Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday, 30 June 2008

This is Mark's blog he accidently put on my site. No problem.

We've had three nights of old-fashioned American thunderstorms. I was sitting in my chair reading about 11pm on the first night when the lightning and thunder struck at the same time. It lit up the apartment and caused me to jump out of my chair. I know there were beaucoup (which is pronounced "boo-coo" ... Where else will my middle school kids learn this stuff if I don't teach them?) dogs hiding under beds the last few nights.

Speaking of dogs, I miss dogs that know how to bark properly. There is a small collie in the building across from us that barks in a high baritone. That in itself is a nice change from the yapping that is offered by the lap dogs all over the neighborhood. But I really miss the kind of dog that gives you one big, deep "Woof" and means it because that's all it needs to do.
We've moved to a new apartment in a new neighborhood. We now have large windows in every room. We never realized how much light we were missing in our old apartment ... ask John and Bethany. Marilyn found what she considers the perfect place for a Christmas tree and asked if she could put it up now. That's why we love 'em!

An older man stopped us on the sidewalk the other night and in Chinese and sign language explained that he had suffered a stroke and was walking normally and feeling much better now. Another came out of the apartment below us with a water gun, laughed and came up to the 2nd floor window overlooking the door of the building and started shooting someone/something. There are only a handful of foreigners in this neighborhood, so everyone stops and stares when we are out.

I still miss John and Bethany visiting here. The night they were at English Corner for 4 hours exhausted them. There's nothing like sitting with a dozen or so people who are peppering you with questions, none of which are related to the other. They met many of our friends while they were here, made some themselves and were very good sports when it came to seeing, smelling and tasting new things. I was proud of them. John never got to try "dog" for dinner, but the donkey burgers were outstanding! Y'all come, hear?

I love summers here in Tianjin. The temperature/humidity aren't very different from Columbia. We don't have much blue in the sky. We don't go from buildings with A/C to cars with A/C and back. I get a chance to relax and go where I like, or nowhere at all. But I know I'm already getting a little bored. I realized I was actually working on my 7th grade syllabus the other day. I always explain to my students that a boring summer/weekend is very relaxing in that no demands are being placed on you and that they should enjoy it while they can because life only gets more complicated as you get older.

Marilyn and I went to Metro the other day. It's not a Sam's Club but it has larger quantities and bigger varieties to choose from. We were in the freezer room, which is filled with unexplainable cuts of meat, when she commented on how cold she was. Then she laughed when I told her it was the perfect time for a hot flash, so "Hurry!"

In His Name,