Monday, March 27

Ever more

Strange how time can go both so slowly and so quickly!

I've been here over six weeks, and everything is just so amazing. Have I ever been anywhere else before? I've been thinking that I have nowhere else I plan or would like to go (except maybe Mali or back to Martinique someday...), and it's strange to be at a place in my life where I can really anticipate the effects of long-term living in one place. It seems unfathomable, since in the last several years my life has been defined by a change of place and pace, so rich in so many things. How much richer could my experience of one place be? Unfathomable!

Some of my highlights:

- I've never loved a job this much! Spending so much time with children all the time is fabulous. This is my one day off, and I miss them! In the morning I will see them... I love that I teach English through acting, songs, dances, stories, etc. Just in line with what I want to learn and train in!

- I do Tai Chi in the morning with my neighbors, 3-5 times per week, before I go to work. It's fantastic! There are usually 30-40 of us in the park, and I have learned just enough tai chi in the past to be able to follow - and soon I will be an expert! (Well... maybe not "soon"). We have a great time. I hope to be able to dialogue with them soon. I'm a hoot to them, since I'm the only foreigner, and the only person under 40 years old - maybe evern 50! I've also done some capoeira with a small group, and I hope to return weekly.

- I've been studying Go (Weiqi in Chinese), but I have not been able to play much - just thrice since I'm here, and only online... I hope to find locals to play with on a regular basis, preferably old men, who will get a kick out of beating me.

- I've been learning lots of Chinese. My co-teachers at NewBeat help me, I'm taking a class twice per week, I just started meeting with a tutor once per week, and I might have time to use my computer software as well...

- I had a most delightful housewarming party a couple of weeks ago, for my NewBeat English school associates

On the menu, pasta with ricotta cheese (!) and veggies (carrots, broccoli, leek, etc.):

My guests brought lots and lots of fruit and prepared it in my apartment - to danio's greatest delight!

From left to right, Lillian, Liz, Touba, Jacqui, Rainbow and Shawn:

My dear friend Javad (whom I see rather frequently, as we hang out and he crashes at my place) also joined us later on: Posted by Picasa

- There are actually a good number of foreigners in Shanghai, and although cheese is imported and costs eight bucks or more for a roll, there are some nice things like cereal that I like to splurge on, just for the sake of familiarity (and taste, of course). But anyway, the food in China is absolutely terrific - especially the free lunches at school, which are vegetarian (the director is, strangely enough, vegetarian). And on a side note, I just found out that I can have exhorbitantly priced Papa John's pizza delivered to my apartment - how about that!

danio out!


Kissed by a whisp of immortality,
I have been lain to rest in nothingness,
Where thoughts and love are just formality,
Where you and me and Truth are meaningless.

The journey of the soul proceeds from hence,
But mine remains in sacrosanct orbit,
Beyond the confines of both need and sense -
Perchance oblivion may absorb it.

Quintessence and its patterns now emerge
And coalesce within a single speck:
My soul is God's, which He has come to purge
From those desires I may not expect.

I sparkle now in hidden depths, bemused
By a serenety with God suffused.

Thursday, March 16

Here & Now

Here and now is all there is, especially these days for danio! He can often be caught stating, "There is nowhere else I'd rather be right now than here at home in Shanghai!"

And speaking of his home, we have precious images of his impressively luxurious apartment!

You have to wind around a little after passing through the Yong Jia Rd entrance gate, and when you get to his building, you have to walk up to the second floor. When you walk in, this is what you see:

Indeed, a kitchen - a very nice one! By walking into the next room, you get another view of said kitchen, along with the front door:

The second room is of course the livingroom:

If you go back to the kitchen, you'll also see the comfortable bathroom:

And then, of course, there's the marvelous bedroom:

(Notive the space in the back looks out on a beautiful though tiny park, and serves as a drying spot for clean clothes, as there aren't really driers in China.)

This closet is quite a beautiful piece of furniture:

and it opens too!

Behind the bed is the office, a prime spot in the apartment, as it catches someone's wireless internet access from somewhere in the area!

Across from the bed is the most important piece, the nightstand, adorned with the necessary items for survival (mainly prayer books):

You might even encounter said danio, if you come at the right time:

When I arrived, the furniture was actually all very differently arranged. The couch in the back of the livingroom is made from a bonus mattress which was found behind the cabinet. Said cabinet, with shelves behind glass panels, is now decorated with some books, my new go board, and other stuff, like the many teas I have purchased:

From left to right: orange peels, roses, jasmine, three common flowers that mix well in teas, some green tea on the bottem, and those black balls are nauseatingly stinky dried fruit-looking things which, when put in hot water, make the most delicious, sweet tea (you just have to take a breath before drinking it...)

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