Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Soup and starfish songs

Well, I'm quite busy today at work but yet, through the magic of the Wong Procrastination Transfer Method (WPTM), here I am trotting out a blog post instead.

I'm having issues with communication at work, but I've decided that it's a general problem in Asia, so hopefully I can get around it. The project manager on one of my projects is kind of pissed with me. The main thing is that my boss knows that the root of the communication problem is not me. Hooray.

Anyway, I've been spending the majority of my spare time lately watching movies on DVD, crocheting new stuff for me and certain lucky individuals, and discovering that I have a talent for making soup. Cold weather is good for something. So far I've made spicy lentil, potato and eggplant; curried sweet potato; and pumpkin and coriander. I like the blender. And the fresh vegetable market up the road from my flat.

The main reason I wanted to get this post out into the world (besides seriously dreading writing the document I'm supposed to be doing) is that I wanted to share something really special. Now, in the past, I have inspired people to travel, write poetry, draw posters, become extremely jealous, get the hell away from me, etc., but this is the first time (that I know of) that anyone's written a song. It's also fantastic, which is a total bonus. If you'd like to see it through the magic of YouTube, then please feel free. Then leave a comment to tell him how wonderful it/he is, as I'm sure I can't tell him enough. Oh, and it's a work in progress. Just in case you think it can't possibly get better, apparently it can. [It's called Starfish because my Chinese name means 'sea star'. Get it?]

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes we can

The fourth of November was historical, not just for the USA, but for large parts of the world. Many outsiders sat with crossed fingers, willing the message of hope and change to get through to the American voting public. For far too long, a Republican administration had destroyed international relations and ensured travelling Americans a frosty welcome in many places around the globe.

Barack Obama's call to action was composed of three of the simplest words in the English language, but somehow conveyed optimism, positivity, community, and hope for the future.

Yes we can.

I have no doubt that his words will go down in history, like those of Kennedy and Lincoln. I'm not usually one to get political (and it won't become a habit), but I continue to be fascinated by the fact that three little syllables managed to move millions, spark imagination, and spur action that has already changed the future. I hope that it continues.

From the Language Trainers blog. I wrote it, don't worry. Now go watch the video.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Blogging at lunchtime is fun

It started getting cold about a week before Hallowe'en, which is something I'd kind of been looking forward to.  And when I say cold, I mean it dipped below 20 degrees (Celcius), not that it's gotten actually cold yet.  But it will, no doubt.  Hopefully I will be able to purchase some swanky rain/snow boots before the weather really starts to turn.  In the meantime, I get to wear all my fun cold-weather accessories, and I'm enjoying it because I don't have to wear them yet.  I'm not sure how I will feel when I am wearing everything I own in order to keep warm.

I haven't actually managed to get all my stuff home yet (I've still got a couple of boxes of stuff that I shipped from HK sitting in my office), but I've been progressively taking things home with me over the last couple of weeks.  Just about all my clothes have made it home (and the maid ironed stuff for me today, woohoo), and the big box is nearly empty.  I can't believe I actually have semi-full closets (I have two in my room; sweet). 

Workwise, things are going pretty well, I guess.  I'm still not entirely sure what I'm supposed to be doing, but we have a couple of projects coming up where I actually have to produce things, so I should be busy enough over the next couple of months at least.  I'm teaching about 12 of my colleagues English, which is fun, and I'm in charge of an intern who I won't comment on in case he ever finds this blog.  Meantime, if anyone wants to move to Shanghai, or knows anyone who does, we are looking for people who have excellent written and spoken English skills, preferably with some kind of teaching background or qualification.  Let me know!

In general news, things are okay.  I have been incredibly unmotivated to teach myself Mandarin, which I feel guilty about on a daily basis.  I have picked up a little bit (probably through osmosis), but really need to get on to active learning.  As it's been getting colder, I've picked up the crochet hooks again, so put in your orders for winter warmth by Wendy.  I'm not freaking out too much about the full timeyness of my life, yet, but the thought of not being able to take holidays when I want to still makes my throat close up a little bit.  I'm just thinking about the money.  Yay, money!