Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Because Golze Called Me Out...

Since Golze called me out, I have decided to create a new post. As there is not much going on in my life right now other than trying to get some trabajo. I have not had much to write about, so I decided to create a movie with pictures from my new apartment. An apartment that has been a constant pain in the tuckus.

I am trying out some new system to try to email blog post to the blog because the Chinese government is blocking almost everything google right now. I can't even get to my google photos, stupid hackers. Anyway, enjoy the movie if you can see it. I am skeptical of this emailing method.

slow times

actually it's anything but, but i've just moved and have no internet set up in my new place, so sorry posting has been a bit scarce. also apologies to several people who have sent some e-mails recently that i have yet to respond to. hopefully this weekend i'll get things up and running and back up to speed.
durrell, however, has no such excuses. i suggest everybody e-mail him demanding more posts.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nothing Feels More Satisfying Than A Good Caulk

(post from durrell)

Warning! The content of this blog post is only suitable for immature high schoolers.

Recently, I have moved into a new apartment (pictures to come) and I have discovered that the base of my toilet was leaking. There seemed to be small holes at the base, where the original caulk was not filling them. Having no personal experience with caulk, I had my MCIA friend help me with the caulk job. Apparently, in the past he liked to put caulk in the mouth of mice (I guess in Mongolia that is how you create bouncy balls). After going to our local market to buy a caulk shaft and a gun, we did some prep work before caulking up the holes. Before inserting our caulk in to the holes, I had to give the tip of the caulk shaft a quick bris, once that was done we were ready. As you can see from the picture, it gotta little messy, caulk got every. It seems putting caulk on a toilet is not the same as putting caulk in a mouse's mouth. All in all, I think for my first caulk experience, I did a good job. Also in the bonus picture, I put caulk on a pipe for my washing machine.

On a slightly less immature note, I noticed two things while shopping for stuff recently. The amount of Chinese words I know for stuff has diminished by a good 20%, for example, I had no idea how to say caulk or use words to describe it. I am really going to have start improving my Chinese again just to do ordinary task. The second thing I noticed is that Chinese people when shopping for groceries at the local supermarket tend to not load up huge shopping carts like in the states. If they were shopping in the states everyone of them could hit the express line. I don't know if this is an example of the United States over consumption mentality or Chinese frugality or both.

And another thing I have noticed since being here is that I do not know how to cross the street anymore. I swear that I have been almost hit by a car at least 7 times sense the two weeks I have been back. I keep forgetting just because cars have a red light and I have a green walking mean, that doesn't mean they are going to stop to let you cross. There is a population problem here and pedestrians will be the first to go.

Monday, January 11, 2010

clearing snow, beijing style

shovels into front loader into garbage truck. this is a fairly advanced operation for beijing. elsewhere snow is shoveled into flatbed trucks and then dumped into open manhole covers. sometimes it is just swept with brooms into large piles.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Happy Anniversary and Welcome back Me

(the following is posted on behalf of durrell, through my proxy at work. all spelling mistakes have been left intact. -b)

After about five months away from China, I have decide to come back. Mainly because there was no trabajo for me in the US (I didn't actually look for work but fthe US media assured me there were no more jobs and I trust whatever they have to say), thus, I decided I would go to the place where people are stealing all the American jobs and contribute to the economic shift of China and supposed decline of the United States. So far I still have no trabajo, so if someone who reads this blog wants to give me a trabajo just leave a comment (will work for dumplings). The other reason I decided to return is because I wanted to celebrate five years of being in China....on the internet. It has been five years to the day that HSCCWRT has been on the information gatherer. So for this honorary blog post, I have decided to tell you in exciting bullet point form the top ten things that I have noticed have changed since we first got here (and yes it is in order, and by order, I mean the order I thought them up just now):

- We are no longer students living in China, now we are beer brewing experts.

- Clark is no longer with us (He has been dead to this blog for a while now) and has been replaced by his brother.

- Beijing doesn't look like a giant Chinatown anymore, it looks like any other city in the world with more people.

- There probably are twice as many skyscrapers than when we first arrived.

- Golze hates any New York Times fluff piece about working and/or living in China (Maybe that hasn't changed).

- My Chinese is worse than when I first arrived. Golze's is somehow better.

- According to Golze there are more cars and its cleaner, the latter of which is debatable as I am fairly certain I have the black lung from being here.

- The price of Chinese food is crazy high, it cost like 10kuai for a meal when it used to cost about 8kuai. Inflation sucks.

- The amount of places where you can get 盖饭 seems to be diminishing, but that could be because we live in the eastern part of the city.

- And finally the last thing I can think up for ten is....there are a lot more foreigners or what Golze calls white people taking potential job opportunities away from me.

Hopefully, in another five years we will be making this list for you all again, but probably from America and getting all our information from the US media. I hope this has been a enjoyable five years for you loyal readers. Happy New Year to you all.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

more snow in beijing

it dumped on beijing all this weekend, especially hard today, adding about another foot of snow to some 6-8 inches from saturday. in the afternoon turner and i headed out and trekked over to jingshan park, behind the forbidden city. there were lots of people there as you could see the forbidden city covered in snow, but the streets were nice and quiet. here is a picture across the moat to the northeast corner of the forbidden city.

interestingly, i was going to post about how, starting on 1 january, everybody's favourite free proxy software stopped working, which would have meant it would once again be quite difficult to post to the blog. but all of a sudden tonight i can access the blog without any sort of reach-around software. even youtube is accessible. no idea how long it will last, but hopefully for a while. fingers crossed.