… but only temporarily. Honestly, though, there are all these great ways of getting around firewalls, but I needed to set up some of them before I got here and others require more time to figure out than I really have available to me at the moment. Poor me…
So, what have I been doing for the last month? Well, I’ve been learning all kinds of new things. For example:
1. It really is easy to run off to Shanghai for Mandopop concerts. Maybe a little *too* easy.
2. Getting back into your apartment when you’ve locked yourself out is also reasonably simple, though it does involve a long trek through the stairwell, since your door key also controls the elevators.
3. My high school era enthusiasm for badminton has not abated. My high school era skill for the game has, however. Fortunately, I have two full classes of students I can coerce into practicing with me…
4. Amazon China is just as dangerous as Amazon in America for the compulsive book/cd buyer. Maybe more so, because everything starts out so much cheaper.
5. It is possible, though not recommended, to open a can of diced tomatoes with a corkscrew. But, you know, if you’re in a pinch or suddenly channeling MacGyver, it can be done. Word to the wise, though: take the simmering eggplant off the stove before you start, because this could take a while. (You might be wondering one of two things here: why open a can of tomatoes with a corkscrew and not a can opener, or how exactly does this work. Well, I’ll tell you: you might want to use this method if, like me, you have purchased canned tomatoes from the import grocery and have forgotten that you do not own a can opener. As for how, well, I used the lever action to poke a ring of little holes around a circle in the lid, which I then punched through so I could dig out the pieces of tomato with chopsticks. Yes, I actually did have better things to do at the time; why do you ask?)
(In case you were wondering, my pasta was definitely worth the trouble….)
6. Dressing as abstract renditions of inanimate objects for Halloween is always a little problematic. And yet I keep doing it. Sure there were two people who looked at my blue clothes, attached paper orange fish, and “belt” made to resemble a path of stones and instantly knew that I was the local koi pond, complete with mid-pond pathway. There were also two people who focused on the belt and asked if I was a suicide bomber. “With all these fish?!?” I asked, incredulously. “Ohhhh, um…. a suicide fish bomber?” Yikes.
7. For as much as I love my bicycle, I still don’t actually know what it looks like. Every time I visit a store with a long row of packed bicycles, I come out and wander up and down the aisles wondering which one is mine. And you don’t just want to start trying your key on them; that might lead to an Unfortunate Misunderstanding. I need to attach a ribbon or something.
Anyway, I think I have a solution to the blogging problem now (famous last words…), so I hope to share some of the other adventures – and there have been several – very soon.