Day the Fifty-Seventh – 13 October

I’m down to my last few days, and feeling conflicted about going back to Blighty. Blogging is not first priority at the moment – not to say it is unimportant – but I aim to write some field-work-in-China retrospectives once in the UK again. On the work-front, recordings and surveys are coming in at a steady pace, and I might push for some extra hauls of both before I leave. There are some tiny side-projects that I am developing here, and while I have a good gut-feeling about them, I won’t tell all until I am certain things will turn out the way I expect.

Lately the fatigue has kicked in as well. I’ve done two head-out-one-day-return-the-next in one week, and when journey-times are 10+ hrs, little old me is starting to feel the stress. One was my self-permitted trip to see the grandparents, and the other was a run to Beijing for some errands, including collecting my passport with a residence permit, and seeing the PKU supervisor. In many ways I am lucky, with all my opportunities, but admin, eughff! (Not complaining about administraTORS – I’ve been one, they get a lot of shit – but just the bumf really.)

That said, I don’t want to leave this place bare just because I’m busy, behold:

Spicy and sour shrimp wonton soup.
A work lunch, including kung pao chicken.
Yes, I like to eat. Another lunch on the train, with the famous roast beef pot noodle.
The view wasn’t so bad either. If you overlook the motorway.
It’s popular to get around PKU campus on a bike, because it’s so massive. This is the result, examplified by the view outside the biosciences building.
One of my favourite on-Chinese-campus quirks: a whole load of fresh fruit for 7 Yuan. It might be cheaper to buy whole fruits, but I think this is pretty good already.
On the train back to HZ from Beijing. I already had to run to get on the train, so getting food on the way was out of count. Everybody talks plane food, well, this is train food. And it was really good! Spicy seaweed with pork belly; salted pork with dong1 gua1 (squashy in texture); and some kind of pickled turnippy thing. With a generous portion of rice, and egg and tomato soup (in the cup). 20 Yuan for the lot.
I arrive back late, and head for the taxi ranks. There’s always plenty of people offering “deals” on taxi rides to various destinations, but I’ve been strictly told to queue at the taxi ranks only.
…but you know how I thought that the queue was long the last time…
Just as I’m about to ask the same thing, I overhear a security guard tell a fellow traveller that there’s still time to catch the last underground train in to town (easier to get a taxt from there – there’s no tube station near my place). I have a spare moment on the platform and ogle this. Should probably have shown you this earlier, as I love a bit of typography: this is the city “emblem”, modelled on its name, 杭. Look at how the logo is modelled on the character, and simultaneously give a boats-and-pagodaii (my words) vibe that is true to the nature and history of the city.
Just passing this on the way from work to dinner with friends. Like any day in life, y’know.
This interior of the bus I take to and from work. Thought you might like to see. I’d like to add that this is a good day for bus riding. For one, note from the position of the camera that I am sitting down, the light is bright outside, and all passengers are dry.
GPOY. Bare legs in October. Long time ago, that one.
Oh right, so the canal has drained a fair bit. The top of that stone-fence was barely visible through the raised water a couple of days ago.
You know you love the food pictures just like I love stir-fried glass noodles with beef, egg, and mixed veg.

I’ll try to sort out some more updates before takeoff.

















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