29 December 2006

communication blip

The international Internet in China will be down for up to three weeks because of the earthquake in Taiwan. I can use my local e-mail server, though, to e-mail this entry in. There's always a way around the third world, eh?

Christmas Eve was rad---we went to Chongming Island for a friend's wedding on a rural farm. There were piles and racks and stacks of steamed whitefish, fried smelts, roasted cashews, eggplant, marinated eel, and dishes containing undiscernable foods. The Chinese wine and American beer (Budweiser) flowed freely, contributing to the downfall of the one Western toilet.

One friend bought a rice sifting basket from a basketweaver and when we went to the market for a walk, parents woke up their children to point out the "laowei" (weird foreigners). When we had spare keys made (because we needed them and the keymaker just happened to be there), the whole village crowded around to listen to our Mandarin (which is only partially discernable to the people there, who probably speak Chongmingnese). The bus ride back was four hours too long, but at least we could sleep in the next day.

On Christmas we baked a bird (dry) and a pie (lekker) and our friends' wine and side items saved the day. On Boxer Day, we ate Italian and had oil massages (2-for-1 with a coupon) at a shi-shi spa where Dirk's masseuse touched him inappropriately (he needed to debrief afterwards and had already concluded that no, he would not send his brothers there).

Back to school the 27th to hard-core literature discussions with the kids to make up for lost time. (New Year's Resolution: start grading their papers in a timely manner.)

Dirk's family arrived the 28th, yesterday, sleepy because they hadn't rested on the plane. They hung out at the house, went to the Carrefour for bread and coffee, ate leftover apple-raisin-walnut pie, and waited for me to get home so that we could head downtown. Downtown: Japanese noodles, the Bund (flashing lights---picture Tokyo, but more insane), the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel (shining star, meteor shower, heaven and hell---Dirk and I have been FOUR times!).

I'm exhausted and am glad that the kids are taking quizzes in class today so that I don't have to put on a show.

Over and out.

betholindo at 08:39

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