According to seasonal calendars, we are technically still in Fall. According to the fact that it was -1 degrees Celcius on Tuesday, it is DEFINITELY WINTER. Or the fact that outside my classroom there was a real life no-joke legitimate ICICLE… says to me- the born and bred Californian- that winter is upon us.
Fortunately, the weather has warmed up for the weekend and I will be enjoying as much of it as I can… when I am not busy doing lesson plans. On the flip side, as you can see, Beijing remains busy as ever, even on a super cold night, which is when I snapped those photos of rush hour traffic and the literal bike pile-up outside of the WuDaoKou subway station.
I saw that horrible pile of wheels gone awry right after I found a spot to park my set of wheels about 10 meters away and immediately changed my mind and went back to move it. That mess is all good for nobody fo sho. After seeing something like that, it is no wonder so many bikes get stolen in Beijing. Imagine having to sort through that mess trying to find your bike that probably looks exactly like the rest of them but maybe has a different basket or bell. No thanks!
The sudden onslaught of northern winds prompted me to find a winter coat pronto! I purchased one, naively thinking it would be sufficient, and quickly realized that I am still stuck in a CA winter mind frame. I went to buy a new one this morning at this GIANT shopping center on the other side of town with 2 of my students. This shopping center was the size of 3 normal sized malls stuck together. It took up an entire city block and was 6 stories tall… ridiculous! All in all, it was a successful shopping trip and I now have a down jacket that goes past my knees and has a collar that covers half of my face. Usually I am pretty psyched to bring out new clothes to wear out, but this is one item I am looking forward to NOT needing.
In other news, I have been pleasantly surprised by the selection at the DVD market on campus. I find little gems amongst the random straight-to-DVD action movies and copies of Starship Troopers 3 (like– really? Wasn\’t the first one bad enough? And when did the second one come out anyway?). My latest find was an amazing film called The Visitor. At face-value, you might think that this film is incredibly slow and boring because the dialogue is quite sparse and the main character is a bumbling and awkward college professor who I KNOW I would have hated if I were his student. But the performances are amazing, the directing is excellent, and it sheds some much-needed light on the very confusing laws, regulations, and power the government uses against immigrants in the US. I am doing a horrible job of explaining the film, so here is the link to the trailer for the movie:
I know I have a knack for depressing movies, but this one is definitely worth checking out– there are some lines and scenes in it that kept me up all night.
Until next time, enjoy your warm weather, watch The Visitor, and keep thinking about me. I miss you all and think about you all of the time.