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Made plans to join a couple of new friends. We’re going to watch the New Zealand All Blacks play the Springboks from South Africa in a rugby match. The bar we’re hitting is owned by a couple from South Africa. If you’re not familiar with the significance of this matchup I highly recommend the film Invictus. On top of being a cool movie, it’s a hella-cool poem. I am the master of my fate:  I am the captain of my soul.

Problem. I don’t think I own any green and yellow clothes. However, I have a lot of black clothes. Hope I don’t get run out of the joint.

This apartment I’m stuck in for the time being has a problem. Me. I track in all sorts of stuff. The floor is getting gnarly and I’m missing Rosie, my robot vacuum. I’ve inquired about a broom, but the custodial staff has largely moved to the new campus. I’m no neat freak by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve become used to a certain standard of tidiness and this isn’t it. Still living out of a suitcase just compounds the feeling.

When investigating all the super cool stuff that Hangzhou has to offer I ran across a few small items that aren’t going to be so cool. There was one item that really made me pause. Mosquitoes. I’ve read about it, but haven’t experienced any until yesterday. I made the mistake of leaving my door open too long. Of course I had a couple of high pitched buzzers come in. Also found my first bite on my leg. Not so bad so far. Will have to update this issue going forward. I feel like I planned well for this. I’ve got a bottle of Deep Woods Off for when I make it to some hiking trails. Also, I spent a small fortune on vaccinations for all the mosquito bite infections like Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, Dengue, etc. Seriously, around $1000 in shots. I’m fortunate that I’ve never had any form of allergic reaction to anything.

My interactions in stores is becoming fairly routine. Grab what I need/want. Hit the check out. Scan my QR code to pay. Pass along a smile and “Xia Xia” (that’s thanks). Head on my way. However, I have one restaurant that I’ve had some odd nonverbal interactions. Both good and weird. The gal behind the counter gets it that I don’t speak their language. She’s made me two meals. Each a bit different, but similar. I very much appreciate her help. The first time I went there she wouldn’t take my 5 RMB tip. Last night I went through the same routine again and she kept refusing. Eventually I dropped it on the counter and bolted. Will be super curious to see how she reacts when I go back again. Dinner last night from there was thinly sliced beef in a similar peanut/sesame sauce to my first time there. I have a feeling I’m going to get a scowl when I go back, but plan to win her over with an impish grin. Will update. Here’s a pic of that dinner.

Last thing today. It’s still stupid hot outside, but cloudy at the moment. Saw a flash and heard some thunder. Just started to rain. Pretty cool. But…Feels like?!?!?!

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Mike Durkee
Mike Durkee
Aug 08, 2022

I could not do that kind of heat, but damn that food looks pretty tasty! And just sayin' that I would have to be pulling for the All Blacks for 3 reasons 1) The Haka 2) The name is just BA and 3) Black is just a better color than green & yellow unless of course it says Seattle SUPERSonics on it... yep, that last one still hurts thanks okc (or not)

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