Yesterday it stopped raining for the first time in 20 days.
But the sun is out and we are having a few of those fabulously gorgeous days that make me think I could live here forever. (someone smack me).
Things are still nutso busy. Today was the last of one round of meetings and my observations will go on until the end of the month, meaning lots of hours traveling are in my near future. But after March it's all downhill inthe American semester and I can focus on the marathon adn my own studies.
A few days last week I was an emotional wreck. I'm blaming PMS so that I don't have to accept that those negative emotions could possibly be my own. :)
When I am not purposefully joyful (takes work, people), my ability to make good, concerting life choices about how I should react to my non-native environment wanes. A few women called me fat behind my back in the gym, (look at the fat foreigner...") and I layed into them with all my redhead fury in Chines.e. Later that day, I had a wonderful afternoon with Michael and his cousin, and then went into a convenience store to grab a bottle of water. It is customary for workers in stores to shout, "welcome" when the door opens, usually in a monotone voice and without eye contact. Two seconds after the, "welcome," a customer said, "Foreigners don't understand Chin.ese why would you say welcome?" Again, the redheaded dragon reared her nasty head. I should not have reacted so aggressively, yet in that moment I felt singled out and prejudiced against.
When I am not conscientiously choosing joy on a minute's basis, my ability to "turn the other cheek," is nonexistent.
But sunshine helps.
Hallelujah for sunshine after the rain.
In recent events:
I helped Michael fill out paperwork for a visiting surgeon position in California. Describing words like, "under penalty of perjury," and, "are you a registered sex offender?"was fun. I expecially appreciated being told that, "there are no sex offenders in Chi.na."
Oh ya? Ask my old advisor about that.
I love Michael. We are meeting every Saturday to discuss the book, "Turning Bricks Into Jade," that deals with cultural differences between Chin.a and America to help him assimilate when he goes abroad. It's a fabulous read, I highly recommend it.
I also highly recommend afternoons with Michael and his kissy-faced cousin.
I do not recommend going to my gym after our renovations. I used to get to watch the 4'10" meatheads stare at themselves in the mirror and lift weights. The cardio machines overlooked the weight floor and I had great entertainment via tiny shorts and tiny men.
But unfortunately after the renovations now I have to stare at myself! The ellipticals are smack up against a mirrored wall! And the treadmills are no different. Now I have to watch myself jiggle! I never knew I had neck fat. My last 5 mile run left me in such a bad mental state that I am contemplating taking all my runs outside into the smog and crowds. I just can't stare at that for 50+ minutes.
Yesterday I was reunited with my old bosses at HDU from my first 2 years teaching in Chin.a. It was weird to see them now that I am in a different role. They were more relaxed than I remember them being as their subordinate. My heart tingled with sentiment. We had a feast for lunch and chatted about our memories more than the business at hand.
Then we had a fabulous meeting at the university where most of Chi.na's news anchors are trained. They have to send in a picture as part of the admission requirements and most of them come from the northern part of Ch.ina because, "their Chi.nese is more standard." It is common thought that the closer to Beijing you are, the more standard your language is. (But I personally love living and learning Chi.nese in the south, because I do not like the Beijing accent - it sounds like you are a pirate with marbles in your mouth. The southern accent is so much nicer to my ears).
And so it goes.
I'm off to the gym to stare at myself and try to think happy body thoughts while my neck fat jiggles.
Wish me luck.
walk slow. xoxo.