The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me. --Ayn Rand


Fire like Strawberries

As part of the continued culture adjustment, my state of mind is as unstable as a 15 year old bipolar valley girl. When someone says, "You have a dependent personality"--something that insults the utter core of my morality and self-awareness--I fall off the wagon.

Anger and a fit of somber denial followed. How could someone I thought knew me so well not understand one of my basic principles? Have I been dependent in Beijing? I realized that he doesn't grasp my basic beliefs, and also that I have been more dependent here than anywhere else because I deal with depression by becoming an extrovert. The epiphany made me a little depressed.

But, I had begun to have my doubts about this friend earlier on during the night.

This friend, TB, buys me dinner a lot. At first I tried to pay for it myself--even though I wasn't financially stable--but after a while I just accepted it as his way of being nice (or repaying me for my intepreting work). He's been a very generous friend all around. The main reason I get along with him is because of his elitist views, which is difficult to find in Beijing. The Chinese are very socialist, and the younger men are always trying escape the elitist attitudes of their country by coming to China, where every Asian thinks they're amazing.

Last night, after helping him buy a new water dispenser, we were quietly eating when the discussion turned to Linguistics.

Being a very critical and doubtful person, I try to dispell any misconceptions people have about things I know a lot about. We got into a discussion about the languages Papua New Guinea, and I was very disappointed when he started talking about things without any evidence. Then I realized that a large part of his personality rests on knowing "things." He is a very good conversationalist, who does happen to know a lot, but now I realize that some of the information may be patched together--surface knowledge.

Then "dependent personality" came up, and I thought it was time to leave.

What the hell is happening to me? Can no one figure out my personality?


Why did I come here again?

I have decided to learn another language while in Beijing.

The competitors: Swedish, French, German

The standards: (1) Useful in the future, (2) able to study up until an advanced level in Beijing, (3) fits into my work schedule

Thoughts: Swedish would be amazing, but I'm not sure I'll be able to study it here. In the toss up of French and German after that.



Fair Drew

"In vai coontry, we are youzed to ryeding bikes."

A very large, jolly woman laughed at me when I told her I was afraid of riding in Beijing. We met while we were both getting our bicycles fixed at the same shop. She was foreign, but she assumed I could tell exactly where she was from through her accent. Besides the US and Australia, I can't imagine another country with obese people. I was stumped.

Since then, biking has become a bit easier. I even biked home in the rain yesterday. I was completely soaked, but I decided I will tell people that I love the rain, rather than admitting I forgot my umbrella and didn't want to leave my bike at work.

I officially begin work for Fair Isaac, Beijing, on October 8, immediately after China's week-long October Holiday, or National Day. That means that my current company will pay me, then I have a week-long holiday, then I start at the job I was trying to get since June.

In celebration, I have decided to go to every place listed in the one-day and weekend Excursions section of my "Insider's Guide to Beijing." After I get my paycheck, I will hit them one-by-one.

Basically, I think I've got this Beijing thing figured out. Once I find someone to date, I believe I will have totally settled in. Once the dick comes out, I will be living in Beijing.


New Life

Jumpy update:

Last Sunday I moved in with two French guys in a large apartment (small room, though) in a very convenient area of Beijing. Apparently they received 20+ responses to their advertisement online. They chose four people to show the room to. Apparently I got to see the room because I had said in my email, "I am an American..." They thought I must be very open minded to want to live with the French. When I finally moved in, they welcomed me with a slice of raw pork. I ate it and didn't get sick. I think I pass.

So far I think we get along great. One of them works for a wine company. As we were eating Korean food, one of his friends walked by. We invited him to join us, and he busted out a bottle of white wine and a bottle of port. I swooned inside.

This Sunday I bought a used bicycle for around $25. This is an attempt to get more exercise and save money by not taking the subway (it'll be much more comfortable, too). I'm just horrified that it might get stolen, so I bought three locks along with it. I hope that's enough...

This Tuesday I will finally meet face to face with a representative from Fair Isaac. I think I have the job at this point--after spending three and a half hours on the phone interviewing. They just want to make sure I'm a real boy. If I get that I'll be the happiest queen in Beijing. If I don't, I still like the job I have. It's just not as much money... or Mandarin...

In a few days I should have internet access from my apartment. Until then I am forced to either mingle with the pale, smoking, social awkward Chinese nerds in internet cafe's or misuse work time by sending emails at work. :-) I think i'll go for the work option.

Many fun stories. Not enough time to write them all.