Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stormy Weather

As most days in China, today was bizarre. Since I'm at a stopping point, I'll start here. The sky is like I've never seen it; the ominous gray is a harbinger of the coming storm (isn't that a great word, "harbinger"?). I guess being here has made me appreciate words even more, now that I am reduced to the vocabulary of a toddler. The waitress of the cafe I'm at just made me go inside with her because she was afraid of the storm. She couldn't understand why I would take my coffee and go back outside. How could I explain to her that the lightening and thunder and threat of rain is exciting and gives me back the energy that was sucked away by this day.

That's as nice a segue as I could hope for, so here goes: I lost my passport.

There were no taxis, of course, so I had to go back and get my bike and ride 45 minutes to the place I thought was the Public Security Bureau. I had actually passed it 15 minutes before. : And just a little background, Betty, my brilliant bike was lost- stolen i thought- but then a week ago I was riding (on my new bike, Byron, also blue) when I literally had this feeling that she was around, and my fledgling Jedi powers found her wedged in the middle of about 100 other bikes. so, i dumped Byron and rode off with Betty. All right, back to this crazy day; I finally found the damn building with the help of a nice lady on the street and two bemused women from a furniture store. I waited in line to be told I was at the wrong window, then had the pleasure of being told that I didn't have the proper papers and to go to the local police bureau for an incident report. yeah. so looking forward to that.

I took another 45 minute bike ride to the side of town where my boss' assistants work. The two amazing girls who helped me were the highlight of my whole day. We all had lunch together and I learned how to say "egg" in Chinese. One of the girls' father is in the Police dept. and I suspect that will be one of the reasons I will be able to stay in the country. Amazing all the intricacies. After a slightly intimidating trip to the local Po Po, I had to take a taxi to the hospital to get more paperwork (can I tell you how much the Chinese love official documents) then back to the Public Security Bureau. There was no line this time, but there was also no one at the computer in aisle 12. Finally a guy showed up and I spent 20 nerve-wracking minutes answering questions and writing statements and making sure everything was in order. I said something self-effacing in Chinese and he contradicted me with a smile and I realized, my heart relaxing for the first time that day, that he was Flirting with me! Then he said I had a pretty signature, but that he couldn't read it. :)

Now the rain has really started and I have to ride my bike home. great. Tomorrow is the U.S. Embassy. Usually the Marine guard is cute, so that's something to look forward to.
wow. it's REALLY pouring. I have to sing tonight. damn.

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