Confucius say: “Shit happen in alleyway sometime” (or at least it smells that way)

Some thoughts after a couple of days in China:

  1. I don’t know why military people (or at least those designing their uniforms) seem to love hats that are too big for them, whether it is to make their skulls look smaller, or their bodies thinner, or simply to conceal their identity, but I’m pretty sure that with some of them you could catch a nap in bright sunlight without anyone noticing for a while or have them serve in lieu of an umbrella.

  2. There’s something about the gigantism of Shanghai that remains startling even if you have been advised of it in advance. It’s not quite reminiscent of Blade Runner or The Fifth Element (not boron), but it’s close. Pretty much every building you can imagine seems to be twice as tall there as elsewhere. Even the elevated highways seem to go up to 70 or 80 feet in the air instead of 20 or 30.

  3. Speaking of which, when visiting the Oriental Pearl Tower yesterday and joking about its form, especially our Mandarin teacher’s exact words that she was going to take us “up to the second ball” for the view, one of the girls was asking me if Chinese people are even aware of concepts like Freudian imagery. Maybe not, but that is exactly when, if you believe Freud, that kind of thing is most potent, no?  This would actually explain a lot.

  4. It’s kind of disorienting to see almost 100% racial homogeneity in any urban tableau, and it’s particularly disorienting to see poor areas of a city filled with Asians. Just throwing that out there.

  5. I don’t know if the day will ever come when I will not have the urge to use chopsticks as a stabbing instrument for food.

  6. People talk about China as being an area of economic boom like the Internet, and if I can extrapolate from my fellow teacher trainees and the Americans I’ve seen in Shanghai so far, I would agree with that in one regard in particular: the subject is currently considered trendy and cool, but the same cannot be said of most of those pioneering the taking advantage of it.

Anyway, more words of less-than-Confucius-like wisdom later.

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