and I say it to adventures.
Dui has left me with a new bike, freshly made noodles and a free guitar for the year (I’ll give that whole story when I play the concert on the Qufu campus with the music teacher and his friend in October).
As I write this, it feels like no time has passed in the last week and a half since we were brought after 13 hours in the air between New York and Beijing to the Zhong Xie Hotel hours before Hurricane Irene would strike the east coast. After corn and congealed blood for breakfast
we spent a morning in Beijing waiting for the entire group to assemble, visiting Tiananmen Square,
and after a hearty dumpling lunch,
made our way through impeccably clean streets,
past children trying to dirty the streets
to the massive Forbidden City, which I will need another visit to fully explore.
We also saw some blue sky in Beijing
We took a night sleeper train to arrive in Qufu around 8am. A new high speed rail cuts travel time to the capital down to slightly over 2 hours and just over 3 to Shanghai.
The first week in Qufu consisted of trying to stop myself from waking up between 3 and 5am due to jet lag, acquiring a phone and bike and getting to know my way around the campus and city directionally and gastronomically. Biking in Qufu is my favorite way to get around because bikers are a pampered minority, with designated bike lanes for the large groups of manual and electric (!) bikes that transport people around the city.
Biking and walking happen at a much slower pace, which allows ample time for people watching
and watching of other species
“Your voice in “Oral English” made me feel very energized!”
Anita and her boyfriend Cheney were grinning outside of my class. I had just finished a two hour introduction class for one of the two sophomore “Oral English” classes I’ll be teaching for the year. Anita and Cheney were not in this class and I realized that my voice had carried over the sound of fireworks celebrating some social event near the campus
and the clip-clop of the freshmen and their military training
(after two more weeks of training I’ll pick up two more sections of freshmen “Oral English” to round out my course load to eight classes a week totaling sixteen hours of in class time for the semester)
I checked my phone last night after biking back from our first Pinyin lesson. (Pinyin is the latin alphabetized versions of Chinese characters that were invented to keep up with the spread of computers in the 1950s) to find this text message:
“I am another max! i am very happy ! i heard that you are as energetic as me. Maybe we can be friends”
This student Max is notorious for being a big talker. There can only be one answer:
P.S. Don’t forget to listen to the new Dizzy Peoples Comedy podcast!