Sunday, May 17, 2009

Birthdays, blocks, and Beijing Duck

In honor of my birthday, the Great Firewall of China has blocked
Blogger. Thankfully, I set up email posting before I left the US for
this exact purpose. But it's still damn annoying that I can't even
read my own damn blog on the damn Internet. Even RSS feeds are
blocked, so I can't even read any of the blogs I like through a
reader. Damn you, China!

I blame the swine flu, actually. China is on super alert about it. All
of our students get their temperature taken by a ray gun-like
contraption every time they walk into school. They usually wave us
foreign teachers through, but we insist on having our temperature
taken anyway. (Mine has been normal every time, in case you were
worried.) The really disconcerting part is that we all have to carry
our passports with us at all times now, in case we get stopped for
questioning about whether or not we belong here. Because obviously,
we're evil and foreign and might have come to China with the express
purpose of spreading the pig flu.

Despite all of this, I had a lovely birthday. My C12 students (the
really brilliant teenager class) got me cake. My younger students sang
me the birthday song. Then a bunch of people came out to eat delicious
food at one of my favorite restaurants in town, and to a bar
afterwards. I got a bottle of Scotch that's actually from Scotland,
courtesy of a Scottish teacher. The remnants of it are making this
morning a bit hazy, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Oh, and I am not at the beach this week due to the combination of pig
flu precautions making travel a pain in the ass, and simply not
feeling like going anywhere. I think I will spend the next few days
engaged in one of my most common Chinese activities: scouring the city
I live in for a decent cup of coffee. I have yet to find one.

1 comment:

tomowens said...

I enjoyed reading about your experience in China. Found it from your trucking blog. I've driven truck OTR but quit it last week. Sick of sitting on my ass too much. I have an English teaching degree from Mich State but don't teach anymore. Take it easy.