So … I’m in China. Sounds exciting, right? Well, eh. When I went to Beijing at the end of June I stopped by Shanghai and left a daruma doll in the apartment – one eye filled in. The daruma doll is a good luck talisman of sorts. You’re supposed to fill in one eye when you make a goal, and when you’ve reached the goal you get to fill the other eye in. So by having a one-eyed creepy little doll staring at you, it encourages you to keep working at your goal. It’s supposedly a traditional Japanese thing (all my information is coming from Wikipedia), and even though I’m not Japanese (and have no knowledge of this thing outside what Wikipedia is telling me), I like the premise of having a visual, physical signifier of a wish. Post-it notes and to-do lists I have. But those are about tasks; this is about a goal.
I’ll fill in the other eye once I have stable employment that I’m happy with. At the moment, no bites. A short little gig teaching English? Yep. But that ain’t gonna pay the rent. Needless to say, it ain’t gonna make much of a dent in the student loans either. Wish me luck! (I’ll need it.)
Classes are done! At least for the next two weeks. The summer session has ended, and I have two weeks before the fall semester starts. And apparently we register a few days before classes start and everything sounds like a bit of a headache. What else? Oh, I might have a job for a few hours a week. We’ll see, it seems rather fluid and uncertain at the moment.
Saw some giant order Ionic pilasters on a building yesterday. Made me realize that one of these days I have to go to Rome. It’s hilarious to me when I see classical columns in Shanghai. It’s just so wrong.
Other random things I have noticed: Grapes here are annoying. There are no seedless grapes, so they all have seeds. And moreover, they all have to be peeled. Well, you could eat the peel, but it’s tougher than in the US and even if you wash them really well, they’re still not really really clean (especially since the water here isn’t that great). The elevators skip a heck of a lot of floors. The number 4 is considered unlucky because when pronounced in Chinese it sounds a lot like the word for death. Therefore, elevators (at least the ones in my building) skip every floor ending in 4 and the number 13, like in Western countries. It confuses me every time when I see it skip from 12 to 15. Weird, eh?