Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Q: What's brown and squishy and falls apart when you touch it?, A: I don't know, but I'm not eating it.

Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001
From: Ceels
Subject: Q: What's brown and squishy and falls apart when you touch it?, A: I don't know, but I'm not eating it.

If you happen to look at the weather report in The Age for Beijing, and you notice that under weather it says 'smoke', that means that the smog is so thick that you can chew on it. Like today.

Teaching twenty-six classes seems to be all right. This morning one of the students asked me if I would help him pierce his ears. Just like mine. One of the teachers keeps asking me out on dates. Or to 'just help him with this thing', 'shall he come to my dorm?'. I don't think so.
Today, when I arrived at one class, they were still at PE and the door was locked, I couldn't be bothered standing, so I sat on the banister to wait. A bigger reaction I have never seen, as students came down the stairs or along the corridor they gasped in shock. The ones who know me asked 'Celia, what are you doing?' I don't think they would have been more astonished if I’d taken off my clothes and danced up and down the corridor in bra and knickers (okay, a little bit more). Mental note to self 'don't sit on banisters'.

And I’m tired of being stared at, it is like an itch I can’t scratch, I can feel people looking at me all the time. When I came to the internet cafe with Melinda, she couldn't believe it. She kept saying, he is looking at you, she is looking at you, he is looking at you and he said that...

Melinda lives in the foreign teachers dormitory with me. She is from Tibet and is studying English at Beijing University because she wants to go to Wellesley College in Boston. She is an odd girl, but nice. She is good to learn Chinese from because it is her second language, too, so in moments of frustration I can abuse it as much as I like. I worry for her though, I am the person she speaks the most English with, and she is picking up some of my speech patterns, the other day I distinctly heard her mutter 'ahh crap'.

Other than that all is well. I hear I missed John McCutcheon at the Folkie. I tell you, China had better deal something pretty spectacular to make up for that.

love you

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