Just a little tiny informational post to prove I'm still kickin'.workity work work:
I am in what has turned out to be the busiest season of my life thusfar.
I think the busyness is being exaggerated in my mind by the fact that everything I am doing now will DOUBLE come next semester - classes at school and work.
Good news is that my observations are done. I have become slightly nostalgic for the 11 students I have observed this semester - since next semester my quaint little group of students will group to a larger group of 25. I'll always remember my first American students.
Now I'm onto the online stage of the game and our American semester ends the day after I fly home: Dec. 16th. Can't wait for a break from being a grown up. I want to sit on my parents couch and be "Jessica the daughter" rather than "Jessica the Professor." I don't want to have any answers for a good two weeks.
In other news, my hair dresser has moved back to Hangzhou! YAY! But the turd got a job at a different shop, and I have a butt-load of money on a VIP card at the old shop. I am going to see if I can sell it online and then follow my dude to his new place. All my little friends have moved on from the hair place, except for the front desk girl and the old cleaner people - whom I also adore. But because the new dudes don't know me and I don't go often, I don't get the Chin.ese practice that I used to get, so I need to follow Qu Ping so that I can have a good solid 2 hours of Chine.se chat while I'm getting my hair done! I'm so happy one of the characters in my life is back! I'm also still in contact with my foot massager who closed shop - he is in his hometown.
I'm heading to Shanghai in the morning to apply for our Indian visas. Getting one is a real bear of a process. And an interesting fact: the Indian visa application has "transgendered" as a sex option. They also require you to choose your religion from a drop-down tool bar and "athiest" is not on the list. So apparantly, you can be transgendered but not an athiest if you want an Indian tourist visa.
I am turning everything in for the boys and Z will be picking it all up next week. I'm nervous because it is cutting close to the time I leave for America. We have to leave our passports at the consolate, and I better get mine back in time! Nothing like a constant adrenaline rush.
In other news, there was a human turd in the gym showers last week. Only middle-aged Chine.se women use those showers. Isn't that exciting. When the time gets closer to me heading to America, I start to really be thankful that I can live here, but also that I can leave here. Societies do not advance as fast as economies and this society is crappy. (haha, get it?)
There have been a bunch of birthday's happening lately which is a great reprieve from serious stuff. Last night we ended up at a swanky bar after dinner at an Indian restaurant. I made sure to butter up the singer and asked him to sing to our birthday girl. He asked me where everyone was from. I looked at the table and realized everyone was from a different country. Amazing. Australia, Mexica, USA, England, Indonesia, and China were represented. How great! He then went on to sing to her in English, Chinese, Cantonese, Spanish, German, and French. The little bar singer put us language students to shame!
Another completely random China story - on the distance bus back from my last observations, I sat down across the aisle from a man who was more scraggly and dirty looking than the average Asian male. (greasy hair and long finger nails are the norm).
I didn't think anything about anything and settled in for the long ride, my iTouch streaming country music into my ears, and my Macbook safely tucked under my arms. I checked my phone for messages, then looked around to take in my surroundings as I do before I go to sleep on public transport.
And then I saw something strange.
The guy across the aisle from me's hands were covered in something. Blood. Blood was crusted in his blacked nails and the tips of his fingers were stained deep red. Maybe it could have been a stain, maybe he was a painter. But his clothes did not have the typical splashes of a painter's clothes.
And he looked deranged. And this is Chi.na. Personal hygiene is lacking, so washing hands with soap is not common. It totally could have been blood.
And then my mind started wandering. There were were on the same bus, with the same start and end point, but on competely different planets.
I cuddled my Apple computer that is worth more money than that man makes in half a year. I have a tally of flights in December and January that is worth more than he makes in a year.
I had pearls in my ears. And warm wool socks on. I complain about lack of water pressure in my shower and timed hot water.
I spray myself with perfume and wear deodorant. I care how I look, smell, and am percieved by others. I want my shoes to match my outfit perfectly. I like to have bows in my hair.
And this man was sitting on the public bus, touching public things, with blood on his hands.
I don't know what the story is. I'm not sure I want to know. But the contrast between me and people I come in contact with daily is sometimes shocking. Yet we co-exist.
I made eye contact with the man for a split second before looking away. I was embarrassed of my computer and nice work clothes.
And then I went to sleep. When I woke up, he had already gotten off the bus as an earlier stop.
I love the leaves out at the Agriculture University! This sign says that, "little grass also has life," telling people not to walk on the grass.
a woman holding her child to take a dump outside the bus. AT THE BIS STATION WHERE A BATHROOM WAS LITERALLY 15 FEET AWAY. and this was about 3 feet from the bus door.
Gross Gross Gross.
outside the Indian kitchen where I tried to train my taste buds to like spicy food (an uphill battle). Good thing we had amazing ice cream cake at the end!
So, that's that. Happy December!
I'm off to the Indian consolate in Shanghai! Wish me luck!
walk slow. xoxo.