Friday, October 28, 2005

Gone to war

So, I haven't updated in a while. There have been things to say, but not a lot of time. The whole thing about police boats I alluded to last time? Not really an interesting story. Seriously, what actually happened can't be half as interesting as what any of you THINK happened.

The last thing I'd like to mention about my vacation in Yangshuo....which was 3 weeks ago now, is that the sleeper bus on the way back was one of the more unpleasant experiences of my life. And know that I've seen a few excerpts from the movie Pearl Harbor. Anyway, we bought our tickets from a travel agent a few days in advance...but what we didn't realize is that we apparently didn't have guaranteed seats. There was a big crowded rush to get on the bus, and normally I ignore this. Chinese people crowd everywhere. If there's nothing else to do, they'll crowd. This happens at the train station, at bus stops...pretty much anywhere, even in places with assigned seats. So in this case I decided to hang back and get on the bus at a leisurly pace. Unfortunately it turned out that they'd oversold this particular bus, and so I didn't get a seat so much as a place on the aisle in between two seats. I think this was punishment for wondering earlier if it was possible to make the sleeper bus seats more uncomfortable.

Since then, it's been class as normal. Oh, and one of the other foreign teachers got mugged and cut pretty badly, but everythings fine now.

For the past week, my classes have been giving presentations, and some of them have been pretty good. One class had to come up with some kind of advertisement, and so the used the sinking of the Titanic to advertise a mobile phone (the message was bascially, "If you used our mobile phone service, then you could have joined your family safely in a life raft instead of futilely searching for them in the cargo holds and thus drowning cold and alone.") Others were blatantly plagiarized, as they could not actually tell me the meaning of half the words they used. The best example of that was a group that, instead of a script they wrote, handed in a photo-copied script from a book. What's more, one of the group members didn't even say anything (and the most important rule I wrote down and repeated many times was "Everyone in the group must talk"). So now I have to figure out a way to give this girl double zeroes.

Finally, I come to what I intended to be the actual subject of this entry, war. Yes, last night I went to war. For as long as I've been here, I've held a tenuous peace with the mosquitoes that inhabit my apartment. I usually only got one bite every few days, and as a result I maintained a "live and let live" policy with them. But last night, they just couldn't leave well enough alone. First they would buzz in my ear each and every time I was about to fall asleep. Then I noticed, within the span of about a half an hour no fewer than 8 new bites. So, at 3 this morning, I set out to kill as many as I could, only to realize just how many of them there were. 17 dead mosquitoes later, I still couldn't see an end to them, because they would only come out 2 at a time. The situation looked hopeless until I remembered that I actually have a mosquito net over my bed, and I'd just never really used it. Despite the embarassment, I went ahead and chalked that one up as a victory for humanity.

So there you have it. I've listened to presentations and managed to outsmart some insects. I've made all of you proud.

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