Monday, October 23, 2006

FYI- I earn the same amount every month as migrant laborers. Just something to brighten up your day if you're feeling like you're not earning much.
Well, since I've started this update, i might as well continue. Went to see the highly-touted performance by world-famous DJ Sasha friday night. i've never heard of the dude (embarassingly, didn't even know it was a dude), but i had a free ticket, so i went. the whole thing was a disaster- sasha failed to show up, something the management decided not to announce until about 3 o'clock, up until which time they were charging 300 kuai, double the advertised ticket price, for entry into the club. service was terrible, and my roommate sliced her finger open on a shoddily constructed banister. as i hate blood, the sight of this nearly made me vomit. i didn't, though.
we figured out that sasha wasn't coming a few minutes before it was announced, so we were somewhat near the front of the line to get our stuff out of the coatcheck. unfortunately, the coatcheck people weren't prepared for the onslaught of angry people wanting their coats that ensued. and i, pressed into the mass somewhere near the front, nearly freaked out as i felt the crowd behind me getting angrier and angrier. i guess i should have known that a crowd in beijing is still composed of a bunch of losers who would never start a fight, but it didn't feel that way at the time. i was sure a full-fledged riot was going to break out. i got my stuff as quickly as i could, and got the hell out of there. had a small panic attack. all in all, not such a happy night.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

i am developing a serious addiction, and it worries me. everyday for the past week, i have eaten at least six oranges that i bought at the local store. now, i know that oranges aren't a bad addiction to have, as addictions go, but i'm kind of worried that there will still be some dangerous effects. everything is bad for you in excess, right? but i really can't stop. i've always had a weakness for oranges, particularly in the winter season when they are soo delicious. and here, where i can get a bag of 12 for 50 cents, there is nothing to curb it. will i turn orange? will i get jaundice? or is that from too few oranges?
also, today when i got in to work, i was told that i was chosen to write one of the five little blurbs from staff members for this issue, which would be accompanied by my picture. hello! you do not tell someone their picture is going to be published in a (mostly beijing and shanghai but still technically) NATIONAL magazine without giving them at least a day's warning. therefore, City Weekend readers for the next two weeks will be lucky enough to glimpse a small picture of me in a t-shirt and dirty sneakers, no makeup, bags under my eyes, eyes bloodshot because i think they might be infected or something, greasy haired, grinning like a fucking idiot.
on a bright note, the photo session gave me the opportunity to talk to my new boss, who i really like despite the fact that she got the job i was applying for, leaving me with the internship making 9,000 yuan less a month and no health benefits. she gave me a job tip that i can do along with the internship, grading the british version of ESL exams for Chinese people. i'm hoping it works out, because then i will have some money.
sorry this entry is a little scatterbrained, i've been feeling that way a bit myself lately.

Friday, October 13, 2006

i know its fall because i can finally listen to the decemberists again. i discovered the decemberists last fall, when my friends and i took a road trip to montreal for fall break. walking around the city, we saw that they were playing at a venue, and since we'd heard of them before, decided to check it out. it was an awesome concert, and for the rest of the fall i was obsessed with such classics as "engine driver" and "july, july". but as the year progressed, i discovered that i associated their music too much with the autumn time of year to listen to it any other time. it just didn't feel right, especially as the weather got nicer. i thought maybe i was just totally over them, and didn't expect to ever listen to them again, except when listening to a mix of college classics. but today i woke up, and i just thought "the decemberists would be the perfect thing to listen to". fall starts a bit late over here i guess, the weather has only just started to get cold. it's funny, fall is actually the only nice season here. summer is too hot, winter is bitterly cold, and because beijing is near a desert, spring is apparent full of sand storms. i've actually only lived here for summer and fall, so i'm not too excited to find out about these other seasons. it sort of depresses me knowing that this is the last nice weather i'm going to be seeing for a really long time. it makes me feel like i should be taking advantage of it. like i should go out more now, since when it's winter time i'm not going to want to. but feeling like i should take advantage something doesn't really make me do it. it just makes me mope about it.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

i had a real setback moment the other day, the kind that makes you feel like even though you've spent over 7 months in beijing overall, you're still a total idiot foreigner. actually, being from new york, it really just made me feel like a total idiot. i got pickpocketed.
i was waiting for a friend in a popular tourist area that i'm fairly familiar with, as last summer the place where i interned was right near by. i found out that he wasn't going to be able to make it (which already put me in a bad mood), so i turned on my ipod and strolled on to eat alone. at some point i noticed that my shadow was bigger than it should be, and on turning around, i noticed that a small man/boy was standing close behind me. i would guess that he was maybe 13 or 14, as he was fairly small but his face looked somewhat mature. anyway, after i noticed this guy, i noticed that my bag was hanging open. i looked inside, and noticed that all my cash was missing. luckily i don't carry a wallet, so the only thing i lost was cash. after i noticed the cash was gone, i turned back to look at the boy. in retrospect, obviously, obviously this guy was the culprit. no one else was around, and i saw him standing right behind me. but if you've ever had to accuse someone of robbing you that you didn't actually see taking your money, it's tough. i just felt too bad to say to him, "you took my money." because i really hate to accuse people of things. and at the time, i was still sort of shocked, and i wasn't entirely sure that it was him. so i sort of turned to him a few times, and then kept turning away. then i noticed that a westerned was sitting sort of near us talking on his phone. i looked at him, thinking that if he had seen this guy pick my pocket, he would motion to me that that was the guy. but he didn't do anything. so i got more insecure and just walked away.
so basically, i am an idiot. i was stupid enough to let myself get pickpocketed, and stupid enough to see the guy and not get my money back. and i lost $100 dollars. that's 800 yuan. that's like, enough money to last maybe two months if you're a street urchin. this guy is now rolling in the dough. but there's nothing i can do about it now, so at least i can be thankful i didn't lose my atm card or my driver's license or anything. live and learn.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

in fulfilling a terrible task that i've been given at work, calling organizations listed in our magazine to check their information (boring in any country, but quite a challenge when your language skills are only so-so), i came across a man by the name of Rutger Boot. First of all, he sounded like he was chinese, so i'm intrigued as to how he came to acquire that name. fyi, he was working at the dutch speaking community, so it's a dutch name. did his dutch teacher give him that name? is that a normal dutch name? there's so much i don't know about the dutch. But this leads me to my second of all, which is that i have decided to give my child (or cat, as the case may be) a dutch name. rutger. how cool is that? it has that sort of official sounding feeling, like when people give their kids last names as first names- madison, brady, etc. i also thought about german as a possible source for names, but i recently met a girl named dagmar, and there is no way i could do that to a living creature i am responsible for.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

today i was riding my bike, and one of the pedals fell off. i think maybe i should spend more than 20 bucks on a bike next time.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

i had meant to write a blog entry earlier mentioning the fact that i recently played beirut in the entryway of the US Embassy, but it didn't really fit in any of my earlier posts. and i didn't really have anything to say about it, except that it was really cool. but i've since been to another gathering at the embassy, and i want to tell you about that, so i thought i'd mention the earlier beirut game now.
anyway, this second party was just so ridiculous that i had to tell you all about it, even though it was not a very chinese experience. some friends of mine are friends with the son of the american embassador, hence the location of the party. they recently got this video game, which i'm not sure of the name of, but its like dance dance revolution except with guitar playing. it's super fun. so anyway, i guess they played it so much that they maybe sort of lost touch with reality, and decided that they actually were in a heavy metal band. so they threw this party to be the opening gig for the band, and invited tons of people. the only thing was that most of these people thought they were really going to see a metal band at the american embassy (which honestly, is pretty dumb, so maybe they deserved what they got). the band kept everyone waiting around for a long time, drinking and eating the hot dogs and hamburgers they provided.
and then they had the big unveiling. for all these people who thought they were going to see a real metal band. they lift up this big curtain they had rigged up, and there are two guys playing the game and a fake lead singer and drummer doing a lot of head banging. i don't want to say it was a disaster. and i dunno, because i had gotten fairly sauced myself, so it still felt pretty fun to me, and i helped try to get a mosh pit going and stuff. but the faces of those kids, man. they looked so confused and unimpressed. fortunately, that was only a small part of the party. and it was incredibly amusing for those that knew what was going on. and i guess in that way, its even funnier the way those kids responded. just if it was my party, i would've hoped that they would've seen the fun in it and joined us in the moshing.