Day 137 - First Witnessed Accident

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
Smog Level: 0/3

Preparation and Explosions

One of the pains-in-the-ass about being in Beijing is the lack of potable water. No water this morning means no coffee or tea for some morning pep. No milk also means no smoothie. I’m just so prepared.

On my way to work, I was crossing the 6 lanes of morning traffic with my other commuters to see a low-speed scooter collision. A small-scale nuclear explosion catapulted both drivers straight into the air. At first I was worried, but the fact that they both landed, got up, and immediately start yelling at each other gave it more of a comical twist.

Special Mushrooms, I think

At certain times of the day, they school will put out snacks in one of the teacher’s office. Today it’s cups of watermelon and tiny spear forks. Xīgūa everyone! Hurry! Xīgūa! Quick, grab the xīgūa! It’s one of the few fruits I actually know. That, apple, and banana. That’s about it.


I would’ve been done for the day, but had picked up another teacher’s class. That’s an additional ¥150 per session (35-40 minutes) for 3 sessions. The thing is, there was only one break, so I thought that it was only two sessions. This led me to have 2 sessions, nearly an hour, of reading intolerably boring material with kids who also don’t want to read it. While falling asleep. As far as difficult jobs go, this was a cinch, but it’s like boredom torture. Hey, ¥450 makes it a bit easier to suffer through.

Mobile Gaming

One thing I’ve noticed is that everyone here is all about mobile gaming - playing games on phones, tablets, and other such devices. I never really got into it because the controls are always kind of hamstrung and processing power is limited. But here it's a particularly booming industry. 

Why is that?

Turns out, gaming consoles (xbox, playstation, nintendo) have been illegal to sell here, apparently for the same reason as rated R movies are sometimes banned from theaters. They recently reversed that decision, however. Now I'm eyeing up a playstation 4 with some of these easily-gotten gains... I’m going to up my going tutoring rate to ¥300 an hour. 5 hours of that a week, and I can afford one in 2 weeks. Money troubles have been over for some time now, and opportunity seems to be sprouting on trees. Summer is here.

Mandarin Class

It is either really easy to teach me or really difficult. I derail class with all sorts of questions: what’s the difference between shì de and shì ba?* How about méi gè rén and suǒyǒu rén?** 

Dat Stripmall. This is a road beside
the road. Upkeep, what's that?
Main takeaway from this class was the grammar of how to rearrange sentences with direct and indirect verbs. I'm learning general grammar for both languages, it would seem. Examples in English: You’re driving me crazy! I’m being driven crazy by you! You’re crazying me! Wait…

Aqua Quest

Usually when I get home, I don’t really want to go anywhere again, but that water isn’t going to buy itself, especially without cash. Purposely leaving my headphones behind and leaving in my pajamas, I wander two blocks to my bank, passing all the people loudly talking to each other, kids pointing me out, and plenty of hair salon workers hanging out front of their buildings in an attempt to pull customers in.

Taking stock of all the stores in this particular strip mall: a little hair salon, even smaller gambling.. uh.. ‘shop,’  hair salon, grocery store, spa, hair salon, spa, spa, hair salon, doctor(?), mystery hallway, convenience store, property management company. That was the ordering of them, guessing to the best of my ability what they sell. 

You'd think everyone is killing for a haircut.

*Shì de is "yes," while shì ba is "uh, sure" or "I guess so."

**the first is "everyone" and the second is "all people." In practice, if you say "méi gè rén yào zhè gè" you're saying each person wants one of these. If you say "suǒyǒu rén yào zhè gè" you're saying "everyone wants this particular item"

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
[she-ahng jee-ow]

Editing Music
All These Things That I've Done
The Killers

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