Day the Twenty-Ninth – 15th September

Four weeks? How?! The first days went by fairly slowly, but I think we have entered the time-flies period. Supposedly because the daily grind is well and truly on, but I carry on trying to maintain the work-hard-play-hard attitude. After all, I’m here, why waste spare time being tired at home when I can be out exploring?

On the work front:

  • I have bilingualised (totally a word) my information sheet and consent form for the phase of fieldwork I want to do here, and just need to ratchet up a time table for participants (museum staff for now) to fill in before I start observations.
  • I will be taking the freedom to do some observations in the Natural History museum next door to ZJSTM.
  • Still holding out hope to go to Shanghai Science and Technology Museum at some point, and some municipal-level museums.
  • My supervisor at PKU gave me tickets to China Science and Technology Museum that expire by the end of the year, I guess I’ll pop in there when I run back up to Beijing to pick up my passport.
  • Beginning to write a “participatory observation report” (not participant observation) of life in the office as combination field-notes. They’ll be (genuinely!) fun.
  • Still writing That Other Thing. Feel free to shout at me in the comments because I NEED TO FINISH THE DAMN THING.
  • (But you all know what happens when you have an interesting thing to do, then a much bigger and shinier thing comes along, also for you to tackle? Yes, like that.)
  • Observations. Let’s roll.

In life however, I will admit that today I woke up (I was going to go into the office) thought “WHATEVER”, and spent the whole day out with some local friends. It was great.

No post complete without pictures! Especially food pictures, mmm.

Starting yesterday afternoon. Somebody suddenly said they wanted some pickled cabbage and mince mooncakes. And simply took a little break, went and bought one for each office-member.
Not quite like the usual sweet mooncakes: filo(-style) pastry instead of what – to my untrained eyes and palette – usually is a short, sweet pastry.
But the mooncake then meant that I wasn’t so hungry around actual dinner time. At around 2100 hrs I was starving though, and popped out for some of these.
Flat fish balls… fish cakes?
Seasoned tofu.
Fish balls and seaweed. 5-a-day ahoy.
Today’s adventures started with a hearty hotpot session. Look at that spicy broth. Omnomnom.
To digest, a gander around West Lake (Xi1hu2, 西湖). I’ve wanted to come here since I arrived, and despite the slight smog, it seemed we picked a good day to come: blue sky and a slight breeze.
We walked past this: each tile says shou4 寿, which means “long life”, and there are a hundred of them. The “title” of the wall reads “Wall of A Hundred Long Lives”.
An evening view of the path we walked during the afternoon, and then traced back again before jumping in taxis to go home.

I even decided to do away with any guilt, and just enjoy the day, which I did. We basically ate, looked around some shops, wandered, stopped for coffee, wandered, looked at the musical fountain show (video might come later if I decide it’s good enough to blog), wandered, stopped for a light dinner, wandered, looked at the musical fountain show WITH LIGHTS in the evening, all interspersed with chatting about precisely everything. Can all Sundays be like this? Please? I promise I’ll work extra hard the other six days of the weeks if it can be made so.


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