Thursday, June 30, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
The city management swooped in, in a matter that could only be coordinated. Two vans shot up next to the roadside and proceeded to take away tables and chairs from the pavement in front of the restaurant we were eating at. The owners and service staff swarmed out onto the street to occupy the ground. Apparently it was not theirs to take. People talked in strong words. The owner struggled to retrieve his plastic chairs from their confiscation. Cameras were always out on the city management side, quickly recording the proceedings, whether to protect themselves later, or for recording identities, who knows. And where were we, sitting at a table that should really have been confiscated too if there were to be any consistency, but we sat there at the tables while the others were take away. One colleague got up in tautoko of the establishment that we regularly ate. The rest of us watched the scene.
"You can't do this, we're Chinese!"
"You aren't Chinese!" such petty name calling. I was off to the bus.
"Blue, Blue, that's the colour of my room, where we will live…"
"Well, honestly, I don't remember who you are…"
The iPod moved on and I've got off the bus. It was already after ten-thirty but there was a daylights worth of people on the street. Why would the shops shut? I guess no-one looks for real estate at this time. I go into a dairy for a Pokari Sweat. There is a cat on the counter. Miao! I pat it. Miao! I pay for my drink. Miao! I pat it again! Miao! it comments with a big mouth. I head out again. The night sight of people is always a worthy scene in
I got home earlier than expected and gladly so; it'd only be then that I'd blog.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
We're on the verge of Dragon Boat festival and have entered the teeth of summer. It is pumping hot. Hot in the morning; even hotter in the day; and steamy in the evening. I've done better than last year in the simple act of keeping hydrated. Pokari Sweat (an isotonic drink) and pineapple beer (a local product, quite nice, but would kill for a Phoenix Ginger Beer) are staple drinks, I drink them on more days than I don't. I'm fine but don't ask me next week. At least I've discovered a swimming pool in the neighbourhood which is surprisingly cheap and surprisingly big.
Work has been waist-deep and though still fascinating, it is more than one can do in a forty hour week. I'm doing overtime, but I'm hoping that will end next week when the new boss takes the Continuous Professional Development off my list of things to do. The new boss is an American probably about the same age as me. He has had experience leading teams and centres, and is approaching the task earnestly. He gives me another point of reference as I create my own way of managing. He's revived policies that haven't been seen before for a while (an English-only environment in the office) as well as some quite original ideas that can only be from someone who hasn't been in this environment for long.
China is about to swell with national pride as one of a billion did what none of the others, or their predecessors, had done: won a major tennis tournament. Li Na is a sensation here. China will long have an instinctive craziness as it breaks through ceilings and goes into fields it hasn't achieved in. Let's see if it is the exception or the breaking of the rule forever onwards.