Saturday, October 11, 2008

working on my fitness

I've been wanting to join a gym in Shanghai since I got here, but dragged my feet on following through with it because...well, I don't really have a reason. I guess my reason is I'm lazy. Which is why I wanted to join the gym, to y'know, not be lazy.

I knew that the foreign teachers last year all joined a gym that was "close by" but no one ever told me exactly WHERE it was, so I kept using that as my excuse to not workout. Oh, I don't know where the gym is, guess I can't run 3 miles today. I'll just eat this entire package of oreos instead.

Well, two of my co-workers joined a gym last week and told me where it was, so I really had no excuse to not check it out. I was still feeling a little hazy from last night, but I thought I should start off the day with some productivity so I went by the gym at about 9 to check it out.

When I got there a guy told me to come back at "shi dian" (10 o'clock), putting his index fingers together in the shape of an X which is how they hand signal the number. This put a damper on my whole productivity thing, but I went back to my room, made a few phone calls, bought some stuff from Carrefour, then went back to the gym to talk to whoever I was supposed to be waiting for.

I didn't really need to be sold on the gym. It's the only gym close by, I need to work out, convincing me wasn't necessary. But, the guy gave me an awkward tour of the gym anyway. A friend of his decided to tag along and laugh at him every time he spoke to me in English. I can't decide if this made the experience more awkward or less awkward, but it was definitely entertaining.

I ran into one of my students which was great since I was hungover and looked like crap. I heard from Fox that the kid puked in class the other day (after drinking a bunch during lunch to get the courage to talk to a girl, so he said), so it's not like he has anything to judge me over, but it was still weird seeing him. Now I know how all my teachers felt when I would see them outside of school. It's kind of nice, like "Oh hey, I know you" but also kind of lame like "Oh hey, don't come talk to me because it's my day off and Miss Strawberry probably still smells like the white russians she was drinking less than 5 hours ago".

My tour finished up, then another friend joined my tour guide and talked to me about prices. It was a little overwhelming sitting with three Chinese dudes that were all talking to each other, then me, then laughing at each other speaking English, then shouting across the room, then laughing nervously at me, then talking to each other. Somehow they managed to convey to me that it was going to be 3,000 yuan for a year. THREE THOUSAND! That's two weeks salary for me. Even when you convert it to USD, it's outrageous. I wasn't really in the mood to bargain with them, so I just said it was too much and left, but I'm going to try again tomorrow and hopefully I can get them down to 2,000 which is far less ridiculous of a price to be paying.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

quote of the day

"I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow." Scarlett O'Hara, Gone With the Wind

That pretty much sums up my life here in China.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

oh, internet

Oh dang. I love when people post things on the internet, then regret it and try to take it back. THERE'S NO TAKING IT BACK ONCE IT'S FLOATING AROUND CYBER SPACE.

Shortly after I posted about Holly taking it to her Myspace re: getting the boot (or is it slipper?) from Hef, she deleted her post. Well, lucky me for knowing how to CTRL + C and CTRL + V.

For those interested, this is what Holly had to say last night, I'm assuming it was written in a sugar high stupor post Ben&Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie overload (everything seems like a good idea after you've eaten a pint of ice cream):

"What’s Going on . . . .
Current mood: :( lonely

Hef and I will always be friends . . . I do have my own place, but I am still at the Mansion, too, right now . . . I'm too busy to move! hahaha . . . Bridget, Kendra and I are all still best friends and plan on doing several projects together in the future . . . even though Bridget is in Europe right now and I am sad and lonely without her . . .

You will see how it all happens in Season 5 . . . Sunday nights on E! . . . How lame, I just turned that into the most shameless plug ever . . . lol!


I'm diggin' the ellipses, Holly. And ya right, everyone hates Kendra.

man, even bunnies get dissed


Of course, I'd heard the rumors. But I didn't want to believe. I guess there's no denying it now.

The "girls next door" broke up with Hef. So lame.

Good thing I'm friends with Holly on Myspace, or I would have been totally out of the loop.

Monday, October 6, 2008

new chinese name

My Chinese friend Philips spent so long coming up with a bunch of options for me for my Chinese name, and all his hard work means nothing now because I've adopted a new name. LiKou (beautiful red), the name Philips thought suited me best, just wasn't doing it for me. NiKe (pretty stone of jade), the name my Chinese professor gave me, was missing something. I felt like I needed a name that truly embodied my personality. I was thinking about the Chinese word for "Strawberry", but that seemed sort of lame.

Then. It hit me.

You ready for it?

Meow Meow.

That's right, my Chinese name is "Meow Meow". "Lin Meow Meow" if you want to be official about it. I can't wait to get business cards made. Oh schnap.

I'm glad "meow" sounds the same in Mandarin as it does in English. Interesting fact revealed to me by my high school student crush (don't worry, I'm keeping it professional, yo. He's not even my student): in Korea cats say "ya-oung, ya-oung" instead of "meow meow". Good thing I'm not in Korea because "ya-oung" wouldn't cut it for me.

This is sort of what my name looks like in Chinese characters:
I say "sort of" because they look more like cave drawings than Chinese there, but I can barely write Chinese characters with a pen and paper, much less with a mouse on Microsoft Paint.

I feel like you have to be pretty hard up to go out on a Monday night, but I'm tempted to throw caution to the wind and just do it so I can introduce myself to people. Hi, my name is Meow Meow. "Your name is what?" Meow Meow. "Meow Meow?" Yeah, y'know, like a cat says. "That's your name?" Uh huh.

I haven't been this excited about anything in a while.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

hopefully people bought them as pets

A friend of mine took this picture later the same day in front of Ikea where I had seen the box o' puppies:

Several are missing from when I was there, I hope they went to good homes. There are a surprising number of pet owners here in Shanghai, so it's not totally doubtful.

One of the favorite dog breeds here in China? No, not the pug...the pomeranian! Isn't that adorable? There's a Chinese man who lives around here who always walks his Tater Tot look alike in Thumb Plaza sans leash. I usually just follow him around and snicker to myself while fantasizing about petting the dog, but finally on Friday night I mustered up the courage and asked the guy to pet it.

And by "asked" I mean I smiled really big and then pointed to the dog and made a petting motion with my hand. The guy seemed cool with me petting it, I'm hoping maybe I can form some kind of friendship with him so I can play with his dog all the time.