Tuesday, March 27, 2012
You'd never guess it, but you can get some really beautiful, fresh fruit in China. A friend of mine lives near a wet market, one block north of Hongqiao Lu on Jianhe Lu, that she's been telling me about since we moved here. I finally got around to checking it out over Chinese New Year, and you know what? It actually made me wish I cooked more often.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Since moving into the Fortress of Solitude, I passed a certain house every day on my way to school. The front of this house had an electronic marquee in the window that flashed, "Defend the dignity of law! No illegal home removing!" Note all those past tenses in the first two sentences, because they're important. See, like all their neighbors gone before, the "Dignity of Law" house is no more. And it kind of pisses me off. See, it's not exactly an uncommon thing - an area up the street has been sealed off and knocked down. These areas might be kind of dingy, they might be a little seedy (the one up the street had hookers), but they were REAL China. Not the slick shiny knockoff of other large cities around the world, but a thriving mess that was truly, authentically Shanghainese. And they're disappearing under the forward march of progress. So let this week's blog stand as a tribute to those alleyways, as I take you down one of the few that are left in Hongqiao.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Well. Not a whole lot has been going on around here. Got caught up in the winter doldrums, and have been axing deserving individuals from my life (Socrates has not been mentioned on here in a very long time, but it wasn't until January that I finally cut him out of my life, thanks to the fact that he came back to Shanghers this fall and I - like an idiot - felt sorry for him). I've also been busily job hunting - this recruiting season, I sent out 29 applications, but it wasn't until three weeks ago that I set up my first interview. I was excited for that one, since it would have sent me to Marrakesh and a K-12 art position, if I had succeeded. After the interview, I felt like it was okay, but decided that rather than sit around and hope they called, I started filling out other applications. One of them was for the American School of Ulaanbaatar, for a secondary art job, just in time for their deadline. Later that night, I got a reply, asking for an interview, and after talking to their personnel consultant, and their principal, I was offered the job. It's not Marrakesh (who I never heard back from), but I have a feeling God was guiding me in this, since there are several congregations of my church in Ulaanbaatar itself, whereas there's just the one in all of Morocco, and that in faraway Rabat. And I think I'm going to like working for the principal a lot, and I work a lot harder for people I like (sad but true), and there is a decent-sized Korean population in UB, and while the salary is a little less, the taxes are as well, and I won't have to pay for rent or utilities (other than phone), and all in all, I think it's going to be a good place for me.