Updating in Spurts

So I figured I’d update some information about what’s been going on. But seeing as I’m not sure all I want to say, and don’t quite feel like sitting on WordPress for a great length of time, I’m going to write this off line, update as I feel, and when it’s “done” (however I’d realize that I don’t know) I’ll put it online.

The most important and currently relevant thing is that I’m not feeling too well. Real nauseated for some reason. I had decided to go out and bike, it being the middle of the night and presumabely cooler and everything, but when I got out, about half an hour out to be precise, some odd combination of odors really overpowered me to the point where I felt like throwing up, not something good to do while biking I don’t think, not that I’ve ever done it before. I think the problem was that it had gotten really humid somehow. There’d been a cooling trend this week, and I’ve even been out and biking during the day and felt quite comfortable, but this evening the humidity had returned and it was just kind of putrid out, for lack of a better word. That plus the odors just put me over. So I high tailed it back, drank some iced green tea, lifted some weights, and after a cold shower felt decently better. The other issue is that, yes, it’s the middle of the night. My sleeping schedule’s messed up again, I’m not quite sure why or how this time. All I know is that a couple of days ago I was getting real tired in the early evenings, like 6PM or so, and just fell asleep, and that started the cycle of messing it up. Ah well. It’ll be alright, hopefully. The other issue is that I might have eaten too many pomegranates and that might have contributed to my nausea…these were the ones that I bought the other day from off the street and they were very good actually. A little different from US pomegranates, they’re light green on the outside and a much lighter pink on the inside. The individual um…whatever they’re called…were larger also than the ones in the States, packing more juice. I also find the process of pulling individual whatever they ares one at a time out of the fruit very relaxing and satisfying also. I’d go through an entire fruit, putting all the whatevers into a small bowl, then just chow down on them one big mouthful at a time. Um, but the consequence of which might be that part of why I was and am nauseated might be due to the odd combination of a weird sleeping schedule, over-fruiting on pomegranates, high humidity and heat in the middle of the night, and the plethora of odd odors that permeate this city in the Summer. Speaking of fruit though I’m also almost out of mini watermelons, which were also very good. One issue was that 2 of them had already split they were so crisp on the inside, so that’s why I ate them so quickly. Real good watermelons. I just make one small cut with a knife, then it’s crisp enough to peel apart with my bare hands. Lovely fruit in this country! I’m waiting for the citrus fruits to come back, and I’m sure Maria’s waiting for that as well. That should hopefully be soon. Right now the fruit in season seem to be grapes. Nothing else too specific seem to be overly prevalent.

I’m going to be taking care of my in country tourist visa renewal next week. I’m about at the end of my year long multi entry visa, it expires at the end of the month, the 20 something I think. And seeing as my work visa isn’t ready yet, the best solution at the moment is to essentially stall for more time from the Chinese government. We had looked into this before, decently early on when it seemed our work visas wouldn’t come through, so I know what’s required to get the in country renewal. I need to be registered in a proper Chinese household (specifically NOT a hotel otherwise I need 20K RMB or so in a bank account), fill out some forms, hand in my passport for processing, and wait a few days, after which I should be sporting a brand new 90 day single entry tourist visa. Pretty interesting actually considering how relatively easy it is. This means that any tourist can get a normal 90 day visa, then renew in country, and be allowed to stay for essentially half a year. Though I guess at this point all of this is theoretical, I’ll have proper information on how easy it actually was at the end of next week. Although my father also said that someone is “working” on my working visa again, so that might also come through. It does seem like things with my father may come together decently soon. He’s working very hard, every day, running all around the country, so who knows, maybe I’ll get paid soon and have a fancy new work visa. There’s always some chance eh?

Maria’s going to be home REAL soon now, within a week basically. I really can’t wait until she’s back. It’s been real lonely without her here. When she’s not around I also kind of don’t interact with other humans either. I guess we hadn’t yet gotten around to making many new friends in China yet and this point really hit home when she left. There just aren’t that many people I know anymore with whom I can go out, hang out, even speak to. I feel like both my command of English and Chinese have disappeared these past few weeks. It was quite noticeable when I was out with the apartment agent, during which time I spoke both Chinese and English and didn’t quite feel eloquent using either. Speaking about apartments though, I’m facing a slight dilema at the moment. I want to get a new place for Maria and I, but when you factor in fees, deposits, and the first couple months up front, I figure we’ll need 20K RMB to move in to a new place, a sum which I obviously don’t have. I’m going to try some other routes in finding places and hopefully shave some of those fees down so that I won’t need that much money up front. I also negotiated to be paid that much from my father for a web project of his, but he obviously hasn’t paid me yet. I’m going to talk to him about that tomorrow and hopefully get a timeline on when I might get paid. But I guess put shortly, it’s at least decently possible that we’ll be in a new place and neighborhood soon!

Which is exciting I think. The idea is to be close enough to campus so that Maria can walk to and from her classes, which means we’ll be in the Haidian district, the North Western one. Beijing actually has a surprising number of universities and they’re all up there. Off the top of my head, there’s Tsinghua University, Peking University, the Aerospace University, some kind of Forestry University, whatever that is, a Farming University, Beijing Language and Culture (Cultural?) University, some other one that’s across the street from that one, a People’s University, a Normal University (again, whatever the heck that is), and uh, that’s all I can recall at the moment. So yeah, all up there, basically right next to each other. Pretty neat, it makes its own kind of university town, though on a much larger scale. Haidian is also where all the electronic stuff is, also the technology part of town, so the geek in me finds that real neat. Plus, it’s far enough north, and big enough which is the more important part, that it reaches out to where there’s a lot more space between the buildings so it feels a lot less crowded. The farm is up there for instance. It’s quite foreign due to the universities, with lots of foreign students wandering around, but I’ve not yet decided whether I like that fact or not. I guess there’s a part of me that doesn’t quite like being around foreigners that much. Ah well. There should be lots of street fold though because despite the large influx of foreigners there’s a massive amount of local Chinese who run support for all of them and they enjoy their street food. Plus, we’ll be close to the Walmart, which will be wonderful. Quite unlike Walmarts in the States, but that’s how it is in this country with all major Western chains. The IKEA for instance, is also terribly much more interesting than the IKEAs in the States, not that the IKEAs in the States aren’t great also, but it’s an entirely different experience here.

I think it’s all mostly a question of scale. These things are are just much bigger here! Imagine a normal Walmart Supercenter in the States, with the groceries and everything, then stack 4 of them on top of one another as the ones in China are all multi-leveled up the wazoo. Same thing with the IKEAs, though IKEAs are multi-level in the States, these are just again, bigger. And they’re more of almost a social thing for people to do. Lots of the shoppers are kind of just hanging out, especially at the IKEA where you’ll find people taking naps on the showroom beds or sitting around tables in the cafeterias for HOURS. The only time I was there it was so crowded that when asking a group of people if they intended to leave so that we could find a table to eat at, they said no, it’ll be a couple of hours still. We eventually did find a table, but still. Hours? In the IKEA cafeteria? My mother has this really funny video. First we’re close up on a sleeping child, very peaceful looking, in a comfortable bed, then we slowly zoom out and all of a sudden a random person walks across the shot and we realize we’re in an IKEA and it’s a showroom bed we’re looking at with a sleeping child in it and dozens of other strangers milling about, looking at furniture, writing down notes, etc. I should get a copy of that video. It’ll be great to post here.

Wow I’m tired all of a sudden, and I’m not sure I’ve written anything of note or interest. I think I’ll post this now and actually go to sleep. Hmmm…wonder why I’m so tired? Ah, can’t yet, I just remembered I need to call my mother. Still, no reason not to post this while I do that. More to come later!

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