Wednesday, July 8, 2009


1. Why have you been posting at such odd times during the day?
I recently realized that my post dates/times were still in Central Standard Time. I just figured out how to change it the other CST, China Standard Time, so there shouldn't be any more 4:00 a.m. posts.

2. Why are your pictures of such bad quality?
I'm using the measly 2.0 megapixel camera on my iPhone, which also can't zoom. Sorry for the fuzziness!

3. How's the homestay?
Overall, excellent. Tan bobo and Gao mama are wonderful hosts, and their home is fairly comfortable. One drawback is that I have to wake up around 6:15 a.m. to start boiling water if I want a hot shower. (Then again, Jared's host family doesn't have a shower, hot or cold, so I'm grateful that boiling water is even an option.) I do have air conditioning but feel a bit guilty using it because neither the kitchen/dining area nor the other bedroom also has AC.

Two recent developments, however, have significantly improved (and somewhat imperiled) my homestay experience.
a) I now have internet at home. It's slow and unreliable, but still functional enough to significantly impair my productivity. (Thanks, Li laoshi!)
my sweet ride with his many local friends

In an earlier post, I compared being a pedestrian in Beijing to playing Frogger. Thanks to the bike lent to be my language partner Weiwei, Frogger is now in high-speed/extra difficult mode. But the quicker commute also translates to ten extra much appreciated minutes of sleep every morning.

wotd: 抱歉 (baoqian): sorry; apologetic (lit. embrace-lacking)