January has been an annoyingly busy month. Between finishing classes, grading final assignments, giving and marking finals, and arguing with the administration to get the classes that I want for next term, it's all been a blur. The desire to blog has also been diminishing.
And to top it off, a bunch of little "rascals" (that is to say, bastards) have been walking around campus and dropping incredibly loud little bundles of explosives. You know, those paper-wrapped bunches of chemicals that make loud satisfying BANGS (I swear I just heard one as I typed that) when thrown at the ground? (And another.) Yeah, well, they're popular here, too, but the ones the kids use here look like small pieces of dynamite, and they sound like it too. So it's sounded like I'm in the middle of Baghdad for the past few weeks, which is always fun when I'm spending all my time grading yet another journal about the goddamn Student Sport's Day.
I was about to go up to my apartment the other day when I heard one go off right around the corner. I marched over and saw two little rascals (bastards) with a cigarette pack full of 'em. So I asked them, using sign language, broken Chinese, and some English: you mei you (do you have/not have) those (motion to throw on the ground, make explosion sound)? Yes, they say enthusiastically, and reveal the box to me and offer me one. How cute. No, no, I don't want; I don't like; Bu xihuan! Loud noise! (Hen xiang? I think that's smell, actually); hands over ears and wincing in mimed pain. They giggle. Keyi (can you?) go over there, where I'm pointing? Yes, loud noise, go there, thanks, xie xie, and they just keep laughing. I was about to go, then one quick turn, right in their face, finger over mouth: Shhh!
I was about ten steps away, around the corner, before they threw two more.