Friday, November 12, 2010

What's been going down lately

Brief (maybe...) update with a few snapshots (figurative, not literal...sorry) of the past few weeks.

-We lost power for 2 days. This means candles, flashlights, and cell phone backlights lit our way throughout our apartment. It also meant no hot water (ie starting a new, no showering streak), no laundry, no heaters, and most importantly no internet. That's right. For 2 whole arduous days I went without Skype, fantasy football and Words With Friends. Nothing ground breaking really except that I was getting precariously low on clean clothes and may have scared away some people with an unkept appearance.

-The Turkey Bowl beard is in full growth mode. Over a month now and no blade has touched my face. Or neck. Or head. I look a little like Joakin Phoenix during his crazy spell where he tried to convince everyone he didn't care about anything and never wanted to act again. The mullet is also getting annoying and everytime I take the 3 mile ride to class I end up with a windblown, Jared Allen/Patrick Swayze (RIP) level mullet. But anything for the tradition of the Turkey Bowl, where the men of the ACC here in China will look to cold-cock the entitled SEC jabronis on the gridiron every Thanksgiving.

-One of my teachers recently tried to convince me that Mao is the best leader China has ever had and that the Cultural Revolution did more good than harm. You know, since killing millions of people is surely better than some things. A thing??? It got to be a pointless argument and I just ended up letting her feel like she had convinced me. Maybe she is the granddaughter of the late (and terribly preserved...) Chairman. Or maybe her father got some backdoor contracts from his people or something.

-My other teacher is more fun and less political, but she talks a lot about how handsome waiguoren are. I know Chinese people are generally not very direct, but I'm really really hoping this is not as close as they get and its just a coincidence that she always brings this up. I have 10 hours of class per week, one on one with both of these teachers and it's definitely been the hardest part of the year so far. My language hasn't progressed as much as I'd hoped yet since the rust is very slowly wearing off and neither of these teachers have any prior experience.

-We had some friends from America come visit last week who brought us (mainly me due to my connections to some friends in Durham) some awesome gifts. I also found out my brother gets to come visit this summer while he studies for 5 weeks here. He tried to play it all cool like he didn't want to come that badly, but I know Matty and I know that if there's one thing he can't say no to, its living in the sticks, using squatty potties, letting me order dishes which he has no idea what is in them.

-I got in a moped accident. Really it wasnt an accident, more of crappy tires and slick pavement ending in my skidding off. Don't worry, I'm fine, and it even prompted me to buy a helmet. Though I'm not sure I would've gotten one if it was the standard "Boba Fett" masks and not the Speed Racer one I ended up getting for 50RMB (8 US dollars) on the side of the road. Safety first, ya know?

-I've watched a few football games, including last weeks Florida State/UNC game. I woke up at 3:30am and watched the whole thing, which I think may have ended in me waking up Harrison in the next room (though he humbly claims I didn't to let me save face). Totally worth it.

-We have a cat living with us right now. People who know me know I hate cats. I'm pretty sure I've claimed in the past even that cats are in some way responsible for every disease in the world, the Vietnam War, the existence of mosquitos, and the problem of evil itself. At one point I even had a business plan to make bumper stickers with anti-feline propaganda. But Harrison brought it home and I'm trying my hardest to make it work, even though I've already whispered obscenities at it and come close to straight up punting it. I dont trust it at all. We'll see how long it stays.

-I bought tickets for THAILAND, the happiest place on earth (I'm calling shenanigans, Disney World...Athletes should proclaim "I'M GOING TO KOH LANTA!" when they get asked what they're doing after winning the Super Bowl or the World Series). Though filled with disappointments, one awesome perk about being completely single is that this is what I'm calling "an uncapped year." I can have as many fruit shakes on the beach as I want. Married guys have wives who worry about their husbands experiencing too much freedom and/or spending "too much money" (theyre about $1.30 each...). But not me. No woman is holding me back this year.

That's about all I can think of for now. Hope it tides you over, Mom and the other 3 readers I have.


  1. hahaha this is great.

    -reader #1 of 3

  2. we'll chat that next year there will be a woman holding you back from all those shakes... glad you'll be with us in Koh Lanta...

    p.s. I'm bet Shelley would be willing to give you some practice by trying to limit the amount of fruit shakes you intake this year. I volunteer her for the job.

  3. I must be reader #3 :) Thanks for the update Daniel! I'm not sure I realized you and Kyle both hate cats so much. I hope the cat stays.