Saturday, January 24, 2009
So school just re-started. I will post in detail about it more later. For now I want to post about my evening last night. I spent about four hours translating a document for class then to reward myself I decided to get high. I haven't been smoking so much cause of school and being in china and all. So, when I get high I get really really high. Last night I got so high that I couldn't sleep at all. So, I stayed up for almost two hours, in the pitch blackness, sitting on my bed eating cold thai food left overs, popping melatonin and listening to an NPR pod cast about the historical interpretations of the crucifixion. Just a little insight...
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I got a second of down time (for those familiar with my schedule this is an obvious joke) so I thought I'd keep up this blog thing. I'm back home now from China. Getting home from China is like being on drugs. I can't sleep at night, the colors are so bright, the air is so clear and crisp, every breath is sweet and cool and even the most foul urban breeze seems fragrant and almost floral. My life at the moment is pretty bangin. Last night I went to a wild dance party club disco thingy, slept in this morning/afternoon, then spent the day in the country on a farm playing with puppies. I got paid last night so my China job is officially over but I also heard the bad news that because of the financial crisis a bunch of the other trips to China I was going to work for this summer have been forced to cancel. Thats shitty but I'm not really trippin. A freer summer is always a mitzvah and now I can do whatever I want and I got plenty of other job offers in China if I wanna be over there. I'm just gonna have to be more careful with my money (sorry local drug dealers) so I can afford some good adventures. Also I heard about this pseudo job thing through Rustic Pathways called "flight leader" where they give a free round trip ticket to the world city of your choice and all you have to do is watch 30 high schoolers on the plane then you get two weeks off to do whatever then you gotta come back to the airport and watch the same kids on the plane back to San Francisco. They don't pay you or support you at all in the city but your completely free to do whatever for two weeks, the flight is free and they travel all over the world (Europe, Asia, Africa etc etc). So I'm juiced on that. I'd be lying if I said It wasn't a little boring to be back. I miss being able to just go on a walk and have a crazy confusing adventure but I love my boys out here and its nice to be back in their warm embrace.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
This one is gonna be short. I got back from the farewell buffet dinner in the middle of the Pu Dong river. I got a bunch of thank yous and little gifts but by the time I got home I was over come with stomach pain. I spent the night drinking water bottles sip by sip but every single sip made me throw up. Thank god for the mescaline incident as now no amount of throwing up seems unbearable. The worst was that I also had a fever and the fever combined with my dehydration made me forget where I was and hallucinate a little (emphatically not in a good way). The worst was that my brain was completely scattered and working in a mix of Chinese, english and the maddening super slow broken english I used to communicate with the bus drivers and hotel staffers. Anyway it was one of the worst nights of my life and I missed saying goodbye to all the kiddies. By the morning I felt oddly ok... Now I'm in China on my own with a day and a half to have any adventures I want. Keep you posted...
Ok ok I've been a pathetic blogger but I'm gonna catch up now. All at once from my notes. First of all some more details from my last post. As you all know the point of this trip is for the kids to investigate what it means to be a woman in China and to that end we went to two woman owned businesses. The first was one of China's first organic farms started by a woman as a second career after she was already in her fifties. All sixty of us were herded into a big hall with the company's founder at the front at a dais with the translators and a flock of microphones. A Chinese television crew was also on hand and after interviewing the assistant principle of the school they took turns interviewing all of the students of color about their views on Obama. (Chinese people love Obama because his name is so easy to say in Chinese). Every two people were presented with a tray of strawberries and a weird kind of yellow watermelon from the organic farm. The strawberries knocked but all of the kids had been trained with many meetings to fear all uncooked, un-pealed foods in China and since my job description was still a little unclear I decided it was up to me to save some face for our hosts and took one for the team by eating about 150 strawberries. So, fighting a sugar head ache I waddled and sloshed my way to the next farm which was much smaller and run by a younger and much more eccentric woman who had closed her textiles mills in Dubai after 9/11 to sink all of her money into a small organic farm outside of Shang Hai. This woman was AWESOME. She never stopped running, laughing madly, jumping around and talking a mile a minute in a mix of english, mandarin and arabic. She gave us a tour of the farm which included ducks, geese, puppies and as I mentioned before the piglets. These pigs were unbelievable. Some were buick sized with long tusky teeth and heads the size of washing machines, there were pink tight skinned adolescents with puppy like energy and of course the little piglets. There were white piglets, little spunky bristly black piglets and pink piglets so perfect I did not think they existed outside of Disney movies. So we saw the piggies, sent the kiddies off to various family farms to eat with chinese people and the chaperones all stayed behind and got to work depopulating the farm of the little cuties we just met. We ate one of the best meals of my life. Chicken, killed minutes before, eggs so rich that they were like custard, goose fat dumplings, and of course ten dishes of port. BBQ pork, salted pork fat, pickled pork, a soup of pork bones and cured fish. All in all it was over fifty, maybe even over sixty dishes all served with a never ending supply of homemade hard liquor that the proprietress had made herself from farm grown grapes and japanese sour cherries. The head woman challenged us to finish ten full glasses and as we got more and more sloshy everyone started toasting everyone else egging them on to drink more. I had the pleasure of watching Bear, the Drama teacher, red faced from the booze try to get the translators to tell a principal of a local school who was one of our hosts that he had "a beautiful face and laughing eyes". I was in paradise. Shoveling pig fat into my smile, washing it down with goblets of strong sour drink and sweating bundled up against the poorly heated farm house. Everything is rosy.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Oh crap I finally found a computer and now we have to leave. Yesterday I saw a bunch of piglets (I was a cooing giggling mess so now the kids all know what a pussy I am ). Then I ate a feast of pork fat . The circle of life is adorable/delicious. I got a lot more to say but must be off. Sloppy-ass kisses.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I'm starting to blog again. Apparently the imputus I need to write is to go all the way to China... I got into Shang Hai a few nights ago and within a few hours of landing I was back in my own personal little heaven jammed in a little smokey room eating dimsum drinking cold beer from big bottles in little glasses yelling over raised chinese voices. This is the best job in the world no question. My jobs so far have included changing money, reading for two hours while I kept an eye on some luggage, finding a convienence store and one time "Charley, go make friends with those college girls and make sure that they're comfortable". We are traveling around china in two big buses each containing thirty high school girls and fifteen chinese college girls (to provide the kids incite into what it means to be a student in china... whatever that means). My jet lag is on point right now so every morning I wake up an hour before my wake up call. Go find my boss and get assigned to one of two jobs (my only consistent tasks) either count the high schoolers or count the college students. Now we're staying in a town outside of shanghai. Our hotel is wedged between a disco and a chemical factory (spiritual and actual pollution). Today I spent the day playing with little kids and just when the real work was supposed to begin I was told to take some free time so here I am crouched at a tiny desk in the computer lab of an elemetery school. This trip is awesome the wheather is going thru a warm snap (almost 45 degrees!) and my chinsese has improved enormously. It used to be I was just a curiousity that they would wheel out to say thank you and hello to chinese hosts or scare little kids. Now I actualy can unsdertand what is going on, I can watch chinese television and I'm making real honest to god chinese freinds. Chinse college students are brilliant by the way. I asked one quiet girl on the bus how to say gloves in chinese. It turns out the word is hand-container. I laughed and said that was funny because the german word for glove is hand shoe (thanks dustin). She responded shyly that she already knew that because she was getting here doctirite in philosphy and read german and french. Her favorite was Schoppenhauer although she told me most chinese girls prefer kiekengard because his philosophy of non-existence and emptiness is similair to Chinese philosophy. Wow. That kind of thing keeps happening although most students are studying economics or international relations and my personal favorite is majoring in social work (she put me right in my place when I acted surprised saying "not all chinese just want money"). Ok I gotta be out and back to my grueling job of teaching a bunch of 10 year olds how to do the hokey pokey. Tonight we have a two hour bus ride back to shanghai thru the rain and maybe then I can listen to the Keek the Sneak, Kc and Jojo mix I made on the bus yesterday. I miss you all profoundly