I just about threw my ADSL modem out the window this morning. Nine times out of ten, I’m running at speeds that are less than dial up. For example, I logged into MT this morning, then took a shower and made my bed. When I returned only about half of the start page had loaded.
It’s been pissing rain in Nanjing for about three days. It’s cold, heavy rain, intermixed with constant mist…a lot like Victoria. I got caught in the office without an umbrella on Friday, so I had to purchase one from the little store in the lobby. All they had was pink and baby blue (with white flowers). So I have a baby blue umbrella…with cute little flowers.
I attended a Chinese barbeque on Friday night with my students and one of the other teachers. Chinese BBQ’s are a little different than one’s standard North American backyard roasting experience. Not surprisingly, given space restrictions most Chinese don’t own gas grills, or the old charcoal burners that are standard in almost all Western homes/apartments/flats. Therefore, you go out to barbeque, usually to a local park or green space. Once there you pay about 10 kuai to get in, then you purchase charcoal sticks for the burners that are set up underneath a canopy. Everyone sits around the grill and cooks their own food. It is a very social meal, very similar to hot pot and even fondue. But it can be very dirty, and by the time the event is over you will probably find yourself covered in charcoal and swimming through trash and plastic.
Last night I was out at what everyone calls the “Upstairs Bar”. It’s very close to where I live, down what I like to call Foreigner Alley, a narrow street tucked next to Nanjing Universities International Dormitory and The John Hopkins Center. It’s full of restaurants and other establishments. There have been times that I’ve walked past it and could swear that there were more foreigners about than locals.
One of the FT’s I was with was telling me about the other side to the barber/beauty salon industry in China. I’ve noticed that there a many, many hair salons here in Nanjing, but I didn’t really think much of it. Apparently though, many of these places are actually brothels. She also said that most of them are around residential areas and that there are a large number where she lives. I haven’t noticed any in my immediate vicinity (I haven’t really been looking), but I don’t think there would be too many, as there is a very high older generation population in my neighborhood…but I could be mistaken. And, no…if I find one, I’m not going to visit it.
The crappy thing about Chinese bars is the cigarette smoke. My sweater, which I had just washed the day before yesterday, is completely saturated with tobacco particulates.
My brother sent a link to the trailer for Star Wars Ep. 3.
It looks like ole’ George might redeem himself with this one. I’ve always thought his story arc for the prequels was solid, but his previous screenplays were…well…horrible…at points I was a little embarrassed to be actually watching.