Monday, May 29, 2006


Typical Day

Jodi and I wake up at 6:00. I shower, and we are out the door by 6:45. Reach the 7 o'clock metro, and eat a pastry purchased the previous afternoon. Chat until Jodi disembarks at People's Square to switch to Line 1, while I continue on to the end of Line 2, Zhangjiang High Tech Park. Catch a taxi to school, arriving at 7:50.

Go over lessons for the day, enter some grades into the computer. It's Monday, so I'll be teaching three periods of 6th grade math, great! At 8:15, rush to Statistics class. Give the kids a quick oral quiz, and then sit down as a student leads a review class. She finishes early, so we derive the equations for permutations and combinations together. The bell rings, and I head back to the math office. Make some photocopies, chat with colleagues, input more grades and collect things for class. The bell rings again, and I head down to Math 6-1: today we start a new chapter on graphing: first a discussion/lecture, then an activity, then a couple minutes to start on the homework. A long break during which I check my e-mail, and then off to Math 6-2. We have double period today, so we do the graphing lesson, and then spend a period going over the Chapter 11 test that I hand back. Immediately after class I have cafeteria duty, so I patrol the area making sure everybody clears their trays and nobody starts a food fight. When the students are nearly done, I get my own cafeteria lunch: beef in jujube sauce, tomato scrambled eggs, green veggies (add hot pepper sauce), and rice. Finish eating, then head back to the office to grade some test and homework corrections, browse Metafilter and Shanghaiist, read a backlog of AP-Stats listserve e-mail, and check out some cool math software. Four thirty rolls around, and I head home.

First, though, I message Jodi and remind her that I'm cooking tonight. So I head to the veggie market down the street from school and buy a buncha stuff that looks good: carrots, broccoli, Peking duck, large green onion, some under-ripe peaches... Just as I finish shopping, the bus rolls up so I run and catch it. I eventually get all the stuff in my bag, which means I have a big stalk of green onion sticking out of the top of my backpack. Ah well, foreigners do the strangest things. On the metro, I find a seat and dig the last 5 mao out of my pocket to buy a Shanghai Evening Post from the illegal newsies that wander the metro cars, but I start to doze off so I give up on reading it.

Wake up as we pull into Zhongshan Park. In the station, stop at Libo Dairy to pick up tomorrow's breakfast. On the way home I pass by Da Niang Dumplings and decide to pick up a dozen or so to accompany dinner. Arrive at home ten minutes later to find that Jodi is not home. In the hallway as I exit the elevator I find a preschool aged boy blowing bubbles, and his grandmother knitting beside him. Inside, I say hi to Poopy and tidy up the house. A call to Jodi confirms that she's out getting her hair done (she just curled it, and is getting it retouched-up), and will be back in an hour or so. I check my e-mail and read some weblogs, and take Poopy out to play.

 Jodi gets home, and I fix dinner while she folds laundry. I put together a sub-par selection of northern Chinese food, and Jodi over-praises it to the point where I'm absolutely sure that she just wants me to take over dinner permanently. Graciously, though, she offers to do the dishes. I put that idea on hold by suggesting a walk. We head over to the square in front of Zhongshan Park and watch the ballroom dancers for a long time. It's nice to enjoy the fresh air, and a stroll is just the right thing after a good meal. We pick up a small cup of milk tea, and then head home. We dawdle a bit, sitting on a bench in front of our apartment building and watching the non-existent stars. At the current moment we're upstairs, Jodi's doing the dishes while I write this and then continue working on our wedding invitation. It's almost time for bed, though: 12pm.

Good night.


At Jun 7, 2006, 3:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Shanghai caters to so many lifestyles, it's great. I wake up whenever I feel like it, go to a state of the art gym, return home and deliberate on what to wear (make a note to myself to do more shopping). The off to my nearest Western cafe for a healthy start and take a taxi to work where I have very little interaction with local people at all. I spend a long and satisfying lunch with friends where we plan the next weekend's festivities and "family" dinners. Copious French and Aussie wine is consumed. Return to work half-tanked, leave a comment on a strange blog. Do a phenomenal amount of work that leaves my few chinese co-workers for dead. Leave when I want to and head to a Western supermarket and buy all of my favourite things - well almost - cook a splendid dinner for friends. Then off to a bar, club or social event to mix with other people and build my network. Get headhunted and move onto the next company.... Each to their own, but I love that Shanghai offers something for everyone :)

At Jun 7, 2006, 5:09:00 PM, Blogger Micah Sittig said:

Absolutely. When people ask me if Shanghai is expensive, I tell them that you can live any kind of life you want here, and the same goes for lifestyles.


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