was just about to leave when I thought, oh yes, I want some peanut butter for my hotel room and I went to the back of the store and ran into....AMY!
Amy, who had been gone for two days, disappearing into mystical Shanghai without a trace, possibly never to return, the last picture of her in my mind one of extreme trauma. Well, an understatement would be to say that it was just SO good to see her. She had just ordered from our Noodle Lady so we bought very cold beer and decided to make our own happy hour. I decided to have the NL make me an order of noodles, and I mixed my long necked clams in with them and I was in heaven. Sitting there for an hour catching up with Amy and hearing about her Midnight Train to Shanghai trip was one of those moments you only experience if you sign up for a crazy teaching assignment in China for the summer and your new friend loses her passport and you happen to run into her in the grocery store when you are buying peanut butter and drinks for the long necked clams you just bought on Stir Fry Street. By the way, Amy was practically singing the National Anthem, she had been treated so well and had been issued a new passport in just one day. Phew.
Wow, those clams were good. I am heading to get some more after my next two posts (I'm going to have to make it quick...)
Friday, July 28, 2006
During our two hour lunch break we sometimes wander around town or we might take a rickshaw back to the hotel to take a nap. Today I just walked down a street I had not been down before. I saw a sign that read "The abundant blind person massages the center" so I looked inside and saw many massage tables. As I was peeping in the window, a woman saw me and ran to the door. Through gestures, she indicated that she wanted me to wait for just a moment and eventually came back leading a man by the arm. She pointed at his face and I saw the whites of his blind eyes. He was, of course, the abundant blind person. I didn't have time for the massage of the center, but I am very curious about getting a blind massage...I've gotten every other kind! We will see.
So, the end of week three and now a confession: I looked in the mirror on Monday and instead of having a Stuart Smalley talk with myself, I just said, "your life sucks!" I can tell you that now because I feel one hundred percent differently today - and today the power was out...no air conditioning! So I have been thinking about all of the things I have become accustomed to in just three weeks:
-how to use a fan properly. Sunny asked me a few days ago, "have you ever used a fan before?" and then said "I can tell" and gave me a lesson in fan etiquette.
-being a walking American attraction. Everyone locks their eyes on "The Marjie" (as the kids say) wherever I go...especially during my walks in the morning where I am the only one wearing shorts and tennis shoes.
-crossing six lanes of traffic with no signals. Sharing the crosswalk with rickshaws and cars and scooters and bicyclists and buses.
-wearing my hair in a ponytail. I hate ponytails on me but here I have had to forgo all vanity since sweat is a constant part of my "look."
-No make up...what's the point?
-Two hour, six dollar massages and one dollar humbow, dumplings or noodles.
- 30 or so kids repeating everything I say
-the threat of having to use the torture bathroom every minute of every teaching hour
-about fifteen very high pitched voices of Chinese twenty something girls during fifteen minute breaks
-creating ESL curriculum for six hours of teaching per day with a target audience of very active, very loud Chinese kids. I can surely do a better job than the "Let's Go" people...I wonder if there is any money in it?
-constantly scrounging for cold or frozen water and when finally finding frozen water, waiting forever for it to melt.
-people cooking pretty much in the six lane road and all down every side street at night.
This morning I was thinking about my return to Seattle and I had the thought, "It may all seem so dull!"
Anyway, classes have been great. Sunny and I are a good team and we continue to come up with games and have gotten each class involved in competitions, Team One and Team Two games; we have them chanting cheers so loudly that the other teachers are asking me "Tell me what games you are playing!" The one they loved this week was so simple. I would take one of my flash cards and hide it in my book and ask, "What is in my book" and they had to guess in a series of yes or no questions in categories, each team taking a turn. They were crazy over it.
My girl fans are just so cute. They have all written messages to me on their name tags - Jill's says "Hi Marjie!!! (with a heart) and my favorite - from my favorite student, Lily. She wrote "I worship Marjie" on her name tag. Being openly worshiped in writing is great. For those of you who taught Andrea Trias at Meadowdale, she looks just like her. When I asked the class "Where do you want to travel?" Lily said "I want to travel to Mexico" (where Andrea's family is from of course..we all agree that many Chinese could pass for Hispanic, easily). It's very rewarding to hear these kids speaking English and understanding it. Today after lunch when I asked them "How are you?" They answered as they always do.."I'm fine thank you, how are you?" I said "I'm hot!" and they said "We're hot too!" I said "I want ice cream!" and they said "We want ice cream too!" then I kept saying things that would be nice on a hot day and they would repeat it. Then I said "I want a very hot pizza" and they all, in unison, said "We don't want a very hot pizza!!" I guess you had to be there, but remember they knew nothing three weeks ago. Sunny and I just exchanged a look like, That Was Cool!
Maybe the best part is that the boys are now (mostly) on board. I really made an effort to include them and gave them nicknames...like the one who likes basketball is "Yao Ming" and another I just call "Basketball." At least they are not talking the entire class period now and they love the games and the prizes I invested in (best money ever spent).
The bad part of this week: Amy lost her passport. She and Karis went into Shaoxing Wed. night and she lost it somewhere between Starbucks and the hotel; she probably left it in the taxi. Big tough Amy was sobbing in the morning so Pamela had one of her other teachers take her to Shanghai to start the application process. I felt so badly for her. Amy left me a message this afternoon saying she got her passport and would be back tonight, so I'm sure she will be full of stories.
Tomorrow we are all heading to Suzhou - about an hour outside of Shanghai. This city is one I had marked before coming to China because my neighbor, Jade - a landscape architect - had visited there recently and loved it. The Lonely Planet says it is known for its "classical gardens, silk factories and beautiful women (no mention of the men...are they all trolls?)"
[See Suzhou and the other places Marjie has been by clicking on the "See Maps of the Area" link in the right sidebar under the clock]
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Every day I have my students copy down sentences and then recite them out loud, using all of the words we have learned so far. Just today I started to change up the boring sentences and the kids loved it:
Whose pink elephants are under the sink in the kitchen? Oh, they are Josh's pink elephants!
John really likes to eat purple tigers while he is flying long kites on the island in the sea.
Lily loves to make chocolate cake with the pigs who come to her house in the evening.
Now that is just good fun!
I hadn't played Simon Says with my fourth or fifth grades and was desperate for something to start my class with and oh my did they love it. I was hopping and sticking out my tongue and turning all at the same time, so Sunny asked if she could take some pictures in the next class so I am going to try to post them. (Thanks, Brian!)
Sugar Baked in Fire
Sheep Bone Soup
Fried Sheep Tripe with Iron Plate
Soup of Chopped Cooked Entrails of Sheep of Xinjiang
and my two favorites
KFC (with a picture of fried chicken) and
Roast Lean Meat Taken From Under the Spinal Column of a Sheep.
I had the chicken with cashews.
I can send pictures from the dirty internet cafe, not from the clean one. I can post from the clean one, but I can't get into Gmail. Nothing sends from school or the hotel. This is the logic of China. So now I am at the dirty cafe to send some pictures and write about Kim.
Kim is the executive from Salinas and she is a walking attraction. By that I mean she is a quintessential woman and men, well, they notice her. She is always dressed to perfection and her make up is perfect; she does not sweat. I love Kim; she knows exactly who she is. Out of the eight of us here, she is the anomoly; she has hardly traveled and this is NOT an easy place, nor an easy job for someone accustomed to board rooms and business suits.
Last week when we were all getting settled, Pamela came in with ANOTHER new schedule. All of us froze and she said, "Don't worry, we are only switching two classes." It was one of Kim's. "Wait. No. Why are you switching them?" Wtihout pausing, Pamela said, "The students like their other teacher better." And Kim, not pausing said, "Too bad. I'm not switching again." Then she turned to us and put her hands up in a claw and said, as if to her students, "I'll get you, my pretties!" Pamela did not change the schedule.
Kim expects excellent service at every restaurant. It bothers her that dishes don't come out in a logical order; many times one of us will be done while the others are still waiting. A vegetarian, she has been trying to order noodles and vegetables for the past few weeks and, no matter the place, she has yet to get noodles with vegetables. She went as far to have her TA, Kelly, write the words "noodles with vegetables" in Chinese so she could show it to the waiters and waitresses. These symbols have gotten her only roasted peanuts and rice.
Just now, four of us went to a muslim restaurant and the menu had pictures with English translations (more about this in a minute). Quite excited, she pointed to the picture and description, "celery and cashews." Now, I had ordered chicken and cashews and out came a beautiful plate of chicken and cashews. Kim's dish? Only celery. She spent five minutes pointing to the English on the menu and to my plate; she wanted what was on the picture, "as it is advertised, please." So finally the waitress said (in very broken English) "Would you like me to take this back and put cashews on it? "YES, please!" said Kim. Ten minutes later, out comes the celery....covered with kidney beans.
To Kim's credit, she laughed. Just last night she told me that this trip has made her want to travel more...good for her. About her being an attraction: two muslim men asked her for her phone number while we sat in the restaurant.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Babies here don't wear diapers. They wear little pants with a slit down the crotch, completely exposing their parts. What happens when they go to the bathroom? Good question. The parents stop and rub dirt on their butts and walk on or hold them over the garbage can. Parents take them into stores...everywhere. Isn't parenthood difficult enough without urine on your arm?
This curriculum is SO EASY and boring...it is just killing me. So I try as much as I can to spice it up and I have taught them about five million flash cards. It is rewarding that they are making progress.
Today the lesson in 5th grade was "What is in your desk?" So I took my flash cards and held them up in front of various students. "What is in Mary's desk?" and I would hold up a picture of a grandfather, a piano, a train, a horse, etc and they had to say "I have a grandfather in my desk." Then of course I would say "Peter has a horse in his desk!" and they would all laugh and laugh. At the end of class I told them I was going to go home and tell American children what Chinese children had in their desks. They think I am hilarious!
Yesterday I started playing Wheel of Fortune where they have to solve a really long hangman like "They want to eat chocolate and cake while riding their bikes." They loved it.
Yesterday we were going over food in the 5th grade. This class has about eight girls that are just the bomb. They love me is why I love them so much. They can't wait for me to come to their class and they always finish their work first. In the past few days, Lily, Lisa and Jill come up with questions to ask me while the others are still working. Yesterday it was "Marjie, do you like Chinese food?""Marjie, do you like dumplings?" "Marjie, do you like Chinese New Year's Cake?"
There have been hours of misery and yes, one more complete day of misery...imagine this: You are teaching grade school in China and all they have for a bathroom is a huge long trough that you have to straddle and then squat while trying to hold your breath because if you breathe you think you will lose your stomach. There is no sink and therefore no soap and of course so toilet paper. Add to this diarrhea. Now, I am not saying this happened to me, but just imagine it. And if it did happen to me, I might have been unprepared because up until that time I had no intention of EVER using the torture bathroom.
Fortunately, the teaching has finally become some kind of "fun."
Monday, July 24, 2006
This morning when I came in to school, Sunny, my assistant, looked very pale. "I have heat stroke" she said, which was a very strange thing to say as this is BY FAR the coolest day yet, out of all eighteen days we have been here it is the only day that I am quite sure I will live. So during our entire third grade morning class she sat in the back and was not translating anything. After class, the teacher, Chris, said to me, "Sunny must stay here for the next ten minutes." I was very curious as to what was planned because Chris had prepared a bowl of water and was pulling Sunny's hair up. Sunny had not returned to the break room when it was time to go to the next class, so I went alone. Five minutes later the teacher, Chris, showed up to translate for the class. "Sunny is resting in my classroom," she said.
After that class, Sunny was in the break room with about six long, deep red scrapes down her neck. It looked like someone had tried to strangle her. "Sunny, are you OK?" "Oh, yes, I am much better!" She explained what Chris had done, and it seems to be something like the application of water and then very hard, deep pinching. I thought back to the class we had taught last week, called "What's the matter?" and how strange it must have been for them to say "I'm hot" and "drink some cold water!" when really it should have read "I'm very hot" and "apply water and hard, violent pinching!"
I was very curious as to how Sunny's cure would progress...well, at lunch, I told her that in America if we are that sick, we go home! She was so pale and almost fainting. She looked at me kind of shocked and said, "OK, I will go home." I offered to pay for a taxi for her since her bus ride is over an hour and she would not agree. "The air conditioning is making me sick!"
One of the strangest parts of this story is that NONE of the kids even flinched when she walked in with her strangle scratches. It's simply what you do when you have heat stroke on a very cool (relatively) day!
Today is going really well (I am writing during my lunch break). I can receive hotmail here but must type my messages in Gmail...see, logic does apply! The kids have mellowed and seem to be learning at least some English. I feel very relaxed and peaceful about my job and hope that no changes occur this week.
Last night Amy and I walked all the way around the canal which looks like a huge Green Lake (about five miles). There had been another thunder storm so it was nice and bearable outside. At one point on the pathway- out of nowhere, really- we saw a HUGE blow up castle, the kind kids jump in. This colorful castle, juxtaposed against the gray sky, was so sad and the sadness was enhanced by the fact that there were no kids there, only about four grown-up workers. Why they blew that monster up in the middle of that trail is another Ancient Chinese Secret, I guess. How did I know to name my blog "...in a State of Confucian?" That nails it! OK, back to work without Sunny...this should be interesting!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Given the good time I had this weekend, I may have agreed to come despite the sweat. Two of our TA's, Lily and Lynn, took us to a National Park that was just a ten minute taxi ride from our hotel (Keyan). By the end, we were more confused than we were at the beginning as to what kind of park it actually was, but I will try to describe it:
Picture about three times the size of Woodland Park Zoo with trails, pathways, canals,bridges and lots of temples and sculptures. I don't know how many times we turned a corner to gasp... at a two hundred foot stone Buddha (completed by three generations of a family), or waterfalls or trails with interesting themes. My favorite trail was called "The Finger Path" and was decorated with Chilology sayings and huge representations of very nicely manicured hands holding the objects referred to in the sayings. We took boats to islands and tasted wine at one of them -"Inebriation Island" - where, by the way, we had to wait out an hour long spectacular (and kinda scary) lightning storm (not a bad place to have to wait...)
One island had many sculptures interpreting the writings of the famous writer from this area, Lu Xun. Another island had a beautiful waterfall, which we stood under and waded in the clean, cold water. It was a hot day (until after the storm) and we had to suck on iced blocks of water to live through the heat. One temple in particular was quite beautiful, and we took about an hour to read the stories depicted in the pictures about the life of the Buddha. After seeing so many Christian churches and art pieces all through Europe, this new form was especially interesting for me. The strange thing about this park is that is was almost empty...evidently the government has been investing in parks like these, but we wonder how they keep them running (don't they know they should install a Magic Mountain ride?). We thought it was much more beautiful than Hangzhou and Westlake (their "heaven on earth").
Last night we just walked down to the canal where the carnival was taking place, only this time it seemed to be badminton night - birdies flying everywhere - and I also got to see the ballroom dancing I had heard about. One group was doing kind of a techno swing dancing and another a waltz.
Both yesterday and today I was feeling good enough to get up and go running at the canal...how great that felt. I know this week will be much better just because I feel so much better. Being sick in a foreign country, especially if you are teaching, is just no fun at all.
Today Pamela took us to "the largest pearl factory in the world." My favorite part of the day was the hour long van trip out there because we passed through villages and saw a lot of green mountains...it takes a while to get out of the industrial masses. The factory was overwhelming - just strings and strings of pearls, white, pink and grey. I managed to get a few pretty cool pieces but overall I thought a lot of it was very gaudy.
I'm spending the rest of my time uploading pictures for my brother to post...did you know I haven't been able to access my blog at all since I've been here? Fortunately, my brother set it up so that all of your posts come into my hotmail account (when it is working, of course!) Bye for now!
Friday, July 21, 2006
Today after school, Amy and I walked over to "our street" across from the hotel. By day it is a street with ordinary sidewalks; by night it is tranformed into Sir Fry Street. I know I have already mentioned this, but I have to paint the picture again: ten foot long carts come out of nowhere and suddenly plates and plates of chopped vegetables and live creatures line up for you to view. Underneath the carts are buckets of live fish; only when you order does the fish give up its life - freshness counts for everything! I have been tempted by the guy who is always grilling a beautiful whole fish at the end of the street; maybe I will have to eat one of his masterpieces. I have yet to try the long necked clams, but I have had quite a few stir fries with thick noodles and an assortment of veges.
Tonight, Amy and I were determined to try some of the beautifully skewered vegetables; we thought they would be grilled on the open grills manned by the Middle Easterners...but we found that we shouldn't assume anything - ever- here. We were told to put veges and fish in a basket. These contents were dumped into a huge pot of boiling water to par boil, then they were lifted out and put in cold water. Then, into a metal bowl it all went and up came another lid and inside that cauldron was a red broth which was scooped out with a ladle and poured into our metal bowl; we had ordered soup! You just never know. So we said, oh, they don't grill those veges on the stick, too bad...but ten minutes later another vendor was grilling veges.
We have met people from so many countries here, all doing business in textiles. The Middle Easterners stand out, surely; however, we have met plant managers from Norway, Switzerland and the Czech Republic; all during the day, men pedal huge loads of fabric in every direction. I suppose millions are made each minute in our polyester suburb!
Back to my night: Amy and I parted ways and I went to my hair washing place. I felt like singing "these are the people in my neighborhood" because on the way there I saw my noodle maker, my stir fry friend and the guys who gave me my foot massage last week; they all waved and said "Ni Hao" --but it's my hair salon that really appreciates me now! They cheer when I come in! I got my hour and a half massage and my same guy (wearing a pink shirt and holding hands with another hairdresser) loves to dry my hair. I guess he feels comfortable with me now because he asked if his friend could touch my hair. They love it! At one point, I opened my eyes while he was drying my hair to see about fourteen sets of eyes glued to me. I forgot to mention that on the train last weekend, Karis said that some girls sitting next to her were waiting for me to put my head up from a nap and when I did, they looked at each other and ooooooohed over my blue eyes!
OK, three posts is enough for now. Hotmail works today, phew! I must go home and sleep because this weekend, I am seeing a silk factory, a pearl factory, and getting a tour of some special lakes with Amy and her TA tomorrow. Hope all is well at home, and breathe that air!
Yesterday five of us went "home" with two of our TA's, Sunny (mine) and Maggie (my favorite bubbly TA). They go to a University outside of Shaoxing and it took us an hour and a half on the bus to get to a very institutional campus (of course, we ooohed and aahhhed over it, they were so proud to have guests...)(there is one really cool thing...you look up to the hill behind campus and there is a HUGE winged creature up there. Sunny says he holds back the floods from Shaoxing. We asked if we could go up there to see him and his pagoda and they said, yes, it's only a few hours' walk! which would kill me in this heat!)
After an hour of walking around their stark campus, Sunny took us to her dorm room. When we walked in I thought, oh, this is about the same size as dorm rooms in the US...and then we counted the beds - one, two three four five SIX! Six people to a room that would fit two Americans, each person with a four by six cubicle for clothes and books! Each bed had a bamboo mat on it and on top of the cupboards were bags filled with bedding. No air conditioning, only fans. Well, after this long hot journey, three of the others decided to go home but Amy and I felt really badly because Sunny and Maggie had told three of their friends about the American teachers coming and had wanted to take us to dinner, so we decided to stay, drenched with sweat as we were, so that we could honor them and meet their friends.
It turned out to be a lovely night; I especially liked one of Sunny's friends, Annie (they all named themselves English names when they got to college). So the five of them took Amy and me to dinner in this little dirty looking place where we were seated in a private room and where the girls ordered us a feast...DELICIOUS! Annie was telling us all of the good qualities of each dish...eggs make you beautiful, fish makes you smart and tofu is good for your skin. They ordered the regional specialty, which was fish soup made with preserved cabbage. They were so gracious to us and oh boy do they think everything we say is funny! Five times the owner of the restaurant came in to tell us to be quiet, but those girls were so loud and giggly! They secretly paid for our dinner and we think they spent a week's salary on us, but they couldn't have been more happy about it. Amy and I agreed that we made the right choice to stay...what a great night.
A note about the heat. It is hard hard hard for me. If I had known how hard I would not have come. I am learning to just live with constant sweat, but I dream often about Seattle air and temperature and I'm sure when I return I will only have the good memories and will appreciate what I have one million times more!
Thursday, July 20, 2006
What a week, what a week...I can't go into details now, but I finally
created a gmail account to let my poor mother know I am alive. I have
had all kinds of problems emailing this week (I sense
censorship!)...anyway, last night I was desperate to let my family
know that I still exist and finally went to the hotel computer to try
one last time to see if hotmail would work. Again, I could read
messages, but could not send them - except I could send a subject line
- only, I couldn't get the words into English...so, I typed a
desperate "I'm alive!" in Chinese, and sent it. My group members
think you will all assume I am being held for ransom and that you are
frantically decoding the script. But no, I am on my break at school,
trying gmail. Hope it works and hope to get back to tell some more
Monday, July 17, 2006
Just a quick note to let you know that Marjie and I are having some trouble getting pictures to upload correctly from China. She sent me some new pictures via email last night and I've added them into the posts below. If you've been following along with Marjie's trip you may want to scroll through her previous posts to see some of the pictures that go with them. You can also click the "Marjie's Pictures on Flickr" link in the right sidebar to see a few more.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
OK, it was a long day at work...we've all had them, but the therapy for a hard day here is a little different that at home. Our schedules were changed for the fourth time (I bought Amy- the buxom tattooed wonderful girl she is- a beer because she negotiated for me to keep my third, fourth and fifth graders!!) And every 45 minute period just takes so much energy. Today I taught them some emotions and had them practice for the camera...they loved it. However, I thought I might be spoken to by the principal because I'm sure you could hear them "laugh" because they were "happy" all the way to Beijing! Sunny and I are working well together; she loves to have fun and play games. Any moment that lags, she says, "How about a game?" I'm with her! By the way, the assistants are mostly girls who are going to the university in Shaoxing; Sunny is studying English and is thrilled to have this part time job. She tells me every day that she is grateful for how much she is learning.
Anyway, after work (I haven't even been back to the hotel yet) we went in search of dinner. I had not yet tried the street food, but was mesmerized by a woman cook tonight. I stopped everyone to watch her; she had cooking grace. She had some thick cut noodles, oblong and about three inches, a bunch of vegetables, tofu and meats to choose from for her stir fry. I watched her make three dinners in her big wok and she cleaned everything so well that I couldn't stand it any longer...I announced "I'm eating here" and two of the five stayed with me while the others went to a restaurant. You are going to get tired of hearing me say "unbelievable"- but it was!! We will see in the next few days if I have to pay the price, but I have a good feeling about her and her business. She loved cooking for us, smiling shyly the whole time. Our dinners cost fifty cents each.
Just now, I walked along another street to come to this dark smoky cafe where Hotmail works (after my foot massage which I will tell you about) and I was checking out another street chef. Each one has a large assortment of ingredients behind glass to choose from for your stir fry...this one had long necked clams, mussels, calamari, beef strips and...what is that? I look closer. Bullfrogs! And yes, they are still breathing. And that is where my sense of adventure ends!
"Carol LeGore" and I then went to the foot massage place two others had experienced the night before. That word again, unbelievable! We walk in to the smell of bamboo and are taken to a private room with reclining beds and a tv. We are given sliced watermelon and crysanthemum tea as two young men dressed in white shirts and black ties enter the room with big wooden bowls. What followed was a combination of reflexology, massage, stretching, acupuncture and pedicure (and to think I thought I needed one before leaving Seattle!). The guys were so polite; they left the room about ten times to fetch different things and each time they returned they tapped three times on the door and kept saying something like "shi shi lou." They wanted to communicate with us, so we tried for a while but then succumbed to the hot rock treatment at the end. This entire treatment cost about six dollars and we were there for over two hours. My feet have never felt so good!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
OK, here is an outline, and if this works, I will write about it AGAIN
1. I LOVE the group of teachers here
2. I am teaching SIX grade school classes, between 3rd and 5th grade.
They are sooooooooo cuuuuuuute! (add more o's and u's, they are
worthy of them)
3. Three words: Noodle Performance Artists...there is a famous one
here and I ate of his art last night!
I've run into a problem...hotmail doesn't work from many of the
computers here; I mean, it works to receive messages, but not to send
them. It did work from the cafe I found when I first arrived, but how
do I find that again? So keep writing and I will try to work out this
problem. Last night I spent an hour updating my blog and it was erased
when I sent it! I will try again later, this is just a test...let me
know on my hotmail account if you got this!
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
Ten of us from ACT were on the same flight from SF; when we arrived at 10 PM, we took three taxis down to The Bund (term for a muddy embankment...like Venice, it has sunk many meters and the Venetian threat of sinking remains despite their efforts) - anyway, it is the symbolic mile of Shanghai with its high rises and financial activity, it is China's Wall Street. Driving over the hill in the taxi brought gasps from all of us, looking down at its Vegas-like glory. While on the walkway, one side is a view across the water to the space-age buildings, and on the street side, Neo-classical New York architecture (got that from the Lonely Planet).
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I am having a very American eve of my departure...eating 4th of July leftovers (a hot dog and watermelon) while watching a rerun of the Sopranos (the season finale) on my comfortable couch. Tomorrow, who knows what I will be doing or eating (hopefully noodles), other than sitting on a United flight for about 16 hours trying to learn Mandarin.