Tuesday, July 31, 2007

There's fake Harry Potters all over China! It's funny, this totally explains why Dandan told me that "the girl dies." it was a statement that puzzled me for a while, but she seemed very sure about it. getting rid of fakes in china is going to be quite the battle, i'm curious to see how it goes.
china always ruins everything with its damn tourism industry! i mean, it'll be good to see some money going into tibet, although knowing how the chinese work, all that money will just go to han chinese people who have been moved to tibet. i really don't mean to be a richard gere, but its enough to get a person angry.
in other news, as of friday i am no longer working for the 'lympics. it's a shame, cuz it was a nice dependable job w/ a pretty sweet salary. but it just really got too boring, i feel like its not the time or the place to settle with that kind of a job. so now i'm trying to figure out what to do with the upcoming months. definitely some travelling in store, if anyone will be in the area. and some studying of chinese, so i can feel like i learned a damn thing while i was here. and i'm gonna dust off my video camera and try to do something cool with it. no, not pornography.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

i just leaned over to my boss's cubicle and said, "isn't it obvious that Glasgow is going to host the Commonwealth Games? Clearly Abuja is not up to it, the committee keeps reporting that they find it lacking, while Glasgow always gets glowing reports." oh, sports.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

fun olympic info-
-did you know that china is planning to summit Mt. Everest with the Olympic torch? and keep it lit the whole time. i saw a documentary about Everest and people lost their fingers! and they weren't even trying to carry up a huge torch.
-did you know that when china wants it to rain, they shoot rockets into the sky that can somehow make it rain? and for the opening and closing ceremonies, they're working on rockets that can do the opposite, something along the lines of exploding the rain particles.
-today our shuttle hit the car in front of us. it wasn't even moving. for some reason, mogli from the Jungle Book was there too.

Monday, July 23, 2007

i gotta say, the people that voted swarthmore the third most annoying liberal arts college on gawker's thing are definitely, definitely just people that are jealous cuz they didn't get in or something. i mean, not to say that i had the best experience at swat. the people are incredibly social awkward (pot kettle black, i know) and we have to work all the time. probably given the choice again, i wouldn't matriculate there. but the swat flaws are only things that should be annoying to swatties, not to other people. one of the best things about swat is that we are not annoying in the way that most liberal arts schools are, because with the exception of a certain very small social group, everyone is a loser and totally knows it. unlike vassar, bard, wesleyan, etc, no one is really trying to impress anyone. everyone graduates about ten shades uglier than when they came in, and when i would go home to new york and see what was fashionable, i'd be like, "oh." and there are way fewer film studies, cultural studies, or art majors than at other liberal arts schools. so lay off, people!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

oh also, i'll tell you guys about my weekend of travelling w/ Liz. first we flew to hohhot, inner mongolia. we had been excited to find that the day of our arrival was the last day of naadam, a mongolian holiday that Lonely Planet said was some kind of an amazing experience. unfortunately, on our arrival, we asked hotel workers, waiters, etc, where we could go for the festivities, and found that none of them seemed to know what we were talking about. still confident that the numerous internet sites we had checked were correct, we headed off for the racetrack, which LP said was the spot where mongolian tribes from all over gathered to engage in horse racing, archery, etc competitions for the holiday. but when we got there, it was totally empty save two horses and a few men who tried to get us to pay 15 kuai to ride the horses. we declines, and dejectedly walked around the city for the rest of the day. we did find a huge, rickety ferris wheel on which we had a particularly nerve-wracking ride, though.
the next day we headed to the grasslands, where many travel agencies have tours that let you ride horses, eat a mongolian meal, and sleep in a yurt, though we didn't do the last part because we didn't have time to stay the night. the horse riding was pretty damn scary for us novice riders, and trotting for two hours left me with a bunch of bruises on my legs and soreness in pretty much my entire body.
that night we took a train to datong, on which we spent the entire time avoiding the blood dripping from the nose of the girl across from us (she leaned over so it could drip onto the floor. nice) and being peed on by the baby whose schlong was pointed straight at us (chinese babies clothes have a slit in the crotchal area during their toilet training period, and they don't wear diapers.
in datong we check out the buddhist caves with an incredible number of buddhas carved into its walls. as we left, an immense downpour began, which had luckily cleared by the time we got off the bus. from datong we took a bus to wutaishan, passing the hanging temple on the way. unfortunately, the clever chinese tourism industry put a big wall on the road across from the temple, so we weren't able to get much of a view.
wutaishan, the only place i hadn't been before, was amazingly beautiful. picture huge grass-covered mountains with forests of evergreen trees. i kept thinking i was going to see maria from the sound of music. i didn't though, just a bunch of cows. in taihuai, the village nestled in a valley of the mountains, we checked out a bunch of the endless temples in the area. these were cool, though really i could go without seeing temples for a long, long time.
we spent the entire last day of our journey getting back to beijing. it was my first experience on a hard-seater, hopefully something i will never never have to do again. we spent the ten hour journey playing cards and looking out the window, which we were lucky enough to procure after 2 hours. at the end of the trip, we were completely covered in soot. and incredibly sweaty and tired. it was great to get back to the apt and go to sleep in a bed i was familiar with.
Just you wait, soon they'll be printing my story about moving to china in the times.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

i'm back at work in Beijing again,where i was sad to discover that the virgin has been fired. it really makes a difference here, because my only two sort of friends here were her and dandan, and things have been kind of awkward with dandan since i've been back. i emailed her a few days before i started work again, to say that i hoped things were okay with us. she responded that it was okay, that we had simply been travelling together for too long. so i guess technically we're okay, but it seems like she's being kind of cold. i guess maybe the friendship is over, but she's not going to be like a heinous bitch to me. which is fine with me, i guess, though it was nicer to have friends at work. oh wel.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

rest assured, everyone. my bag has been returned! you can stop your clothing drives, book drives, and canned food drives (i don't know whose idea that one was) and say amen. the china air people dropped off my bag today, though they didn't assist me in getting it up the four flights of stairs to my apartment. i'm a bit sad, because it was very close to being over 24 hours late, in which case my insurance would have entitled me to 100 dollars to buy toothpaste and such. nonetheless, i am thankful to have all of my favorite tshirts back, along with the rest of the stuff. when i got the bag back today, i rifled through the entire contents looking for my glasses, which i have been direly craving since i reach this country with dry, sore eyes that were starting to puss from continuing to wear contacts in their condition. and lo and behold, they were in the backpack that i've had the whole time. hoho, that is... not funny at all. okay, sorry for updates that are interesting to no one but my mom. my sister's coming tomorrow for a visit!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Back in China, after a lovely month spent at home. I've got somewhat mixed emotions about my return; after nine months away from the US, I hadn't realized how much I missed it until I reached US customs. But being back here, I'm starting to remember a lot of the perks of living in China, like the fact that my socioeconomic status has risen about three levels in a day. i can run my AC all the time, take cabs, and not worry about breaking the bank. Anyway the next few months will be exciting, with visits from Liz and Mariel to liven things up.
As for my trip back, it may rank up there among my worst US-China forays. It's funny, each time I fly, I'm sure it must be the worst, but every single time tops the last trip in badness. And I'm always trying, like, a new airline and stuff hoping it will make a difference. Unfortunately, I'll never be able to afford flying Japan Airlines as I did my first few trips, and so I'll never know true airline happiness. they give out pockies and sapporo! Anyway, as for this trip. After staying up till four celebrating the 4th of July, I woke up at six to go to Laguardia. The first leg of my trip was uneventful. I was happy to note that the planes had personal tvs with a wide variety of options including episodes of The Office and Arrested Development, and as I dozed off for the one-hour flight from New York to Toronto, I looked forward to watching all of the movies during the 13 1/2 hour flight I had ahead of me. But on getting onto my Toronto-Beijing flight (after a 4 hour layover), I discovered that the international flights did not have personal tvs. how does this make sense?? why, why wouldn't you put the personal tvs on the flights where they actually need them, first? Another highlight of my trip was sitting next to an extremely flatulent chinese man. this, i would not recommend, especially when you're in a window seat and have no source of air. it blows. Oh, and the icing on the cake? Getting into the Beijing airport after 19 hours of travel, I discovered that they had lost my luggage. I am incredibly proud of myself for not breaking down and crying at this juncture, even though I am now without all of my favorite t-shirts, all of my jeans, socks, and underwear, and my glasses and contacts. and deodorant, which you can't buy here. i'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn up. if not, i'm gonna have to hit the mall.

Monday, July 02, 2007

so now i'm going through a period where i've been doing lots of things i want to write about, but i'm still too lazy to write them up. two days ago, for instance, i saw ratatouille, which was really great. i hadn't planned on seeing it, as i'm not one of those people who runs out to see every pixar movie, especially not after the disaster that was cars. but after reading the times review, which said something to the effect of "this is the best movie you'll ever see. best best best," i thought i'd give it a shot. it was well worth it, a cute simple story that leaves you feeling all warm and gooey inside. after that, i saw knocked up for the third time, and that movie is also wonderful.
yesterday, i went to see upright citizens brigade. i was sooo glad that i got to see it while i'm home, and it was soooo good. way better than the last time i had gone. best of all, amy poehler was there, which she sometimes isn't. also horatio sans and rachel dratch. and some other swell people. i hadn't laughed that hard in a really long time, and jeremy cristol didn't lose his wallet, so everyone went home happy.
today i went to six flags, which was a great time and i'd love to tell you about it, but i am incredibly tired right now, so i have to go. sorry.