Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Been awhile

It's been over two weeks since i've updated this page, and there are very good reasons for that. I literally haven't had any time. I now work from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, and by the time I get back home, meet up with some people to eat dinner, I have maybe an hour to myself before I go to sleep. And since I don't have internet access in my apartment, it's a little difficult to update the page. when I do have time, I don't really like walking down the street and using the internet "cafe"...internet cafe's in China (in chinese it is translated as "net bar") are more like biological hazard zones. Generally they are filled with cigarette smoking computer game addicts who sit there playing RPG computer games for days at a time (the bar near my house has a special discount if you stay for 12 hours straight). They also really enjoy hawking up lugies on the floor and generally being disgusting. Not to mention, the keyboards usually barely work.

Aside from not having internet access, my apartment is pimp as hell. I took a bunch of pictures of it the day I moved in, and will now take you on an exciting visual tour of my temporary domecile.

The first thing you will see as you pass through the door way is the beautiful faux cracked glass divider that separates the entrance from the living room.

The exsquisite (how do you spell this word?) divider latticework masks the rustic yet retro-futuristic living room decor that lies just a few feet beyond...

Notice the large TV, it is since been complemented by an aquamarine colored DVD player bought and paid for yesterday. By far the most remarkable characteristic of this masterpiece of fengshui interior design is the plush comfortable couches furnishings. Also notice the massive air-conditioner...when that bitch is cranked up it feels like a 25mph ice cold breeze is running through the room. Next, I take you to the balcony...

From the balcony there is a quaint view of the luscious urban jungle that is Shanghai. An excellent place to relax after a long day at work, kick back, as the sounds of jackhammers pounding pavement and publics buses flying by lull you to sleep. Next, the dining room...

The dining room is a holy place in most households, and the interior gods who designed my apartment nod to this notion with a dining room table that if not carefully examined may be mistaken for a museum quality work of art. Too bad it is now mainly being used as a piling point for the random junk I take out of my pockets when I return home. Without further ado, I present you the least used room of this apartment, the kitchen

The kitchen is complete with a gas range, and rice cooker...both of which have been used exactly twice...Next, the hallway with full-sized primping mirror...

This hallway-mirror combo is maybe the most important part of the whole apartment is here that I spend at least 5 minutes primping myself before venturing out to the mean streets of shanghai each morning before work. It is also here that I practice my break dancing and ballet moves each night...pirrouetting myself to a twirling sleep. And finally, the master bedroom...

This, my friends, is where the magic happens. This room is very special to me for reasons that should be obvious.

Stay tuned for next time, when I show the two bathrooms...yes, you heard right, two friggin bathrooms. What can a man do with two bathrooms? well you'll have to wait till next entry to find out...

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


This program is officially over...the real party has now begun.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Wenzi - The bane of my existence

Last night, two hours after going to sleep I am woken up by a familiar buzzing in my ear, then the realization that my whole body itches worse than a whore at a herpes clinic. I was then consumed by an overwhelming hatred toward my new arch nemesis, the mosquito. I turned the light on and found that somehow more than 10 of these little fuckers had crept into my room, then a rabid murderous rampage ensued.... I killed all that I saw with reckless abandon, some of them popped at the smacking and droplets of probably my own blood began to cover my hand. I think I killed around 8, and drove a couple out the window. I looked in the mirror than there were around 15 bites over my back arms and even my thumb...they went so low as to bite my thumb...the opposable thumb that separates man from his banana sucking cousins...unthinkable. So I got out some itch cream and spread that stuff around, and things soon quelled to only a medium level of itch.

Fuck You Clown!!!

This is the second or third time the mosquitos have come in at night and bitten me nearly to death, so today I had the novel idea that I should have thought of weeks ago to actually go out and buy some mosquito killing stuff. I bought this electric thing you plug in and is supposed to kill them, we'll see tonight how well that works. It is made by Raid, I have trust in their quality crafstmanship, will report later on its efficacy.

If you are in the mood for a puzzle, check out Petals Around the Rose, it took me about ten minutes to figure out. If you ever wanted to see Transformers breakdancing, this pimping video will certainly satisfy you.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Job is hooked up

After staying up all night finishing my research paper, getting literally no sleep, I went to Shanghai last wednesday morning to visit the company I will be interning for this Summer. The most important thing for me on the agenda was actually setting a date for when I would start working. I got there and the day went really well. After discussing what I will be doing with my soon to be boss, and an HR person, we figured out a date (June 14) and they told me about the apartment (a three bedroom pimp's palace). I'm not getting paid, but they will be giving me the apartment to live in, and a small stipend for food that seems like a pretty reasonable amount of money. They then took me around the office and introduced me to a bunch of people, all of them really nice and welcoming. Most people spoke decent english, and a lot of them didn't catch on to my Chinese prowess cuz I kept it to english most of the time. I've found it's usually the better option to not let people know how much you understand (when they're speaking chinese) at least in the beginning. the reason is if they start speaking all this chinese to me, especially the important stuff in the beginning of the job, I may not understand all of it. So it was good to just get all the stuff in english, so I wouldn't have to worry about language barrier issues. They basically said I can work on anything I think is interesting. They gave me a few suggestions and introduced me to some people that they think i may like to work with, but encouraged me to go around and see what everyone was doing and if something looks interesting I can join them. Overall, the day made me pretty excited about working there this summer, and it seems like I should be doing some real work, for better or worse.

This program here is almost over, Monday and Tuesday are the last two finals, and Wednesday teh bus leaves for Shanghai to take people to the airport. A friend and I were thinking back on this program tonight at dinner, and basically we came to the conclusion that a lot of it sucked. Being in China was great, everything outside of the actual program was great, but the program itself just drained us and never let up. Pretty much everyone on this program, some of whom are very hard workers in college and are used to studying very hard, all have said that they are more burnt out now than they have ever been at the end of any semester. I think that it would have probably been more beneficial (along with less damaging to my GPA and about $10,000 cheaper) if I just took a semester off and travelled around china or studied here as an independent student. But I guess that's all in the past. The one thing that was actually great about the program were the teachers, both my chinese teachers were great people and now pretty much friends.

As for my personal goals of learning Chinese here, I feel like so far I have done really well, but most of that learning was done outside of the classroom hanging out with chinese people and just getting into weird situations. Right now, basic day-to-day things in Chinese are almost as easy as in english and in conversation i'm starting to understand more and more. The biggest thing I think i'm lacking right now is reading skills cuz I haven't focused on learning the characters enough, but I am going to try to work hard at that this summer, maybe even try to struggle through a book in chinese (that may be way over my head at the moment though).

OK, enough of the serious shit, here are two midgets playing basketball: