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Monday, March 08, 2004

It has been a rather warm day outside, although I am not sure how I know it as I spent most of the morning inside my room. In an effort to stay ahead on my lesson plans, I went ahead and made a plan for the entire semester. I spent most of the morning coming up with ideas and preparing a twenty week lesson plan. It took a little while, but I finally finished and was glad to have it done and over with. Unfortunately, by the time I finished, I did not have time to go out and get any lunch, so I cooked myself up some noodles. Unfortunately, I put in some extra spices that I bought, and they made them very spicy hot. Almost too much for comfort. I did take some time this morning and picked up my laundry. I can not tell you how nice it was to walk into a store and have your clothes washed and ironed for around six dollars. This was two pairs of jeans and eight shirts. Unfortunately, they were not soft like our dry clears are, so I may only wear certain clothes in order to save others from being forever ruined. Especially the expensive ones. They did look nice thought. Just not comfy out of the dryer feeling. After going to the dry cleaners I did not wish to return to my room, but I had to finish up some work for my classes. Unfortunately, this required me to use my e-mail which has become a great obstacle in my life as the Chinese Government continues to try and block me from its use. It makes me angry as I only want to use it to communicate with my family. They put a lock on when I try to access yahoo. I go to get in and a lock comes up in the corner. It takes me like 10 times and forty minutes to open my e-mail. It is becoming a bit of a hassle, and I am almost ready to forego the whole ordeal and just not send any more e-mails. I got my message sent off then I walked to school. All of the produce salesmen had left there carts, and they were huddled around a small table playing cards. It was cute. It does not look like too bad of a job other than they to do it everyday from seven in the morning until five in the evening. No days off for them. Actually, it is sad as Chinese people do not tend to get a day off all year long until the Spring Festival then the whole country takes off for a week and a half. I could not imagine having to work seven days a week all year. But, they do. They tend to be very laid back about it though. I guess as long as they make enough money for themselves and their families they are good to go. My kids talked a lot about wanting to go on vacation this week. Most of them have never been outside of their small villages until they came to school then they do not have any money to travel, so they stay and play with their friends. They are just like regular college students and gather together in the common areas and play sports and talks. They even have their own version of hackey sack except it is a feather attached with cymbal like objects which they kick back and forth to each other. Everyone here has one, and they constantly play it every chance they get. Most of them talk about getting good jobs, so they can help support their
families. Laura told me that most people live with their parents until the age of 29 or thirty. She said
that some never leave their parents homes. Once they get married, they move in with the wife. Then when
they have children, the parents take care of them while everyone else works. Old men and women tend to
congregate on the corners here. Some old men carry around large bird cages with little finch like birds.
Others tend to gather in groups and watch each other play Chinese chess. I have not figured out the details of it yet, but I will buy a game and work in it. I managed to get my foreign experts licenses today.
Laura gave it to me. It looks just like a Chinese Passport. Had to go take pictures for it. I should have brought a normal camera as film and developing here are very cheap. Other then these things, my
classes went rather smoothly. One class did the wrong assignment, but I suppose that it will happen. We just moved forward anyways. I have been a little lonely today, and it has made me realize that my greatest
fear in life is growing old alone. I do not want to spend the rest of my life without someone to share it
with. I am not sure who that will be, but I am going to try my hardest to find someone whom I can be happy with. Oh well, I must go. I need to get some beauty rest. Talk with you more tomorrow.

Love, Christopher

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