Wednesday, January 26, 2005

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Due to my travelling schedule I'm going to be out of town at the end of this month, so I'll do my (hopefully) monthly cellphone photo narrative a little early this January.

I'm still hanging out a lot with Chris and Asa. They tend to call me up, or the other way around, late on a weeknight and we watch a movie or go out to dinner at this little restaurant by the train station. The restaurant puts out the ingredients for each dish for you to see before you order, which makes ordering easier. (Unlike, say, lunches at work, where ordering is always easy.) One special night with Asa was when he invited me to hang with Cold Fairyland at the Ark, and we ended up at dinner afterwards till late, a very fun night.

Work is keeping me busy. I tend to work slowly, so that has meant some late nights at the office. But I've also gotten to go on a trip to Suzhou with Traci and Vivien to train some teachers. I even made some banana bread in my new pans for the trip, which we devoured with Starbucks hot chocolate. At the schools I teach at, the big topic for January was tsunami relief. Hailida put up posters around the school, had students draw pictures of rescue boats, and collected donations in a big ceremony, putting up more displays as part of the kids' ethical education. I think it's great. But while the schools are looking out for kids' bodies, as well as their minds, they do this in curious ways, like leaving the heat off in the hallways of the schools. Luckily, the schools turn the heaters on for us when we go to do activities. Otherwise, we might freeze! Shili Preschool also fixes us dinner. I'm impressed with their kitchen facilities.

So what I'm I doing while I'm not at work? Besides going to concerts on the weekends, or dancing with co-workers, you'll find me dancing samba at the studio off People's Square. Our male instructor is such an archetype; he basically hits on the pretty twenty-something girls, can't really teach, and without fail pulls out a cigarette the second that class is dismissed. But he's incredibly slim and a great dancer. I started going out to different restaurants on Fuzhou Road after class, but I keep find myself going back to the curry place. It's delish. Other nights, I'm hanging out at the net cafe, taking pictures of the owner's daughter, or getting my picture taken by her.

When I came back from Suzhou, I wandered out of the train station to call Chris and happened to find that the new long distance bus station is almost done, and the surrounding temporary walls had been torn down. I walked over to look at "the knave" and inside the coliseum-like main lobby.

I got a haircut. The pre-haircut massage was long and painful. The cut looked good for about a day, then the ragged scissors started showing their effect as my hair sprouted in every direction.

Other random photos: Shanghai diorama by students at Hailida; songs and speeches for uniformed military and local police forces inside Plaza 66, one of Shanghai's ritziest malls; finally, the most fashionable Shanghai women's hairstyle, I'm going to teach this one to Laurel to replace the shwoop.

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