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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Hello,

Did not do much yesterday as I was trying to figure out my schedule for the remainder of time that I am
here. I have been trying to determine where it is feasible for me to travel in a weekend. I have also been looking up festivals on line, so I can travel to destinations while they are having a celebration. Only had one class yesterday from 4:00 to 6:00. They were very excited as was I. It was really strange though
because almost everyone in this class was super shy. My other classes were not t oo shy. All of the students know each other. When they enter into the school, they stay with the same group of students until they graduate. It is a very strange concept to me, but I suppose it works. Asian girls are very close with each other. They remind me a lot of Victorian women. They are always holding hands and hugging each other. When they walk outside along the streets, they always have their arms locked close to each other. They have very strong bonds of womanhood here. And, no they are not lesbians, but there behavior is very homosexual. I am not even sure that they would understand what the concept meant. Most of them do not even know what rock n roll or country is. They think that celine deon is country, and that the Back Street Boys are rock in roll. They all love the Titanic. I think other than Disney movies. This might be the extent of their American Music Knowledge. A lot of the Professors that I teach know what folk music is, and they like it. They at least knew who the Carpenters were which shocked me a little. Most of the American Music and culture which they get is very watered down and not reflective of what the U.S. is really like. I heard a classical rendition of the age of Aquarius being blared over the speakers in one of the plazas the other day. I am sure they think that is how the sons truly goes as well. I think that they have some Mythical view of what it is like in the U.S. I tried to explain to them what Lake City was like, but I do not think that they understood. I tried to explain that it was somewhere between a city and a villages,
but since China has nothing comparable, there was no hope. You either live in a tiny Village and farm or
you live in a large city and work as a wage slave. Chinese people do not seem to be discontent though. I
do not see any major revolution on the rise. They do not like how the Government limits there freedom of
religion or speech and some are very adamant about this disposition, but I think that China's turn to
democracy and Capitalism will be gradual and peaceful. Maybe gradual is not the right word as that seems to indicate slow and China is developing and moving into the twenty-first century at a pace unmatched by
any other country that I have seen. People tend to be varied as to whether they like living in the
Megaopolises. A lot of them miss their village life as they said that it was simple, and they could breathe
fresh air whenever they like. Others like the city as they can do whatever they want. Some yearn for bigger
cities where the discos and dancing never stop. I like it here as the city is neither to be nor too small. In
China, there are few things which tend to disgust me. However, I am greatly turned off well maybe just
annoyed by all the spitting. Despite the fact that spitting has been outlawed in China, you are always one step away from being accidentally hit by a flying ball of snot. There are two possible ways that this can happen. The first is the normal loogie which someone coughs up then launches through the air towards its final destination on the sidewalk. For some reason, Chinese loogies tend to have a lot of hang time, and they almost land not on the ground but on your shoes or pants. The other option is rather unique to this area of the world. The first time I was it, I did not think that is what the person did as it happened so fast, but no I was wrong. I have since seen many people do it. Taking there thumb and two forefingers, they blow all of the snot out of there nose into them then sling it all to the ground to the right of them. Once again, one must not be standing to close to the perpetrator, or otherwise you maybe left with not so fond memories of your encounter. Neither loogies nor the snot propelled grenades discriminate against gender, both men and women do it. I have grown accustomed to this habit, but it frequently makes me
wonder how many germs I am bringing in with me on my shoes. Oh well, I must go and get ready to shower.

Talk to you later,
Christopher

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