Day 156 - Who Needs Lungs?

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
AQI : 70 Day; 30 Night

Who Stopped The Rain?

But really, it’s been raining ll morning and it’s fantastic. The pollution has been sitting around 150-200 AQI everyday. That’s shit, man. Not only is it 30ºC+, but you’ve gotta wear these masks? Damn, girl; that’s hot.

But now, it’s dropped down to around 70! I remember arriving and thinking that I’d need a mask on these days, and here I am breathing deep, “So fresh and so clean!”
Who Needs Lungs?

On my way to the gym, I pass the guy who signed me up. I say hello, and he offers me a cigarette. Kind offer, but strange. Living in Beijing, working in a gym… smoking. Sure, whatever you like. Today, I am a gym celebrity because I am squatting. No one squats, particularly not men. Upper body are the only body you need.


Those skills can come in handy, I tells yah. In this case, I’m going to put up tutoring ads. I expected resistance from residents. Instead, a woman who curiously watched me actually helped me put it up straight.

The Bosses Are Leaving

The Director and Agatha are fleeing the country, apparently. Seems they’re giving away/selling their stuff, and one such thing is a juicer. Score! But this means I have to go to their apartment. On the subway. My legs hate me.

Several stops and one transfer later, I luck across another coworker who knows where they live and gives me directions. Say hi, grab the juicer, and I’m back to the subway, racing to make it in time for my mandarin lesson at 6. On the subway, I get am normally the target of curious stares. Adding in a half-opened box that is too big to comfortably hold in one arm and you’ll be a real prize pig. I'm sure they're just admiring my sweat patches on my shirt.


The highlights for today were “Weather” (tiānqì), “Balloon” (qìqiú), and “to cook” (zuòfàn) directly translate to “sky gas,” “gas ball,” and “do/make rice” respectively. Yes,  can mean "gas," in the chemistry sense.

Stranger Interactions

The jiaozi (dumplings) place knows me. Like I said, foreigner’s can often be a minor celebrity. Tonight is no different.

          The guy asks me "how tall?" 
          “Two,” I say.
          “Two Meters?!” he exclaims, rousing the amusement of another patron sitting under the now-useless sunbrella. “Thanks, bye!” I say and wander off into the night.

I find myself walking home behind a mildly oblivious teen. He strolls along for half a block before catching a glimpse of me out the corner of his eye. He turns slowly. His eyes climb their way up from my feet to my head and his jaw hangs, slack. Behold your god.

Feeling listless, I don’t know what I want to do. Why not stop in the middle of a busy market, and stand there writing up my notes? Glancing up, I catch several people looking me over, including a woman who seems to be giving aspiring words to her little boy. Eat your veggies.

The rest of the night was spent listening to comics explained and finally beating the game, Chroma Squad (tactical RPG where you play a crappy TV studio that makes a Power Rangers Knock off. 9/10). Productive Day.

Words of the Day

English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
[tee-ann chee]
Cook (v)
[zoo-oh fawn] 

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