Jan. 1st, 2010

yaramaz: (Default)
I'm shit at making resolutions because I usually completely forget I made them within a week or so, or if I don't forget then I generally feel so constrained by their existence that I give them a metaphorical boot to the head and run off in the metaphorical opposite direction.

So, really, no resolutions to be found here.

I am thinking about working on a theme though. Somewhere in my anarchic Google Reader stream I came across a blog by a woman who does an annual Word of the Year and then tries to live that year with a conscious awareness of that word-- hers were cheesy, vague ones like 'pioneer' or 'bountiful', neither of which appeal to me, but I am curious to try such an idea. I'm trying to merge this Year-Word to D's notion that everything the universe flings at you has a purpose, a reason, and a lesson and that nowt is random and that these thematic universal bollickings will continue until you finally get the message and learn the lesson. Since I've had a pretty messed-up year (lesson aims and objectives still unidentified and universe still not releasing lesson plan), I'm thinking that a Year Word might get me back on track and help me figure out what the hell the universe thinks I ought to learn.

I welcome suggestions from anyone out there who can objectively pinpoint a decent word that I can carry around for the forthcoming year.

One interesting resolution I read in a comments section somewhere in my readings: Replace judgment with curiosity

I may work on that too.
yaramaz: (Default)
This is what we have been eating all day.

We started with breakfast at the noodle place up the street. We had the daoshao mian, which is the slices of handcut noodles in homemade broth with cilantro, bok choy, green onion, chili paste and aromatic vinegar. It's good for warming you up and clearing out any congestion.



After that, there was a lull back at home, with a lot of lovely strong coffee and reading on the sofa, wrapped up in a big fluffy duvet.

For lunch we braved the mild, sunny day and marched up to Fuxing lu for our favourite weekend lunch at the Dongbeiren place, where they make food for the cold cold north east of China, quite appropriate for warming up freezing foreigners.

We had blackbean spud over a flame



And garlic broccoli (inevitably)



And my personal heroin substitute, glutinous rice discs with bok choy and garlic



On the way home, we cut down Yongia lu, where there is always a parrot on a perch hanging out on the street. This time, there was a cat beneath it, assuming said parrot was to be lunch. Parrot owner shoo'd cat away before I could get a close up of the intricate hunter-dance.

  The green parrot is directly in front of the green door in the center of the picture, under the laundry, and the cat is the white blob staring up at it. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, it's easier to see.

We are now at home for the day and I have this to look forward to (the gold wrapped slab at the back is the remaining 6/8ths of a bar of Whittaker's caramel-filled dark chocolate):



Happy new year to all!
yaramaz: (Default)
One thing that still blows my mind in Shanghai is how everything is constantly changing and the things that are changing actually change into things that are completed and usable (as opposed to what I've known elsewhere, where things are torn down and nothing is really ever rebuilt to replace it).  Since we moved here nearly a year ago, the big road at the bottom of our street has been a construction zone, with plaster splattered privacy walls and awkward detours and signage illegible to illiterate gringos. There was a rumor that it might be a metro station eventually but rumors are rumors and really, I waited six years in Turkey for that fabled Bosporus-link metro that never materialized. I assumed that the construction zone at the end of the street would always be a construction zone and that if I happened to come home by taxi from western Shanghai (like from my monthly meetings at the other uni) I'd always have to be dropped off six lanes away on the far side of the road because turns were blocked. 

Shanghai is not Istanbul. On our walk home after lunch, as we neared the wine shop off Jiashan lu, D. noticed something he had never noticed before and which I also had never seen before (though my perception/memory skills aren't the sharpest): a south-pointing Metro sign, with a fresh baby blue 9 on the Insert-line-here square.  We are now 2 minutes' walk from a metro station! Not 20! Well, still 20 to the one I need for work but if I wanted, I could be lazy and take the metro home three stops beyond my usual and then change to our new line and get off two stops later and save myself no actual travel time but spare my tired legs the walk. Or, if I get transferred to the other university next year, I could take our new baby blue line over to the line 3/4 change then up a few more to the awkwardly located station that currently takes me over an hour to get to.

Sweet.

Oh, and all the construction on the big road at the bottom of the street has cleared overnight and now it's all open and clean and on the verge of being manicured by the surplus of cheap labour.

Goodness.

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