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Saturday, October 27, 2007

After a Long Week

China banned YouTube this past week. While this time a year ago that would have been an unforgivable sin, I've found a way around it. Maybe it would be imprudent to name it here, but using this nameless program opens a torrent of new, previously blocked information.

If you had asked me Tuesday how things were going here in Jilin, I'd have responded with an enthusiasm that might have shocked you. Things were going so well. Too well to last, I guess, because by Thursday I was in a bitter mood, and I couldn't really explain why. Even giving my good, useful, and fun lesson on Halloween, complete with jack-o-lanterns and Dracula cape and Halloween songs, couldn't cheer me up. For the most part, the lesson was well-received, too, so I can't quite place it. Maybe it was hundreds of small frustrations, inert students, a lack of free time, and a general failing to study all the Chinese I was hoping to, that all conspired to simply wear me out by week's end. Now it's a shitty rainy day here in Jilin, I woke up early only to waste my morning doing a bunch of nothing on the internet, and now after sweeping and cleaning and doing some laundry I am off to the city to find some stimulation. (Please, Zeus, let the pirated Xbox guy have Portal.)

How could a good week have ended so drearily?

Last weekend Jenny, Kevin, James, and I went hiking. We were supposed to see a forest famous for it's crimson leaves. We hired the services of a shady cab driver who just drove us through the gate without buying tickets, blowing past the "guards" with a suspicious honk, and as we hiked the well-worn trail on the coldest day in Jilin so far, we realized that all the leaves had fallen, and only barren trees remained. Still a nice hike, but far less red than we were expecting.

So here's a pic from the hike. More can be found here.

Off to town.

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