I just spoke on Skype with a former Jinan student. He said the Southerner in China have a reputation for being abrupt and just not nice. He was in the South with a friend whose wallet got stolen. The police he spoke with just gave them a run around. Talk to the police at the bus station, no talk to the police at the train station. I’ve gotten the same sort of run arounds as we plead for a printer in our office. It’s no one’s job and once it looks like someone will get one then there’s a problem with who’ll buy the supplies and everything comes to a screeching halt. Week 4 is beginning and we still don’t have an ability to print or an easy way to make copies.

Here’s my horoscope for today:

All signs are pointing to a fantastic new beginning for you and a reunion with an old friend, but everything is going to happen very slowly. Adjust your expectations down a notch or two, and try not to let your enthusiasm overpower your rationalism. A big payoff is due today in a surprising area of your life, and it will serve as a good distraction. This reward is one you should share; use this opportunity to give back to the people who have given you so much over the years.

I could use a new beginning, an old friend and a distraction as I lower my expectations.


Two Steps Back

Portrait of Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Gate

Image via Wikipedia

Today I woke up and finished packing. I’d been informed that this morning I’d get a new apartment. So I hurried and then I waited, and waited. Around 10:30 I got an email that after Billy finished lunch at 12:30, he’d help Chris and I move. Around 1pm I got a call and directions on where to go to see the apartments.

Just wait till you see photos next week of my new place. Very Communist Party 1980s decor. Yes, there’s a poster of Mao in the entry way.

So I looked at both apartments. The very Maoist has a good view but the kitchen’s not great and the other’s farther from school and the shower doesn’t work well. So I chose the Maoist pad with the good view. Chris will be in the other place.

Billy was talking with the workers and the onlookers who sat watching sports on TV whose role I’m not sure of. In the end they decided we should move on Thursday. Good Lord. A kerfluffle ensued. It would be easier for them to make the needed repairs if we waited to move. Okay. Fine.

Then there was some more talk and Chris decided he wanted to move today. By now I didn’t. Unpacking isn’t that much of a hassle and I do want everything to work in the new place. Then Billy started to say that if Chris was going to move today, I had to. Since we live in different buildings and are moving to different buildings that made no sense. I cheerfully said I’d wait and that I needed to eat lunch. Off I went so I wouldn’t have to be part of another circular argument.


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