Day 139 - Windsor KTV

Saturday, June 25th, 2016
Smog Level: AQI: 50; 3/3 mountains 

Going to the gym after writing a little and eating even less. Motivation is waning, but some of the tricks from “Smarter, Better, Faster” will be put to good use when this coming break happens.

SMART and Stretch Goals

It talks about SMART goals, which I’ve mentioned before - including the drawbacks of them. SMART goals only allow you to aim for smaller, tangible things, but not bigger dreams where you would have to it out as you go. Those would be called “Stretch Goals” and the combination of the two is key. A goal you have no idea to reach, and SMART goals to build the bricks that raise the structure. SMART goals without Stretch goals can lead to writing down mundane, "nothing" tasks just so you can get the little dopamine-fueled joy from checking something off your list. Best not to do that.

After a long nap and waiting for Shimou to get ready, we catch an Uber with Dexter to KTV (karaoke), brought to us by Bunny's planning. Aurora, Bunny, Shimou, Dexter, and two of Aurora's friends from our mountain trip (Day 97) met up for a 3 hour session. 

They have detached mics, and the one attached to the stage. Take your pick!
KTV (aka Karaoke)

Bunny had suggested the 9h option… which is insane! That's like a plane ride to and from Shanghai - twice, and with time still on the clock. She said they'd do it all the time while in school and would even sleep in there while people are singing. Nuts. Also, the prices are like that of an airport; you're trapped there and must pay at least 2-3x normal rates. 

KTV places are often quite nice. Definitely among the higher-end decor of places I've visited. They’re very popular. You'll frequently find men and women alike wandering out of them late at night, often intoxicated. It seems like going to the bar for them, I guess. Foreigners tend to hate KTV. It's just karaoke in a small room, after all. 

Bunny, Shimou, Dexter and I depart to MADO, whose destiny has been delayed for a few more days - Demolition was rescheduled from today to Tuesday. Unsure what the state of the place will be, since there was a police raid in the area yesterday. Word has it some foreigners were acting stupid on MDMA and caused enough trouble for the cops to pinch every foreigner and bring them to the station for urine samples. Alphanumeric!

Uber and Buddha

In the Uber, the man laughs heartily and says that the car is too small for me (Shimou translated). He's a light hearted man, but I can't understand a word he says. On his dash is a golden Buddha laying on one side, holding a golden boat, which used to be how they'd measure money, I think. Buddha being gold and holding money... Almost as if the designer didn't know anything about what he was making. To most people I think it just represents luck, peace, and prosperity. 

Last, Last MADO Saturday

We grabbed some street chuar from this guy cooking over their Chinese BBQ trough (metal trough about 4 feet by 1/4 foot, hot coals lining the bottom). While we wait for and eat our chuar, the man's daughter, about 7 years old, is wearing a traditional Chinese dress, pink, plastic framed glasses, and is studying English on a cellphone. After studying for a bit, she starts playing music and really breaks it down. Her dance moves were hilarious, and she was completely unabashed. You’d probably never see this at 10pm on a Saturday night back home.

Bet you'll never guess where we are! Look sooooOOOooo different from the West!
We’re back at MADO, again, sitting in the smoke-filled bar where it’s rather uneventful for my two compatriots who don’t seem to want to make conversation with me or Dexter at this time. We get a few half-off drinks and consider getting shots of absinthe. They're half off, after all! But then we find out that they’re ¥75 after the discount. I’m not hurting that much for some absinthe and am generally trying to cut back on spending. That’s shot could buy an hour massage, y'know!

The smoke was bothering our eyes, so I snagged some free cups, which MADO was giving away, and we wandered over to 4 Corners, another popular expat bar. We expected a crowd and dancing, but instead found a barren bar with a band comprised of one man playing radiohead covers. He was good.

I tried to explain some basic mandarin to Dexter and the devices that made it easy for me to remember, which Bunny found surprising, yet funny. Example, “go straight” is “zhí zǒu” which sounds kind of like “just” (zhǐ) and “go” (zǒu). Just go; Go straight. Left and Right are just downward tones of common words that normally have the third (down-up) tone. Zǒu is go, but zòu is left. Yǒu is “have”; yòu is right.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Sing a song
[chahng guh]

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