Practice and Theory and other Misc events

 

 

In Theory China has some of the tightest laws and controls on drugs, security and crime. In practice their application is to be polite, sporadic. Train stations in Beijing have security sections at both entrances and exits where any bags must be subjected to X-ray so that the officer who has fallen asleep behind the machine can completely miss anything dangerous or illegal.

In other news my work partner Kyall was turned into a pin cushion a few nights back by Lanzhou’s resident mosquito population and so he went to one of the city’s many pharmacys to try and find some bite cream. He came back somewhat unerved as apparently pharmacy staff in Lanzhou find the idea of you browsing or shopping without their help unthinkable. So speaking no real mandarin Kyall was assulted with a endless selection of presumably polite but unintelligable questions by no less than 5 floor staff and 2 cashiers as they accompanied him round the store. Eventually found what he wanted though after much pointing and cry’s of Zhege! (this one!)

Finally, the school I work at, “The High School Attached to the Normal Northwest University” ( I am not making that name up), has a sizable running track which I’ve started to use every 2nd-3rd night ( the day is too interesting to waste running).  The portions of food that you get in China are simply enormous and the vast majority of it is fried as well.  Some of the bowls in which the food is served seem closer to buckets. It is not difficult to work out that this coupled with no exercise is going to cause considerable width-wise bodily expansion.  I don’t fancy returning to England as ****ing fat.

So while running 2 nights back at around 9:30 on what I thought was a deserted running track, I noticed that it was not in fact deserted and that two students were locked in a tender embrance, broken by a round of passionate snogging right by the side of the outer line of 200 meter mark.  This is a sight that I just find unbearably annoying and nauseating. However as I trudged/jogged passed them feeling disappointed that I hadn’t got a fog horn on me I had a wonderful thought. The two students who had evidently snuck out of class (school finishes at 10pm, and no I am not making that up either) where enjoying a sickenly romantic moment together, you know staring into each others eyes on a moonlit field while embracing one another with no one else about, wispering each others names and all that crap.  Until I ruined it  by showing up plodding, wheezing, sweating and occasionally letting off a gasp of “…****…this” like the hairy foreign devil that I am. What’s even better because it took me at least 2 and a half minutes to make it fully round the track there was enough time for them to get back into the mood and wonder if I had finished before it was trashed once more as i came round for another lap. This thought cheered me up so much that despite getting increasingly exhausted, I decided to run on the outer line so I would be that much closer when I wheezed passed them. Disappointingly it only took about 3 laps before they left, I was hoping to ruin the moment at least 5 times. If they show up again, and I hope they do, I’ll set it as a challenge to see if I can achieve that.

Patience

Patience is a virtue in China in much the same way that breathing is a necessity for continuing to live.

I know I said that it would be a few days before I posted again, though I can’t imagine anyone reading this has really been that distressed from my protacted absence. As it turns out, it took us, me and my work partner Kyall, nearly a week to get internet in the apartment where we now live for the next year. China is a bizzare mix of efficiency and druken work ethics.  Punctuallity is vital to maintaining all imporant face yet it will take you eons to get anything fixed in your house. The Chinese are also very good at not sharing what you would think was imporant information. The resident Texan teacher Pat told me of Continue reading