Day 85 - Desert Rain

Monday, May 2nd, 2016
Smog Level: 2/3 Mountains

Desert Rain

Dan says that Beijing is a literal desert when it comes to rainfall. I never bothered to look it up, though this is only the 2nd time it’s rained since I arrived two months ago. Probably for the best, considering how much it pools in the uneven ground and slick sidewalks. Large brown puddles collect along pathways, sometimes forcing you to make a choice between hopscotch, a really inconvenient path, or a wet shoe. I can imagine some of the overpass walkways might collapse if it were to rain too much.

Labour Day Labouring

Yay, Facemasks and rain. Looks Post-apocalyptic.
Today was spent holing up in the apartment and aptly spending “labour day” working away on writing articles and editing. My efforts on focusing have really been working out, allowing me to enjoy my work more, feel less stressed, and get more done with less time. Not interrupting myself somehow makes the work more enjoyable. I find this strange, since the work itself doesn’t change.

Money is running thin, and I'm really hoping that the pay will come through earlier rather than later. I walked Shimou to the train station after we ate dinner at Yoshinoya (Japanese food). It seems like the menu might be slightly different depending on which location you go to. 

Genuine Japanese Food

I asked Shimou what kind of food they sell in Japan, since I know someone who went and had gained a lot of weight. Also because Shimou lived there for a year. When thinking of Japanese people, I imagine them to be very thin.* But... if this is Japanese fast food, then their food can’t be too unhealthy. Maybe their desserts are even better. Shimou said that Japanese food tends to be fairly healthy, except for their tempura (deep fried) stuff. “They like deep fried food,” she says. “Everyone does,” I point out. We’re hard-wired to be attracted to that calorie-dense, golden (disgusting) goodness.

Sink Holes

Walking back from the train station alone in the rain, I start to think about sink holes. The ground here is often uneven, and Chinese infrastructure often isn’t the most reliable. That being the case, would it make sinkholes more likely to happen? Considering the population density, each would also be likely to affect many more people than in North America. 

Oh, China.

Chinese Perspective on Foreigners

I talk to Shimou about post-China plans, which always makes her get prickly. She can speak English, Japanese, and Chinese, yet thinks it’ll be very hard to get a working visa in other countries. She thinks it’s impossible to make a living while running a business online remotely. Maybe she’s right, but the only people who will find a way to do it will be the ones actually attempting. Through this line of discussion, she points out the average Chinese person’s view of foreigners: 
No matter how kind you are to them, no matter how close you get, they will do what they want. They will never change their plans for you; their money is still their money; their space is still their space; their time is still their time.
KFC Coffee, anyone?
I point out that she can and should come with me, as she’s mentioned that she doesn’t want to live in China the rest of her life, and doesn’t think it would be good for me to do, either. Likewise, I don’t want to be here the rest of my life, as great as it’s been so far.

Maybe Japan will be the next target, which would be one of the easier situations for both of us. Time will tell.

*Then again, I used to think similarly of Chinese people. They're probably on par with average North American city dwellers... at least in Beijing.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
xìa yǔ
[she-ah yoo]


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