Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Digs

Meant to post these long long ago. But anyhow, this is what $7400 rmb/month ($1140/month) will get you around here. Everybody says "SEVEN THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED??? That's way too much!" but most things that were say, 5000 rmb for 2 bedrooms, were ske-e-e-echy! This place is a 2 bedroom loft (that's us up on the top 2 floors) which could be adapted to 3 bedrooms. 6th (and 7th) floors. No elevator. Partially furnished. A landlord who's sorta nice, but not particularly helpful. A landlord who rented out OUR parking space when we said we didn't have a car (and i wanted to rent that space out myself...)

Anyhow, it's home, and if i do say so myself, a pretty sweet one. And hells yeah to not taking a buses and subways for 1 hr to get downtown every weekend!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just Getting Ready...

Presently it's been a week out of 4 for my Spring Festival holiday. So far just been puttering around Beijing. Spent some time trying, and finally succeeding in scoring a train ticket to Chengdu. Not an easy task, as i am but one of 230 MILLION people trying to book a train home for Spring Festival. Spring Festival is like the family holiday equivalent of Christmas, as there's millions of people for whom it's the only time they see their families.

So that being the case, I wasn't trying too hard to get the tickets, usually only waiting in line for 15 minutes to see if there was a ticket around (and was usually told "no"), and was convinced by Q not to bother trying to book until Spring Fest is already underway. True enough, the next time I inquired, there was indeed a ticket available. "But only the most expensive tickets are available" said the lady. No problem: i feel guilty enough taking that ticket when some poor guy/woman is just itching to score any ticket to avoid the momentarily bloated flight tickets.

So anyhow, Feb 2nd, I'm off to Chengdu. Plan to spend a few days meditating on Emei Mountain, which is covered in buddhist temples. And tourists. Will probably pass up on the opportunity to play with pandas unless Q manages to find enough time to come out after visiting with her family.

Note: Last year i met her folks, but this year wasn't quite invited since Q thinks she and her dad will be... discussing things. ie) her relationship with me. Ehm... hope that goes well. i thought i oughta pay a visit, but Q thinks it's best this way. Ah well.

As for the holiday so far, it certainly is nice to, you know, not work. Although i did start reading Pride and Prejudice recently in prep to teach the gr 12s (wow, that first page is pretty damn funny, i'll have you know). And there's some other prep which i haven't touched yet. Hey: it's holiday time. can't i relax for the 1st week at least?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

No News Is ... Bad News

Well you know how when people are depressed they tend to get more reclusive. When i'm not doing so hot i tend to be less social.

That's not so good.

Anyhow things w/ Q were starting to drag a while back and were incrementally feeling more strained in general.

So one night when we talked about things, things got unexpectedly messy, we almost broke up, and we wound up with an apartment that needed a lot of cleaning, and i missed a day of work. We also were awarded with... another chance.

Early in the morning, we had a super frank conversation, and despite all, we still love each other. Wow, we really almost threw in the towel, but after an intense night, find some renewed hope and positivity.

And hey, did you know that i just started my spring festival 1 month holiday? Good to have more time and an intended excursion to Sichuan w/ Q!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Not So New Year

Well, that went by in a hurry. Sort of.

Was gonna do some sort of recap on 2010, but that seems like a lot of effort, and i'm a bit of a burn out these days. Ok, ok, i'll keep it short.

-met the gf's parents!
-glossy Japanese cityscapes!
-solitude in snow covered forests!
-mediocre performance on stage!
-and was offered payment!
-moved to dntn BJ!
-moved in w/ my gf and brother!
-got informed that another misstep will get me fired!
-revisited lots of loved ones in Vancouver, BC, Canada!
-got baked!
-got clean!
-got unclean again!
-ate stinky tofu and liked it!
-became buddhist!
-watched the moonrise!
-stayed up till the sun came up
-worked uncountable overtime hours!
-got my gf to toke up and swim naked at Wreck!

Well, that doesn't look so bad. Kinda makes up for all the ups and downs and stresses which i conscientiously omitted from putting on the list.

As for new year's eve itself, it was a bit weird. before dinner we visited L'Occidental, cause i got a couple bottles of stuff for Q for Christmas, but then she saw they were too close to the expiration date, so wanted to exchange them. At the store she realized that they were on sale together and was pissed off 'cause she thought i only got them 'cause they were cheap. Only partly true: they're actually much more expensive in China than in Canada, and so i did figure that getting them on sale was pragmatic, and why wouldn't someone want eye cream w/ Shea Butter?

But in Q's eyes, it was a major loss of face. Like buying someone food that's ready to rot. Not thoughtful, AND cheap. She was pissed off, and stated that she wanted to bail out on the planned trip to Qingdao the next morning. So i had to do some damage control to get things back on track.

Then it was like 11:30, and Derrick was like, "So are we going to go somewhere or what?" So we considered going, but in the end just meditated through midnight, not unlike my good ol' DIY Dharma gang in Vancouver.

Originally planned to go to my friend Yuqi's gig, but then we realized it was on Sat 1st, not Fri 31st. So that was a no-go. When i told a friend (who's in Yuqi's band) that we couldn't attend the party, he said, "Really? I thought you were opening for us!" Um... no...