Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fame, Noise and the Power of Toll House

Quick facts about my life:

At any point during any day, I can look out our window and see at least two bright white welding flashes. I try to think of them as friendly fireflies, but can't stare too long. Avert thine eyes, lest ye go blind.

There is a rooster in the area on permanent dawn mode. I am not amused.

There is someone renovating the apartment next door. They are on permanent "sanding mode". Swish, swish. Swish, swish. I am not amused.

I met my biggest fan the other day on the street. I thought she would hyper ventilate, she was so excited. (Not exaggerating.) She practically flipped trying to remember every English phrase she ever learned in school. True to form, she was of course able to summon the #1 most popular question in China: "Do you lika China?"

A man, in total shock at seeing my friend and I on the street, let his grocery bag slip from his hand and drop to the ground, much like his jaw.

The fact that we can now buy cheese and normal butter (i.e. not Chinese butter in that creepy yellow color) at the grocery has made me reconsider my preconceived notion of heaven.

I have the power to stun young children with a single glance. It's like Harry Potter. Stupify!

My new favorite quote about life in Small Town, PRC: "Some days you feel like a rock star and others you feel like a bear on a bicycle." On average, for me, the bear wins out.

I am channeling the frugal souls of the Great Depression, as I scrape every morsel of tuna from the can or save ginger snap crumbs to use as topping for a future serving of ice cream or wash out zip lock bags for another round of snack storage or plan a meal around the need to use up the bread that will be too stale to eat after today. It's strange, but I kind of enjoy it as well.

I appeared in crowd shots for a Chinese television show called the Same Song which just recently aired nationally. Yeah, as in the nation of 1 billion +. Sur-to-the-real.

I wake up to a yelling club (at least that's what we think it is) every morning. Early. I want to find them. I want to smack them.

I no longer notice the crazy fast taxi drivers. I can peacefully text on my phone as the driver darts in and out of traffic, cursing all those in his wake. This both alarms and fascinates me.

I made and ate a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie today. To call it a euphoric experience would be an understatement. In my fervor I shouted to the closed window in my kitchen to the unaware residents below, waving the half eaten disc of buttery bliss in the air: "You see this? Yeah? THIS is what you are missing, my friends! A cookie! With sugar and butter and CHOCOLATE! The Cadillac of Cookies. The Gold Standard. The..." I would have continued if I hadn't devoured the remaining half of my cookie, perhaps chasing it with a second cookie...I think I passed out after this.

I am constantly pondering why all the potatoes in Jining are already slightly squishy in all the supermarkets and almost instantly sprout buds when I get them home. I buy them anyway.


  1. seems like the potato is ready for reproduction - you should have kept it and later might get loads of little ones of your own ;)

  2. My very own baby potatoes! Just need some pots and some clean dirt...