Day 80 - Slowing Down and Cold Brew Tea

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016
Smog Level: 0/3 Mountains

Social Engineering

On my way to the gym, I see one of the motorbike couriers from, one of the third party delivery companies. You order something from a store, the store contacts them and hands it off, then JD brings it to you. There are a lot of these companies, and they seem to just get flagged through any security there is. It occurred to me that if you were Chinese-descent, had a their jacket and a package in hand, you could get almost anywhere with a good enough bluff.

Towering on a Smoggy Day
Cold Brew Green Tea

Lately, I’ve been brewing green tea cold. It was at the suggestion of one of my good friends, Mike. By brewing it cold, you can remove the bitterness that hot-brewed tea will have once it's cooled. It’s a pretty good workout drink, giving some energy, hydration, and a clean, earthy tea flavor. Try it out!

While trying my “slowing down” I mistakenly coupled it with slight procrastination by talking with friends online. In doing so, the combination made me almost miss lunch at work. Gotta be more mindful of that.

Developing Accents

After eating alone and trying to cool down in the 30ºC, humid weather, I arrive in the lounge to find Dan and, as usual of this time, Jack. I talk to Dan about wanting to have the ability to whip out a 1950’s Mid-Atlantic accent, and wonder aloud how one goes about doing so. He suggests breaking down all the standard vowels and consonants, slowly building and relearning the language from the ground up. I think there’s gotta be some shortcuts in there, but that definitely would be one of the most thorough ways of doing it.

Smarter, Slower, Stronger

I tell him about a post idea I’ve been kicking around for a while, but haven’t been bothered to actually write. “How to be Smarter” or something along those lines. He tells me about the Porcupine vs Fox approaches to expertise. The porcupine, he says, focuses intensely on one area, while the Fox is like a wildfire, learning about all sorts of areas. I’m not sure I understand why those animals were picked.

I pass this daily and don't know what it is.
On my way to class, a fellow teacher sees me coming up the stairs and says "oh, you're on time.” What? I ask one of my CoTeachers if I'm usually late and she says "no.." comes in close and whispers "but a lot of teachers dislike him” referring to the commenting teacher. Haha, unfortunate… but funny.

It was raining today, so the kids have been cooped up, and insane. Wound up energy is exploding in the hallways, which I choose to ignore today.

Body Issues

After class, Aurora, Helena, and Jen join me for food. We talk about different things we’ve seen online, like this acoustic guitar pad I found. Jen shows pictures of Lil Kim’s insane plastic surgery, and I explain “body dysmorphic disorder” to Helena. Somehow this leads us the conversation to Jen’s experience of reverse culture shock when going back to america. In China, the women dress more conservatively, even on hot summer days, so I’m told. When going back to the states, Jen felt like the women were practically naked. “Just terrible,” I joke.

One of my apartment complex's bike sheds
Mandarin Class

Aurora taught me a few useful phrases, like dāng rán ([dong rawn] T: of course/certainly). She originally wanted to teach me a poem that “all Chinese people know.” I’d be down at a later time, but right now I only want function and grammar. She got the idea because her husband suggested it… but I don’t need to say phrases like “longingly, I thought of you while gazing into the brisk winter’s sky” or anything flowery like that. “wǒ yào chī” ([woah yow chur] T: I’m going to eat) is good enough sort of things. “What do you think of X?” and understanding the responses, perhaps.


She also clarified two things, having gained access to this very blog: 1) the two-child law has been opened up and extended to everyone (she thinks) as of this year. 2) What Helena says about the birthdays isn’t 100% accurate. They don’t exchange information simply to exchange gifts. It's more because they want to know each other’s zodiac signs, as a way of understanding them better. The zodiac is strong here.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
ànmó shī
[ahn-moah shur]

Editing Music
Dimes for Nickels
JD McPherson

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