Sunday, November 26, 2006

doggies in beijing

Speaking of Beijing, my mom just happened to send me an article:Chinese hide dogs to escape crackdown. The gov't, worried about the rising rates of rabies, is now working harder on enforcing their rules of one-dog-per-household and less-than-14-inches-only. Apparently some dogs are being beaten to death, and rewards are being offered to neighbors who tattle-tell. For some reason, reading this story makes me feel ultra-protective of my doggy, who is thankfully in Oregon City (but un-thankfully not here with me).

Thursday, November 23, 2006

beijing n' me

This is going to seem really lazy and egotistical. My mother emailed me some pictures from September, when she and her hubby went to Beijing, and I crashed at their hotel for a few days, and at my friend's dorm in Beida that last night. Since I am currently sleep-deprived and bored out of my mind at the NGO, at which my boss seems gives me nothing but "reading" (which is in quotations because reading Chinese-to-english English is more like... slowly picking out hairs from your head) and seems concerned about whether or not I have enough money. Oh well, as long as something worthwhile comes up soon.

Anyway, after these pictures you can read a short update on my life.

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Me and my mom at the temple of heaven. This is not the hall of annual prayer, which is probably the "face" of the temple of heaven.

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It's just me, so that you can see the building more clearly.

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They went to the Great Wall, a trip I did not partake in.

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Me and Ben at Beihai park, which I actually really, really like. It can take up a whole day of just walking around and relaxing (although the resteraunts inside are pricey), and is not too expensive to get into. It was built by the Great Khan, and is much older than the Forbidden City.

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My mom and I were really excited about these paddle boats at Beihai park.

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And one last one at Beihai park.

Wow, that's a lot of photos of ... me.

And now for that promised update, friends and family. The NGO is where I'll be staying, I guess. It's better than doing "research" with the university. I did visit the village site (that is the cause for why I'm in China) for a few days (which I did not mention beforehand because I didn't want one of you to tattle on me to the authorities, you tattleratters). I have a lot to say about that trip, but I'll save that for another time. But I think this may be for the best. I think a lot of my old friends were confused about why I was in China - was I looking for a job? Was I travelling? Was I still in school? - and maybe me being there carrying out my research would just confuse people since I myself am not too clear what I'd be doing it FOR, despite the fact that I'm getting paid to do it. If I am with this NGO, I can do greater things.

So I will be in Kunming. For a long time, I think. I am moving tomorrow to an apartment that is not amazing but has an amazing location. I will live with a Chinese master's student studying history, and due to my last not-amazing roommate experience, I have already try to get all the groundrules laid out. I think it will be a good arrangement.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Thought: Why is China so crazy?

How quickly things change. In the time of one weekend, I may have lost one affiliation and gained another. Suffice to say that things have been crazy/stressful/quite Chinese.

Mistake one: I was honest with Yunnan Normal University about what I’m planning on doing, which is field research.
Result: I was told on Friday (after being here for almost two months, wow, thank you), that YNU cannot support my interview-based research. I probably have to find another affiliation. They will refund me if this is the case. Otherwise, I can remain with them and do research in their (better than Ithaca’s, but unimpressive nonetheless) library.

Thought one: This is not what I’m here for. What do I do? Fulbright later tells me I am the very first case of somebody arriving on land and then being “rejected.” Jee, wonderful.
Result of thought one: I beg my friend, the previously mentioned Wang Wei, to pull some of his contacts.

Result of this result: Sunday, somebody from an NGO I have previously volunteered with (which will remain anonymous, but for now, they do a lot of rural work) called Wang wei and said I could come in Monday morning at 10.
Result of this result: Monday morning at 10:10 (I couldn’t find the office, despite my previous experience there), I arrived, watched a Chinese interview take place (not mine, thank goodness – it was a girl with not high enough an education, and thus was whisked out with a **free DVD! Yay** in five minutes, and then spoke to the director-type-person. He said they would be happy to have me volunteer, and could I start today? (Today was spent at the computer, doing nothing.) I happened to have to move out today (another long story), and mentioned it, and suddenly I was back home packing with promises of the organization’s driver and car being able to take me to an apartment they’d already paid for, which was already occupied by another American girl, who seems not too pleased to have her space suddenly intruded on without her consent. I also asked about the affiliation/visa, and they said it could be done. He kept calling me “Ling Ling,” when my name is “Ting Ting.” At one point, director-type-person answered the phone and spoke in broken English, “I will not be here tomorrow, but you can speak to my assistant, Ling Ling.”

So, it may work out to be this way. But will it turn out to be…

Mistake number two?: So am I willing to give up all other methods, and perhaps my chances of doing what I really had been planning on doing, which was living in Shaxi Village for several months? If I stay with CBIK, I have a feeling I will then be based in Kunming, and tied to a desk/computer for a majority of the time. They do field work, which is awesome, but I have no guarantees right now how much of it I may be able to participate in.
Thought two: However, I was beginning to have major doubts about the future of my own, individual research. Perhaps I can do better things through an organization, and learn from them as well as help contribute to something bigger.
Thought three: Additionally, this whole process is really stressful, and really political, and I might not get a research affiliation anywhere else, so perhaps I should be grateful for this.
Thought four: Why are some Chinese people so crazy?
Thought five: Today, I reluctantly went to an English corner with my Chinese friend, which is where a bunch of Chinese people talk to you in English. Not a terrible experience, but also not worth my precious time.
Thought six: Just kidding. My time is certainly not precious. I have been here for this long and have very very little to show for it. Also, Kunming makes me lazier than I have ever been before.
Thought seven: Many of you have said that you hate reading long things. And here I am wasting your time by typing more and more.
Thought eight: Speaking of typing a lot, I’ve realized that I cannot correct English essays. It’s because I enjoy writing and sometimes get a little bit too picky/interested in spinning different words and sentences. Not that you can tell from this piece of ****-oh!-I’m-going-to-make-a-list-because-I’m-too-lazy-to-link-paragraphs!.
Thought nine: When I said before "lazier than I have ever been before," I might have been lying. But my laziness now certainly matches the laziness/procrastinative state that held me in its grasp throughout my college years.

So there is my life right now. I have not updated in a while because I have been feeling tired an uninspired. But the above-mentioned events have given me a kick in the arse.

Friday, November 03, 2006

contacting me!

Yesterday, I discovered an amazing website. You should all register: You get one hour a day calling phone to phone. Free. Internationally! And you don't have to download anything, you just have to sign on when you're calling and then type in the other person's number. SO CALL ME!!!!!! I would absolutely love it. I am in China (clearly), and my cell phone is +8613577105454.

Also, while we are stalking me, here is my address:

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Don't bother trying to hunt me down - this gets sent to the work address of my auntie lady.

Will write a post later. Right now, I can't view any blogger websites, although I can still edit. It's kind of weird.