I’ve got a few photos but mostly some random observations from the day as I ran around town running errands, buying birthday gifts, and turning in the papers that will hopefully render me officially employed again. In no particular order…
*Chris and I talk constantly about the consumption habits of the wealthy Chinese we live among. Exhibit a: the photo above of Chunxi Lu…taken on a Monday afternoon. Wealthy people shop A LOT here, there’s no way we could keep up with the consumption, even if we wanted to. One of these days, I’m going to do a whole post about it but I need to do a little more research first I think.
*Shoppers aside though, people here are, generally-speaking, insanely nice. From the washerwoman who opened the door for me today, to the cab driver whose meter wasn’t working and therefore tried to give me a free ride (I paid him anyways). They have a common phrase here for these “will give the shirt off their back” sorts of people: ta shi zai tai hoa le. Sometimes I tell people that I don’t like China as much as India but then again, the people here, out in the genial midwestern province of Sichuan, really are fantastic.
*Speaking of cab driver’s whose meters aren’t working though, the recent initiative to give paper receipts to all passengers is wreaking havoc on what was a pretty good system. Now with the receipts-required mandate, not only are half of the cab meters out of order due to a lack of recipt paper (no paper, no metering) but our pockets are rapidly filling up with senseless little pieces of paper. Does this mean we will ultimately return to a barter system? No one can say for sure yet…
There’s a phrase I like to use in these situations: “if it’s not baroque, don’t fix it!” Ohhhhh come on, you love it. (And if you can name that Disney movie I promise to treat you to a lovely Sichuan meal next time you are in Chengdu).
There’s a different phrase Chris likes to use for these situations: I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with flusterduck.
*Today a junk collector/dealer was loading up his cart with junk from the art market under the bridge when a piece of wood fell off his cart and landed at my feet. Since he was on the other side of a 6 foot pile of junk, I picked it up and put it back on top for him. The wattage of the smile he gave me could power our entire apartment building for the next week and made me feel like a million bucks.
Sometimes I wonder, why doing stupid little things for other people can make us feel so good. Is that some sort of Darwinian thing? Is it just pure and unadulterated self-love? (as in: I care about other people, therefore wow, I’m so great)
I don’t know what it is but those 15 seconds of interaction over a piece o’ junk reminded me that I no longer work at a non-profit and I no longer slave away 80 hours a week for small sums of money and the good of mankind; and therefore, I really, really have no excuse not to start doing some volunteer work or something to better our little corner of the world here. Rest assured, it will be something wholly approved by the Chinese government. 🙂
*On a wholly, flippantly, different note: Wearing bright red shiny flats walking around town both makes my day and gives me blisters. Pat on the back to me though for packing a reserve pair of flip flops in my bag. Does this increasingly common trend of planning ahead mean that I’m finally becoming a grown up? It can’t be!
*I sent a bday gift to my friend Lennon today in the States. I don’t think it will make it there in time for her bday but I hope the pretty Japanese masking tape I used on the box will make up for it. Happy Almost Birthday Lennon!!!
For some reason Will Smith’s “Getting Jiggy With It” is playing on our itunes right now. Hmmm, maybe I don’t need to share everything in these stream of consciousness posts…Time to go hang out with the funniest, most patient, and smartest guy in the world now…