Day 26 - Visa with a Vengeance

No Explanation. Note That The Cars in The Background are Blocked In.
Friday, March 4th, 2016
Smog Level: -1 Mountains (some of the buildings can’t even be seen)

I’ve had better mornings, but I’ve also had worse.

As usual, I am reminded of why I don't often drink, particularly when I have to get up the next morning, but hey.. you’re only in Beijing once! ...That could be a rationalization for nearly anything. Besides, today is supposed to be an easy day where I don’t have to teach! Hooray for justification!

I really don’t want movement or food. I make both happen anyway, eating two bites of an plain egg sandwich that’s making my stomach churn. My theory is that breakfast foods were designated as breakfast foods because of their ability to help with hangovers. Man has a long, long history with alcohol, so… put be back together, eggs.
Hung Over Electrical Box Pics are a Must
I hobble the cobbled path toward the bus stop and hope that the food stays along for the ride. The bus rides here are always a little wild, depending on traffic. It’s Friday morning, and that seems to be one of the busier times.

The long shamble to the front gate went well enough, eggs and toast still in attendance. I reach the front door as Ms.Handler is heading out. Time to go to the police station, again, and visa office.

Getting anywhere in Beijing can take a while. I fell asleep a couple times in the car. The eggs seem to have processed, and I’m feeling less nauseous in the back seat than I was while walking. Thank God. When you’re hit with double negative effects (fatigue, hangover) it’s difficult to know what’s causing what. Now I'm probably just contending with some lingering dehydration and lack of sleep.

The police station goes without a hitch, but the visa office is a bit more work. We need the following documentation:

  • Foreign Expert Passport-like Document (Gotta keep this one for the future)
  • Have a Digital Picture taken
  • Signed Documents
  • A physical picture of designated size
  • Handing your passport over for a days/weeks (which I am totally not uncomfortable with!)

I guess I'm not the only one
who thinks so...
Ms.Handler said she will return after the designated processing period and gather the results. I jokingly ask if she think she can handle it without me.

We’re back at school at 11. I don’t have anything until 12, and lunch is served. Time to get some real food.

I chat with Joseph (Carden), who is training for a half(?) marathon and is, apparently, vegetarian. Really cool guy. It seems a few of the teachers are going to run a half/full marathon in - get this - North Korea. He takes off and is replaced at my table by Helena, one of the Chinese. We talk about aging performers vs aging political figures (political figures age better than performers), and relationships. She seems very confident that hers will last forever and that they will always be 100% honest with each other. I’m not so confident that 100% honesty all the time is actually a good thing. I posed smart-ass-like, but (to me) legitimate situations to see what she thought.*

Friday Night Traffic and that lovely Haze
Example: You've had a really long day at the end of a really long week. Something happened at work that your partner doesn't need to know about, but you know without a doubt that it will start a fight. Do you tell him as soon as you see him? Do you wait until you've had some rest? Do you tell him at all?

Fridays are different, class-wise. I have two grade 1 classes that last between 35 and 40 minutes, one after the other. Evan, another part time teacher, demonstrates how he’s been doing it while I watch from the back like a creep.

Events that happened the rest of the day:

  • Tried to nap in the teachers lounge, but they were closing
  • Waited, struggling against the fatigue, for the staff meeting
  • Attend staff meeting, which I’m not entirely invested in the outcome of, as I’m still figuring things out
  • Bus home, stop at the Dumpling place near my apartment
  • Meet Shimou at McDonalds
  • Go to the Blind Massage together. Oh man, it’s something to look forward to each week.
  • Walk home, pass out.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
above - yīshàng [EE-shong]
below - xiàmiàn [she-ah-me-ann]
inside - nèi
beside - páng

Editing Music
Freddie Hubbard
I'm trying to figure out exactly what genres of Jazz I like. This is Bebop; I'm lukewarm toward it. Also, Smooth Jazz is the worst. If you're offended by that, good. The worst.

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