Wednesday, September 5, 2012

5 September 2012 -- Journal Log

Scooter's Journal Log
Earth Date 5 September 2012

arrived early • taught a Bio • got school lap top set up for ethernet internet service • taught classes • found out that mystery notice taped to door is a water bill that will be paid when bill collector comes to school to get money from all teachers – mine was 48 CN 元 ($7.64) which seems high and probably includes charges left over from the previous renter • was advised just to pay it rather than wasting the time it would take to get it fixed which would probably not be worth the difference • brought sandwich for lunch – much happier • shopped at campus store for bread and snacks • taught classes • met with biology colleagues and Chinese teacher counterpart, a wonderful man named Brian who was educated at Boston University, regarding plans to best team teach our courses • taught classes • had first after-school faculty meeting of year • as I may have mentioned, school days last until 5:10 pm, so the meeting was over promptly

BNDS Santa Claus Strikes Again
So, I returned to my cubicle this after noon only to find another present! This time we each received a gift of two large porcelain tea cups specially commissioned by BNDS to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of our school. As I was admiring the artistry and the cool logo, while also imagining how wonderful it will be this winter to fill them with hot chocolate, my eyes practically bugged out of my head. These weren't just any old fancy tea cups with lids for steeping, they were also imprinted with our names! Wow! How cool!. Such a wonderful keepsake to remember this celebratory year and how I was a part of it. I am so lucky.

walked home • ate sandwich for dinner • worked on class preparation and journal • did laundry • noticed that I am nearly out of drinking water

Drinking Water Tank & the Beijing Water Supply
So, right now, I am perilously close to being out of drinking water. Ironically, the last time I was in Beijing, all of the guide books said it was safe to drink the municipal tap water in Beijing and not to waste money on bottled water any more than would in the USA. This time, however, everyone says not to drink the tap water without boiling unless you want a sick day. If I wanted a sick day, I would try it because I am not a big fan of bottled water. I am especially not a fan of bottled water that is rationed to me. So, the way I have to get water is...Well, first you have to have 137 CN 元 ($21.82) up front. This buys you 10 water coupons. Then you call up the water company and via your cell number in their computer they know where to deliver it. When they deliver your water, they take the empty and a ticket. As I have no phone, I am not in the computer, and I cannot call and order water anyway. I also don't have 137 CN 元 to spare right now. So, my plan is to have a friend who already has gotten water and has the tickets, to call and order a bottle.

Then I would pay her for one bottle and get by until I can afford 10 tickets and a phone. Unfortunately, as is often the case in these situations, when she called to order the water, she was asked why she needed one so soon after just getting the new one. She was probably drinking her water too fast or using to to wash dishes or something. No, she then admitted it was for a friend. She explained I was going to buy the water from her and carry the jug over to my house from hers. Well, no, no, that wouldn't do, they jugs are way too heavy for teachers to carry. They probably weigh 25 pounds. I couldn't possibly manage it, she was told. So, instead, I was told to be home by 7 on Wednesday and that the water would be delivered. Since this was to be my delivery, I would need the whole 137 CN 元 up front in cash. This was not exactly how I had hoped things would work out. It also demonstrates how attentive the Chinese business persons are. They knew my friend had just bought water. They probably doubted the water was for her, and they really wanted another person to hand over 137 CN 元. Ingenious!

went to sleep – thirsty!

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