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谢迈克在中国 » 2008» May

谢迈克在中国

Mike Shecket Goes To China!

Two of my favorite kiddos

May 21st, 2008

This is Wan Hang (though you don’t get the full impression here because she did a closed-mouth smile in this picture, maybe to hide her braces):

And the guy to the left of me here is Henry (I think maybe he has braces too):

They were both at my birthday party, but you didn’t really get a good view of them…these pictures are from a couple of weeks ago.

Birthday party pictures

May 21st, 2008

Here they are…click for a larger view:

Jinyang revisited

May 20th, 2008

As much as I disliked living here before, these days I’m finding it pretty sweet. In fact, unless I’m forgetting something, I haven’t left Jinyang in nearly a month.

In addition to the availability of Western-style fast food (as previously mentioned…many times), there are better grocery stores here now, plus several farmers’ market-type places and a convenience store that’s open until midnight. There’s also a bar that has karaoke, although I haven’t been there in some time. I think the last time I was there with some of the other teachers, we exhausted all the English songs they have that we know.

Come to think of it…having not left Jinyang in a whole month, that probably means that I have also not used any motorized form of transportation for a whole month (including elevators). That’s got to be pretty healthy and green. Or it would be healthy if I wasn’t eating huge amounts of fast food chicken and ramen noodles all the time…maybe it’s a wash overall.

It didn’t start out that way, but life has actually become pretty good here, and there are a lot of people and things I’ll miss.

My fantastic birthday

May 20th, 2008

I’ll have to tell everybody more about my great birthday…there are some photos that were taken by one of the other teachers that I hope to get a hold of soon. There was a cake, candles, and I wore the birthday crown!

Alice’s Gift Box

May 20th, 2008

Alice, a student a No. 1 High School, though not actually in one of my classes, made me this beautiful birthday present.  It’s a set of twelve laminated cards in a gift box that chronicle how we met and the times we’ve gotten together.

Click each card to see a larger picture:


It’s just a tad over 48 hours before I celebrate my first birthday outside of the USA.  I’ve had my birthday in Chicago before, and I was in Argentina on Christmas in 2005 (not that I do Christmas), but this is new.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to be far from family and friends on my birthday; it’s just part of the overall deal that allows me to come here and have this experience.  I can’t really think of anything so wonderful about it…it’s not like I get to experience special Chinese customs related to Mike Shecket’s birthday, in particular.

I don’t think birthdays are a big deal in this culture…I was telling the students about the different US presidential candidates in one class, and I showed them their birthdays and asked them to tell me how old the candidates were…they consistently neglected to take into account that none of the candidates’ birthdays had yet rolled around this year, and instead they calculated by just subtracting the birth year from 2008, as if everybody is counted as one year older on New Year’s Day.

May 13th, 2008

According to Google Earth, I’m located about 360 miles from the epicenter.

May 13th, 2008

When I wrote yesterday, I didn’t know the extent of the loss of life and damage…although I should have guessed.  I suppose I didn’t want to think about it.

I had been planning on going to Chengdu for a long time…almost went middle of last month, and almost went over the May 1st holiday.  Now, who knows if I’ll get the chance at all?  But of course, that’s of basically no importance.

It’s upsetting to see people who are so poor and vulnerable all the time.  In the city, I see plenty of people just scraping by, and in the countryside, it’s much worse, although I’ve seen little or none of rural China.

I think the overall effect of recent events is that I really can’t get that worked up about disasters in western countries…I can assure you that as rotten as it was, people in Burma would have been really happy to have a Superdome.

Quake! (Far from here)

May 12th, 2008

There was a big earthquake a few hundred miles away from here, northwest of Chengdu…they say it was something like a 7.5 or 7.8.  I was in class at the time and I didn’t feel it at all, but some other folks felt a little vibration for a couple of minutes, and they had all the students leave the classroom buildings and go outside.  Anyway, everything here is fine, but from what I can tell so far, they probably weren’t very prepared for it where it happened…it’s not a big earthquake zone at all.

Yummm….

May 4th, 2008

Man, I’m pretty obsessed with this new fast food restaurant within walking distance of the school.  They’ve got honest-to-goodness chicken…they have something like nuggets, something like popcorn chicken, something like a wrap with sort of chicken fingers in it.  Man oh man, I’ve been missing this stuff.  I’m gonna have to take my camera there just to show you how great it is.  They also have a kiddy play area sort of like McDonald’s, and exactly like Dicos (another Chinese fast food chicken place with branches elsewhere in the city, but not here).  It’s really fun to eat and watch kids jump around in there.

I love Haomeiwei!!!

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