Sep 13, 2018

Time keeps on slipping

Uncle Foreigner gets existential

China can be a really chaotic place. Forget about plans changing last minute; sometimes plans aren’t even made until the last minute. Just today, I was part of another surprise photo shoot at school. It’s a difficult way to get things done.

But you can wail against the flow, or gracefully bob along on the tide. One way is a heck of a lot more likely to be a pleasant journey. One way is also a lot more honest about how much control we actually have over our lives…

Dec 26, 2012

The guard house

And the guys to befriend

The guardhouse at night

All entryways to the school, both in the city and out in the countryside are manned by guards who make sure that you’re supposed to be going in or out. Students have to show ID, and sometimes passes that say they’re allowed to leave or enter the campus at that time.

We just recently realized that these guards come from the Luzhou city police force. Given that they get to spend most of their day joking around with each other and playing computer games, I’m guessng that it’s a pretty cush posting.

We like to say hello as we pass, because it’s polite, and sometimes we make a little small talk of the 你们吃饭吗, 我们吃饭-variety [“You will eat dinner? We will eat dinner.”]. But, though we’re not asked for paperwork, it turns out they are keeping tabs on us. We found this out after we came back late one night. We think the fact that we were accompanied by some friendly laborers that we had met on the walk back is what turned it into an incident to be reported. “You don’t speak Chinese, and you don’t know the politics out in the countryside,” our boss chastised us in a cryptic speech a few weeks later that we can only guess was motivated by said late-night walk. It wasn’t clear precisely what we’d done wrong, but I’m pretty sure she’d be much happier with us if we confined ourselves to our apartment and the classrooms.