Friday, September 14, 2007

The Latest From Here

Well, it’s been a little bit crazy around here, what with temper tantrums and diaper changes and endless pleas to watch yet another Scooby Doo video. The weather is starting to turn: it rained yesterday, and today it is cloudy and cold. This would be a welcome change, except for the fact that we still haven’t gotten our household effects. They are currently floating around somewhere out there on a freighter in the middle of the ocean. Bart’s boss packed out on the same day as us, from the same place in Virginia, and his stuff arrived in country 2 weeks ago. Of course, he hasn’t gotten it yet, as it takes awhile to clear customs. Our things haven’t even arrived in customs yet. Hopefully they didn’t fall off the boat. Pretty soon I’m going to have to dig up a few yuan and go in search of fall clothes, or my kids will freeze.

I did not get the job for which I interviewed a few weeks back. I was kind of surprised, kind of disappointed, kind of relieved. But – this week I met with the editor of an English-language parenting publication here, and I got a story assignment from them. So I’ll be listed as a contributing writer in their November edition. Assuming I don’t blow the story, and further assuming my foray into journalism doesn’t anger the Chinese, it could turn into something sorta steady.

In between researching and writing this story that is due in about a week, I’m still trying to learn some Chinese. Let me tell you, it is one crazy language. But I can now, at least theoretically, order food in a restaurant, ask how much something costs, or inquire as to the health of your elder brother. I say theoretically, of course - just because you know a few words doesn’t mean you can communicate. I can tell a waitress “I’d like some mineral water,” but let’s just hope she doesn’t respond with “we’re out of water today, can I get you some juice instead?” And I can say “How much does that postcard cost?” but to actually understand when they reply “23 qwai, 5 jiao and a fen…” well, that’s another story. Still, it feels good to have a few words so I can at least try to talk to the people around me.

I know this is a brief update. But let’s face it – you people aren’t paying me to write, so I’d better get to work on that article right now. So with that, I’m off to schedule some interviews.



James said... [Reply]

Not paying you? Ok, ok... I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for an article today. I'll even throw in a hamburger.

Please. Write your own stuff.