Sunday, October 17, 2004


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On Saturday I went to the section of Wuning Road (武宁路) just west of Carrefour and walked home from there instead of taking the bus directly home. This neighborhood is very popular with high school kids because it has lots of little trinket shops, a movie theater, and a small park with lake, boats, and amusement park rides. I had lunch at a nice place. In fact, at the market this evening I bought ingredients to make two of the dishes. It's been much more fun going out to eat since I started writing down ingredients in order to recreate the dishes later. I bought a couple of books from a mobile book dealer: one Snoopy anthology in Chinese, and a collection of comics by 朱德庸, a Taiwanese artist who does a Sex-in-the-City-type strip called 涩女郎, which John recommended to me. It's my new bathroom book. They guy had the Clinton book in Chinese and English, and offered the English version to me for RMB 40 (Chinese version was RMB 30, cover price was USD 35 = about RMB 290). I should have bought it; I was quoted RMB 60 near my house tonight. Other interesting books for sale: a collection of Bible stories, and Murakami's Kafka by the Shore, of which I actually own a legit copy.

On Saturday afternoon I was distracted from my cleaning by gunfire-like popping and a cloud of smoke below my balcony. It turned out to be a wedding, with limo and lots of firecrackers. I estimate that I hear firecrackers going off in the neighborhood about once every two or three days.

There is a sign in a garden of my apartment complex that says: "Build a Socialist Society with Chinese Characteristics."

I get off of the of light rail every morning at the Caoxi South Road stop, an impressive structure of three or four stories that looks very Bladerunner-ish. As the train pulls into the station, it passes near the Ikea, which I now know has a garden on top of the roof; neat!


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