Day 92 - Hitting On

Monday, May 9th, 2016
Smog Level: 1/3 Mountains

Given that it’s mother's day back home, I call my mom around 9am Beijing time, 9pm home-time. We have a pleasant conversation, and make fun of the family cat for getting fat. She's a grump.

A Chinese?

On the way to the gym, I’m listening to the audiobook on the modern history of China. I keep hearing the phrase “a chinese” and not “a chinese person.” I don’t know why, but it sounds vaguely racist to refer to someone as “a Chinese.” Try this on for size: “A Chinese just bought a hotdog from me.” “He was a Chinese?” “A Chinese just bet me that I couldn’t eat this hotdog in one bite” They sound a little off, don’t they?

Now see how these fit: “An American bought a hotdog from me,” or “He was a Canadian?” and finally, “an Italian bet me that I couldn’t eat this hotdog in one bite!” But yet with any of the Asian nations, it seems like you have to add ‘person” on the end. Maybe it just works for North American and European nations… hm.

Air Quality Checking

The air looks bad, but upon chatting with Joseph at the gym, it’s more likely that it looks bad because it’s going to rain. Eyeballing the mountains isn't the most reliable, it would seem. Gotta get me one of those apps that actually measure it for you.


Joseph talks about veganism, his cooking as a hobby, his passions, the people he has met through his veganism group, and the potential projects he wants to take up with regard to veganism. He’s not shoving it down my throat, I’m actually asking about it. I mention this because I'm aware of the stereotype of vegans always mentioning their life choices. Then again, even if they do, it's fair for people to talk about whatever they spend a lot of time on.

Murphy's Law

Due to that conversation, I was late for lunch, then running a little late for class. On my way, The Director stops to tell me some tax-related info, and another teacher forces one of the grade 1’s to apologize for calling me “Mr. Shit,” which he thought was hilarious. Turns out it wasn’t just being misspoken, so I will have to come down hard on them in the future. Hah.

Mandarin Class

Helena taught the class with a lot more spoken Mandarin. I am pretty tired at this point, so it's barely registering. Seems to always be the case during these classes. We practice what we might speak in a cab, get the cab to take us to a mall, then ask for clothes, sizes, and prices in the “store.” 

Roses(?) Everywhere
Exploding Parents...

After class, Jen, Helena, and I grab the tail-end of dinner in the cafeteria. Upon entering, we find a it empty, save for a teacher being reamed-out by a parent, her friend, and her child. The parent is accusing the teacher of hitting the child, meanwhile the student in question is occasionally hitting the teacher.  It eventually fizzles out after the teacher’s friend and some other staff come to defuse the situation.

...And The Unexpected

Afterward, the teacher approaches our table and requests to sit, ask me some questions. “Sure, but I wasn’t really watching, though my friends were.” Apparently that’s not important, because she didn’t give them the time of day, only focusing on me. This got rid of my theory that she was looking for witnesses, and made me think maybe she was just trying to save/recover face and only cared about the man’s opinion. 

Kid's Art
That assumption was then shattered because she started asking me personal questions. How long have you been here? How long will you be here? Where are you from? What did you do there? Can I have your number? How about Wechat? 

I gave her my wechat. Helena was getting pissed that this chick was bad mouthing Chinese people so much and almost started a fight with her, but Jen tapped her on the knee under the table to stop her. The Teacher took a phone call - at the table - and eventually excused herself. So bizarre.

And that is how I found my side girl! Kidding, kidding... I only gave her the wechat to see where this was going. After she left, we all agreed that it was strange and that we didn’t see it going in that direction.

Plausible Deniability

Later that night, she messaged me, bad mouthing Chinese people some more and asked me to meet up under the guise of talking about other schools. I said I had a girlfriend, she pretended it wasn’t a sexual advance, and all was well. 

Plausible deniability is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Chinese Person
zhōng gùo rén
[j-oh-ng goo-oh rhen]


Editing Music
Ed Sheeran
(Of the two versions, this is the better one, IMO)

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