As has become my routine in the last month, Friday morning I was on the 7:15 bus going to the train station for my trip to Shanghai. The infamous #97 bus goes past Jiaxing University. I guess classes were over in anticipation of the winter holidays which, depending on where you are, start tomorrow for most and next Monday for us. Anyway, 21 students (I counted them when we got off) got on the bus with suitcases which looked too heavy for most humans to lift. The first one moved about 40% of the way to the back (Ed.note: Not even as far as the exit), stopped, put her suitcase down and stood there. This of course caused a chain reaction with the rest of them stopping and taking up the space. Now, you have have noticed in previous photos that Chinese buses have two steps up to the last 5 rows of seats. These seats remained mostly empty, since there was no way these kids could have ever lifted those suitcases up the stairs. This was okay though, for two stops, since no one else got on. However at the third stop about 5 people – all older than me had to step over or around the chaos to get to where those empty seats were. I must say, they all did it without complaining or commenting to the kids – even smiling. I am pretty sure that would not have been my reaction!
I’m in the cab from downtown Shanghai to the train station – about a 35 minute drive. You know how satellite radio has stations devoted entirely to Jimmy Buffet or The Grateful Dead or 1960 Rock? Well in Shanghai they apparently have one entirely devoted to
That’s right for the entire time I was able to listen to one rendition after another after another… of Moon River. Now I have always like the song and I think my Mom was secretly in love with Andy Williams, but come on thirty-five minutes – and they were still playing it when I got out.
After listening to Andy et al, I went to the wicket and asked for a ticket to Jiaxing. The agent said “No seats, only standing” I said Ok and she punched up a ticket for 28.5 RMB and I say “What about First Class?” She says “Wait a moment” punches up a first class seat for – ready? 28.5 RMB. TIC!
Also at the train station was this young woman. She must be some kind of animal lover. Sorry, she wouldn’t stop so I could get her in focus.
These two were parked outside our apartment the other day. Is BMW copying Ford’s style lines or is the other way around? And maybe it’s time to take the bar code off the window?
When I had my little health thing back in October, one of the people who showed up at the hospital was the Minister of Education for the province of Zhejiang, who is also a parent of Crystal, a wonderful girl we had in our class last year. She told Terry then that when I was better she wanted to take us out for a meal. Yesterday was the day. It was a lovely lunch with, as usual, way too much food, but kind of amusing as well. We think she might have been a little nervous about going out with us alone – her English is good but not great, so she invited some extra people who we knew from the big school. There were supposed to be 8 of us, but sadly, yesterday morning three of them informed her they couldn’t make it. Nice. But we had a great time anyway with some of the best food we have had in Jiaxing.
One of the things that drives Canadian teachers crazy is that the education bureau does not publish a yearly calendar of holidays etc. (Ed. note: In BC it is laid out out 5 years in advance) They just let you know as the time approaches when it is. For example, our Winter holiday was supposed to be Feb. 1 to Mar. 5 but then it was changed to March 6 and then the Chinese staff was told it wouldn’t start until Feb. 8. Bizarre, I know and like I say it drives people crazy. Why do I tell you this? Because after lunch, as Mr. Zhao (Chinese vice-principal) is driving us home he informs us that it is Yaoyun who makes all the decisions on when holidays are, how long they are etc. etc. He couldn’t have told us this before? We’ll have the last word though. When Crystal comes home from America in June, Yaoyun has invited us to her home for dinner.
My fixation with the parking in the bus terminal continues. They have added a big red STOP sign at the entrance to the lot – which is an interesting, but clearly ineffective place to put it.
There was a farmers market at the mall yesterday which was apparently very tiring. Yes, they are both asleep.
The Shoe Blog
There are no shoes for today, but you must watch this video.
Be sure to make it full screen and turn up your speakers!