So yeah if you can’t imagine what I’m feeling after reading that title I’ll summarize: utterly flabbergasted. I hate that stuff. I get the appeal and we’re all a little subject to the whims of pop culture from time to time, but enough is enough. Too many late nights have I spent looking at pointless articles about pointless people. (I’m not meaning to minimize anyones impact or contribution to this scene, or think otherwise of people who find value in becoming involved in this information. . . . I’m simply stating at this point in my life there’s not really a point to put off enriching activities to learn about Jennifer Lawerence and the Hunger Games getting left out of award NOMINATIONS)
So how did I get here. Internet: a blessing and a curse, a double edged sword, insert any other cliche you feel appropriate. I’m able to talk to friends and family and keep up on news local and worldly. It’s also extremely easy to be lazy and easily entertained by the variety of “stuff” out there. You can imagine this is incredibly alluring to a person who’s endlessly fascinated by singing and dancing animatronic toy animals.
Here I am wasting all this time. What will I do about it? I’ve made some lose based pressure free goals; see also: list of things to do instead of becoming less smart by looking at predictions of how many flops Tom Cruise will produce this year. (For the record I still like the guy, but when did he become relinquished to solely action flicks, and why? Maybe I’m missing something but I’m pretty sure signature roles in Jerry Maguire(?), Risky Business, and Cocktails are the best. I bring this up because my theory is that people won’t accept him as much because of his “craziness”. In which case they can’t separate the actor from the person, insinuating that whoever is playing these roles are more acceptable as being close to these characters they are portraying. Why?) Anyways. . . .list: play guitar, read, practice chinese, buy food, research destinations for chinese new year, cook, an occasional movie (yes it’s better to watch an actor rather than read about him wearing sweatpants to buy vegtables!) , and blog.
Yes, many of you have just been dragged into my guilt of wasted time. Sorry, especially because I don’t have much to say.
Two weeks ago I almost posted twice in one day. After I wrote my thanks I headed out to soccer and then center teambuilding. We went to a play at Dulwich College. College has a much different meaning in private schools abroad. We were quite surprised walking into the hallways with paperhand turkeys and finger painting stuck on the walls about the 4 ft lockers. I guess it’s a story to tell: hey remember when we went to that middle school play with parents and 13 year olds. . . .We left at intermission. I guess it was ok, but it wasn’t quite up to the standards I have come to expect from Middle School plays…
This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to go to one of my local friend’s friends’ house. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I had simply received a text asking: “would you by interested in a day at my friends house with culture art and music playing?” Why YES, that would be lovely. We took a bus to an area on the outskirts of Suzhou. We were still surrounded by the highrise apartments, but there was definitely some of “The Nature” out there. I walked into a very nice apartment drank tea, talked tea, ate lunch, talked tea, politics, culture and left 6 hours later. The apartment was modern, with very traditional elements. The stone used for the floor tiles is the same stone used in the Summer Palace in Beijing. It is quite rare, and very expensive. There are also certain ways it is supposed to be used and worked with. Ways which are apparently violated at the Shanghai Museum. Something about the paint they put on it or how it was applied. Well, their floors were made out of this stuff. They also had traditional art hung up all over the walls, and a delightful child running down below.
We came to listen to my friends friend play the Guqin. A traditional Chinese instrument. However, he was busy (he is an art teacher at a nearby college) and he only had enough time to make lunch and then return to work. Lunch was great. It was my first experience with sweet and sour pork, the real kind. Boy oh boy. The meat was accompanied by glazed fish, eggs and mushrooms, vegetables, AND mushroom caps with soup and melted cheese in them. Yes cheese. My friend thought it was Tofu. Cheese isn’t a big thing here in China. I knew better. It was too good to be Tofu.
Throughout the day we were drinking tea. It was relaxing and comforting. I haven’t traveled that much and Tea played such a significant role in my first adventure that I now find it inviting and familiar. It was also apparent my new friend was very proud of her tea knowledge. There are different teas from different regions for different purposes during different times to be prepared at different temperature paired with different foods and poured in different ways. I love the environment tea drinking produces. But I’ve never been involved in the intricacies of tea, and I wouldn’t say I am following my long tea discussions. However, just by asking a few questions and being open to new information I was able to learn so much and discover a passion of another which is exciting in itself. We then talked about politics, culture, schooling, and other topics. It was a wonderful and strange afternoon. We were surrounded by culture and history (Oh, this woman’s husband makes the afore mentioned instruments and I was told he was probably the best in Suzhou and one of the best in all of China.) in what was a very modern and upscale Apartment. I have an open invitation to come back to hear some playing. I hope to take them up on that soon.
I realize this is dry but hey, you get what you get and you don’t get upset. Hope all is well. Merry Christmas, I’ll definitely post soon closer to the Holiday.