Monday, October 22, 2007


I just got back from a 2 day trip to Beijing with Renee. We left on Saturday morning, and it is now Monday afternoon. The trip was great actually. Beijing is... amazingly different. There are a lot more foreigners roaming around, the streets are cleaners, there are flowers everywhere, highways, high-rises, water in the river instead of sludge.... it's amazing. The city is still polluted as hell and the perfect weather we had was still marred by the low lying fog of God only knows what hanging over the city. It's amazing how much the pollution changes the whole appearance of the city. Regardless, the city looks pretty good. A lot of it is still run-down, and they're slowly wiping out the culture that draws tourists to Beijing, but as far as a modern city goes, it's getting there. Honestly, I don't remember terribly much about my time in Beijing. I have the worst memory, and it sucks, but 6 years is sort of a long time, and I have done and seen a lot in those six years. I did remember quite a few things though, and I will tell you that there were many parts of Beijing that I wouldn't have recognized even if I had a photographic memory. It's pretty impressive.

I read an article that compared time in China to dog years. One year here is like 7 years in New York City, and 30 years in parts of Africa. It sounds silly, but it is true. In my short time here, I have watched entire streets transform, 30 story buildings sprout up seemingly overnight, and watched a road be constructed entirely by hand. It's a great time to be in China. Seriously. Things are actually happening here, and so fast that you almost miss them. It's a unique atmosphere, and I don't think I will ever regret being here now. Even though I'm not really a part of the action right now, it's sort of fun to be able to see it all happen.

I have had a couple of job interviews already, and have at least two more this week. I am hoping to start hearing back from people by the end of this week, even if it's just for a second interview or a polite no thanks. I'm hoping to find something soon, as I would really like to get a schedule that I can stick to. Not working has it's advantages, but I would like to establish an income and not constantly have to search for something to do every day. Hopefully something will pan out soon.

Anyway, Beijing was fun. We spent a lot of time looking at possible store locations for the eno store that will be opening soon in Beijing, and so I got to see a lot of malls and department stores. I can't imagine shopping like they do in some of these places. Imagine going into an American department store, a 7 story one, and having thousands of people (literally) all around you looking at clothes, shouting at sales assistants, and trying to get to the cashier. Holy shit. So crazy. It's sort of comparable to the Friday after Thanksgiving traffic at the mall, but worse, and this was just a normal weekend, at just one department store. Granted, this is a description of the most popular department store in China, but still. A lot of the other stores and malls were not that much better, and these were all locals, not tourists.

We also visited the Pearl Market and the Fake Market. I got some new fake Pumas and Converse, a fake Tod's bag, some pearls and a necklace and bracelet made of volcanic rock, and some other random stuff. I love markets. They're terribly tempting though. I needed some new shoes, since somehow 5 pairs isn't enough. My black diesels are getting thrown out though, and being replaced by my new black and orange Webos. They look exactly like Pumas, except the stomach of the cat says WEBO, very discreetly, so that you know that they're not Pumas when you're looking really closely. Their motto is Each Step. ....

Friday, October 5, 2007

Nearing the End...

Today is Friday. I am currently sitting on the couch with Bailey watching Weeds. I must say, I am pleasantly surprised by how much I like this show! I am quite hungry right now, and watching all these people on the screen eating their munchies isn't helping. I have big plans tomorrow to go to Moon River and have a nice big hamburger and maybe even a milkshake. They have really good milkshakes. I miss grocery stores where I understand the labels. I don't like going out to eat by myself all the time, and I truly do not know what is in a lot of the things they sell in the stores here, and the cereals and western food here are relatively expensive.

My week of solitary is almost up though! It's probably a little sad that I have actually really enjoyed being here by myself. I really can't say that I mind spending my days on the couch and watching DVDs. Naturally, it has its pros and cons, but for the most part I enjoy it. Having said that, I will be glad when it is over and I have something to do again. If for no other reason than that means I will be in Chinese classes again and might some day be able to order food that I actually want. The way most people who don't speak Chinese order is by ordering a few random dishes based on either their pictures or English descriptions. You would think that these would be good ways to do it, but it's really not. The "English" descriptions are soooo terrible that you still have no idea what is actually in the dish. Oh well.

I hung out with this guy from Connecticut, Jack, last night. I met him walking into my building because he lives in the building next to mine. We have a lot in common and it was fun. We went to this place called The Spot and had some beers and smoked a hookah and just chatted for a while. I am still not entirely sure what to make of him. He's an odd kid. Very random. At one point he reached out and grabbed my wrist and was like you have big wrists! They're even bigger than mine! This was sort of hard to recover from, I had NO idea what to say in response to that. The whole so... do you have a boyfriend? bit halfway through the evening was also a little awkward but we got through it. Then on the walk home he was like ok give me your hand... and took it and then spun me... also a little strange. When I asked, what was that? he just said he wanted to see how good I was at spinning. He's also the sort that talks to strangers and is outgoing in that I don't care what you think so I will do what I want sort of way. A bit unsettling but entertaining at the same time. We'll see if we become friends I guess.

I miss everyone. I hope everyone is happy, as I don't have a single friend that doesn't deserve all the best things in life.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Since Renee and Sage left, I have done very little. I have been going rapidly through their DVD collection, taking care of Bailey, and hanging out with random people. Saturday night I went to Griff's place and we ordered food and played poker. It was very nice of him to invite me out, and I met a few people that were entertaining. Sunday night his friend Peter invited me to his party, and I went. This was a little less entertaining than Griff's, but again I met a bunch of people and was entertained and out of the house for a few hours. It was very nice of them to have me over and entertain me for a while. I have yet to meet anyone that I feel that I click with and could be friends with, but regardless, they are nice people and I have enjoyed hanging out with them.

Bailey misses Renee and Sage and I wish that I could come up with more things for us to do together but I just am not that interested in her. Is that terrible? I think I'm just sort of down right now. So far Shanghai doesn't interest me terribly. There aren't that many tourist attractions, and frankly wandering around is just not all that exciting here. It's still pretty warm outside, and the pollution sort of makes it unbearable a lot of days. Not to mention the fact that it has been raining lately, and I know I already wrote on how much I love it when it rains.

I'm really hoping that once this holiday week is over I am able to find a decent job. I think if I had something to do with myself all the time, I would be much happier. It's amazing to think that I have only been here 15 days. Blah. Here's hoping!