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Subway! And then not the Subway…

Here it is!!! The subway entrance!



I went down the escalator and met my group of teachers that wanted to learn how to use the subway system. We gathered, Fursey (my principal) talked, we listened, and then we headed to the security health check and to pay. And I was DENIED. Seriously? Yep. It’s been seven days since I got a Covid test. I totally forgot. I knew I was supposed to test every Saturday and I spaced it. Arrrrgh. My group went on their way and I turned around in shame and headed back the other direction.


So, what does this mean? Get arrested and locked up? Public flogging? Shipped back to Washington state? No, no, and no. I just can’t enter into any public transportation or store or building until I get my check. Ugh. I left the subway and started walking back to my current residence. There’s a testing location on the other side of the street. Annnnnd it was too late. They were gone. I hit my head HR person with a note letting her know I screwed up. She replied immediately with a location pin letting me know where the 24 hour testing site was. This is another instance where WeChat was pretty cool. This was my back and forth with Peggy.



I clicked the location pin and got on my bike. I road for five minutes and got tested. My health code on my phone immediately changed in seconds. The days until maturity let’s you know I can be considered a grownup in the bottom right hand corner in six days and twenty two hours. Or how long before I have to test again. You can decide for yourself whatever you want to believe.



So I got a pizza and a salad and missed out. Oh well, lesson learned. I shared my mistake with everyone in our staff WeChat so hopefully nobody else screws up like I did.


In other news, I’ve arrived here at the worst possible time with regard to weather. It’s ugly for the moment, but will improve. It’s beyond hot and humid right now. And this is supposed to be the rainy season. Here’s the next couple of weeks.



On a good news front, the weather will start to improve shortly and cool off. That will combine with less rain and humidity leading to some playable golf weather.


Two more bad news fronts. The bike I just got has a problem with the battery falling out. The company I got it from is bringing me a new one tomorrow. Hopefully this will resolve quickly and I won’t have to worry about it anymore. Second problem is my new apartment. Got this email today…



Crud. I've been putting off ordering items that I need for my new place, but I'm ready to start that process asap. I need towels. I would love some sort of pillow top thing for my mattress to make it softer. Sleeping on a rock is something I did for a lot of years while married. It's been great having a super plush bed this past couple of years. It's been tough sleeping the last three weeks. Dish towels. A decent yoga mat. etc. etc. etc. It's a long list of stuff. I could still be stuck where I'm at for two more weeks.


Chinese cultural note: They're aggressive drivers. And this combined with a lot of uncontrolled intersections leads to what most back home would call an complete cluster**ck. Situation: A driver pulls up to a busy four lane road (two in each direction) and wants to take a left. There's no lights or stop signs. It's just "uncontrolled". They have to cross the first lanes of traffic and then merge into the other lanes. They will pull out in front of oncoming traffic and stop with cars barrelling down on them. And then other cars will follow their lead and just create a large jam. Then they force themselves into their intended lanes with sort of a "go ahead and hit me" attitude. It's scary to see. I looked up traffic accident stats and China is pretty bad overall. It's not a shocker. They're quickly becoming a car owner society, but they don't appear ready for it. Still have yet to see any car use a turn signal. Not one. Thankfully the infrastructure in the city is set up well for bikes and pedestrians. Glad I'm not planning on driving while here.


To end on a positive note, I'm certain I'm going to have several new friends that I can hang with and count on. They're teachers. In general, good people.

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Mike Durkee
Mike Durkee
Aug 15, 2022

Hey Steve, Brittany G. got 9 years... and my perception (could be waaaayyyy offff here) is that China would have a much lower tolerance to what she did.


Dave, hopefully you can be in your new apartment on the 15th and not the 20th. Also, you may want to set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get a Covid test. Side note, watching the cup race on dvr and Harvick just pulled into 1st place (yes that is a very good thing) 63 laps to go... Go #4!!!!!! that's almost close to #5 at Deming (Alex wins out over Harvick-just sayin'). Spent nearly $400 on plywood today for drawers-damn! The sawdust making facility is coming along-slowly, but…


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Can you imagine how the anti-vax crowd her in the US would be flipping out about this?! So sorry about the apartment troubles and the sleeping issues. Was wondering about this the other day: what is their policies around CBD and Marijuana?

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Aug 15, 2022
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No idea on how they react to marijuana. I would think they would be on board. They are very much not in favor of pill medications. They like to rely on natural medications. No Advil or Tylenol. I think they can get it, but I'm told I can't as a foreigner. I will have to have Moira ship me some Advil at some point.

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