Greetings friends and family,
Today I fought with the Internet. It was an epic clash of wills, in which I prevailed. But I start in the middle.
I bought breakfast from the lady by the exhibition. I wondered to myself as I ate it, whether I really like it, or if the spiciness (not taste, the heat) was just compelling me to eat it as some sort of manly feat. I really don’t know.
Then began my work for the day. I started scanning sample pages from the textbooks being used. My purpose, as I understand it, is twofold. First of all, the pages are being sent to another teacher who will arrive for the last week of camp, so that she may understand what we are about and have already done. Second, if I understand correctly, the parents of the students, or perhaps prospective students, will get a look at what we’ve been doing.
Either way, I scanned some 18 pages from the book. That would have been no trouble, but I first had to clean the computer’s drive C. That’s simple enough, but the number of junk files that had built up was staggering.
With the pages scanned, I attempted to email them. Ha! Getting them attached to an e-mail was a lucky thing, I tried probably four times before our Internet connection decided to give the speed needed to upload the files.
All that was for naught, because the email bounced on the teacher’s inbox; exceeded her attachment size limit is how the postmaster email read. So I had to send five emails, slowly attaching two or three of the scans at a time, careful that they didn’t add up to more than 5 megabytes; that seemed to be the magic number.
This literally took all day, from nine to three. While waiting on scans to attach I began work on the first skit for this week. After the emails were all sent I finished the skit. My creativity is being stretched in new directions. The theme this week is Secret Agent Zoo Animals. I took creative license with it and now we have Secret Agents and Zoo Animals.
The purpose of the week is to learn the English vocabulary for various types of communications and animals. I worked that in for sure. And, I worked in a moral, the danger of pride. Ha, pride, lions… anyway, I guess you can read the script here under the Short Fictiton tab up to.
For supper this evening I decided to venture out on my own. As such, I walked a long way for lousy food. There are a great many Chinese dishes (cài 菜) that look like meat but are not. Blasted tofu. Oh well, live and learn. Next time I’ll ask, is that meat? (Zhège shì ròu ma?) I got a scoop each of four different things in one container about as long as my hand and not quite as deep as a hamburger box, plus a container of white rice, same dimensions.
I bought some peaches, but shouldn’t have. They’re kind of hard. I’m hoping they soften a bit.
I stopped and ate about a quarter of the way back. Sat on the low border of a flowerbed, full of petunias I think. They smelled good. Better than my food actually. I got a few looks, but was sitting low enough that I think I was mostly missed. The looks I got were because I was Amercian, not because I was sitting there to eat. People here stop and do things wherever they feel it seems. I saw a fellow on a bicycle, propped against a wall, asleep. I kid you not.
On they way home I was stopped by a lady and her son. This time, after she had rattled on and gestured for a bit I asked, “You don’t have any money?” Yes, she answered. She didn’t have cash at the moment and wanted to get her son, he’s ten or better, a watermelon slice. I said I needed to go home and left. They must think foreigners have kuai to spare.
Part of the reason I had trouble guessing what she wanted, was because (I have discovered) everything is said in a round about way. Instead of saying “I ran out of cash, can you spare three kuai,” the lady was giving me the equivalent of “I left my purse at home, and I would have gone back to get it, but I was already outside, and now my son has told me wants a slice of watermelon.” As if I’ll understand that when it’s in Chinese. Maybe if she spoke really slowly, which just doesn’t happen.
Because I must…