Monday, April 15, 2013

First Post From My Outpost

Through a freshly drilled hole about the size of a quarter, and just above my entry way, a thin white cable now enters my apartment. Starting today, I have access to the whole wide-world via the internet! This afternoon I spent several hours researching international schools and the development trends of Chinese education. I have started the ascent up a steep learning curve, but I am a happy expat!

As I tap away on my Mac I am sitting on a my little balcony on the second floor. Hordes of laborers have been swooshing their handmade rakes and cleaning the street that runs parallel to my building. Beige heaps of fallen leaves flecked with colorful shreds of trash is being scooped up and carted away. When they uncover a bottle amid the debris they smash it in the street, then sweep it up and then put it in carts. I so want to go down and ask them: first, why do you smash the bottles, and secondly, if you are going to smash the bottles why don't you save  time and just smash the bottles in the cart? But they must have their reasons for doing it in such a way. Also, even though no more than a couple of meters separates one worker from another they talk in raised voices. Sort of like they are trying to yell over the sound of a passing train. There is no train. There is very little background noise at all! They are cheerful, but sound harsh. It's just the nature of the language and culture.

My domicile is taking shape. It is quite spartan, but I will try to brighten it up a bit over the days and weeks ahead. I am surrounded by canines. To my right, and one floor beneath, my neighbors have a little dog that goes into yapping fits. Every time it does I think of a certain Seinfeld episode, and begin plotting an abduction and disappearance of the annoying little pooch. And talk about contrasts...to my left, and one floor beneath, my neighbors have a Doberman! Every morning he is let out to do his "business" and leaves a pile on the tile below so high two men couldn't shake hands over it!

Sandy and I are able to talk by Skype everyday, and I am able to stay in touch with my friends and family through FB. Jet lags numbing effects are beginning to wain, and my body and mind are getting in synch. Since arriving I have jumped from one project to another, so there hasn't been much opportunity to scout out the area for some photos, but that will happen soon.

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill




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