I just got back from my, almost daily, Harbin beer run (see previous posts) and the price for the large bottle has dropped from 2.1RMB to 2RMB! Soon, my plan to open a Harbin beer outlet in my apartment building and resell them for up to 3RMB, will be complete and no one can stop me! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
Today is Dragon Boat Day.
The Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu Festival ) is a traditional holiday that commemorates the life and death of the famous Chinese scholar Qu Yuan (Chu Yuan). The festival occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar. The Dragon Boat Festival is a celebration where many eat rice dumplings, drink realgar wine and race dragon boats. Other activities include hanging icons of Zhong Kui (a mythic guardian figure), hanging mugwort and calamus, taking long walks, writing spells and wearing perfumed medicine bags. More importantly, it’s a national holiday and it showed with the reduced traffic on the streets. It is also one of my regular days off so I get an extra day off to compensate.
Speaking of work, a couple of days ago marked the end of my 60-day probationary period and I’m happy to announce that I passed and I am now considered a full-time, international teacher with EF with all the rights and privileges, thereof, including having my picture and bio on the wall in the lobby and most importantly, being able to schedule vacation time. All of which, I might add, has been claimed by Nancy and Sophie (well, Nancy) for their trip here in October.
Remember the list of questions about “what would you save?” I said I would post the results and show what my Chinese students listed as important. As it turned out (much to my surprise) the similarities were such that there’s really no point because, there’s not much difference, at least in this, hardly scientific, sampling. When I gave the class, I was struck by the consistency of students saving their grandmother, listing her as number one.
“How quaint,” I thought. Americans would never bother with granny. Not when there were personal possessions at stake. I was wrong. Evidently, Americans too, would save granny first. A case of “projection”, perhaps? Perhaps.
I also want to say that, as anyone can see, my postings are becoming fewer and farther in-between. I mentioned in my last posting that when I set up my blog, I expected to be quite prolific, if only as a coping mechanism for what I had expected to be an isolation and resulting loneliness, because of lack of communication. None of that has turned out to be the case (I’m NOT complaining.) I don’t feel lonely or isolated and I don’t feel compelled to relive my angst through writing. Even if that were the case, the reality is, how much does anyone want to hear about traffic jams, dirt cheap beer and massive subway lines? Oh sure, the first dozen or so missives are quite compelling, but after that, I’m not so sure. I could drone on in a very long post, about the tremendous anxiety of waiting for an elevator (and the massive lines and various coping strategies to get in an elevator the same day you arrived to take it) in any high-rise building during morning rush hour, as it is something no one outside of NYC has probably experienced, but when you distill it down to its essence, it’s utterly prosaic, mundane and, I conclude, of little genuine interest.
This very posting isn’t particularly newsworthy or compelling but I feel somewhat guilty if I don’t keep up some type of consistent communication. Again, perhaps a case of projection. So, going forward, I will only post when there is something genuinely interesting, unique, compelling or newsworthy rather than writing, merely for the sake of writing. That probably means, no more than one posting a week, if that. But on the plus side, know that when you see a new posting, it will be something worth your time. In the meantime, take a look at the pictures below. I would categorize them under the title: The Chinese, at times, don’t mince words.