Wednesday, September 12, 2012

12 September 2012 -- Journal Log

Scooter's Journal Log
Earth Date 12 September 2012

arose late • no time to make lunch • spent most of the morning prepping syllabi for next week and getting quizzes ready • had lunch with Todd in student cafeteria enjoying his favorite meal of a rice bowl topped with strips of boiled beef • left school for home at the usual time but this time knowing that a water delivery was in the making • I awaited the illumination of my flat's what I call the squawk box – it lights up with video and sound a person below tries to get you to buzz them in • as I was watching it, all of the sudden it came to life with its black and white, Big Brother-style image of a person shouting something in Chinese • I assume it is the water delivery • moments later there is a knock at the door • I open it and the water guy rushes in, swaps out my old empty with a new bottle and then hands me a bill for 139 CN 元 • I hand over the money and he hands over a stapled set of coupons each freshly stamped

he then points to the book and indicates that I am supposed to give him one of the coupons for this first delivery • at first I am confused and then I realize that I am paying for ten bottles of water and there are ten coupons so he needs one back rather than him giving me 9 coupons and a bottle of water • clearly this has to do with the very precise inventorying and accounting conducted by the Chinese people for virtually every certified transaction • as soon as he was gone I filled glass after glass of water and drank nearly half the bottle

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