So much for John’s hypothesis that someone is out to get me (my bike always gets knocked over). Today, as he prepared for a groceries run OHO (on his own), John came upon a flat front tire. Totally busticated. For once, my bike was untouched (with its tires were full of air). 🙂
Good thing for John, we’ve already mastered the art of forming guanxi (relationships). So OHO, he walked his bike to our repairman down the street. Actually, his tire wasn’t slashed by a nemesis, as I was suggesting. He just had run over some broken glass (there’s a lot of construction nearby). Needless to say, the puncture was patched at a native’s rate of 2 yuan. And I wasn’t even there to ensure the local rate. Life is good when you have guanxi.
In the mornings, Bubs has been swinging by his jaozi (dumlings) and dan bing (egg pancake) joints. He’s only given them business twice, but already they greet him like an old customer and welcome him warmly in Chinese. They remember his past orders– that he likes hot sauce on his pancakes and buys 4 sun jian dumplings each time. And this personalized attention exists all over– at the produce market, at the stationery store, at the noodle shop, at the bike parking garage. It’s crazy! But we really love it, and we always go back to our peeps.
I had my second SABIC class last night. Boy, business writing is a difficult topic to teach. It’s really no games. We cover stuff like the difference between using that and which, subject-verb agreement for collective nouns and indefinite pronouns, old-fashioned vs. modern business language…. Some of the stuff still trips me up, and I’m a native speaker. But I’m enjoying this job tremendously, because it really suits my anal writing habits. Regardless of whether I’m teaching this class, I often look up these kinds of details. I even brought my college grammar book to China.
I had my first guzhen lesson today. I have a lot of (re)learning to do: the music book uses completely different notations than my old one. Also, I was taught to extend my ring and pinky fingers while plucking with the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Today, my teacher said that made my hand too tense. Now I’m supposed to curl those fingers instead. 🙁
The sound of my instrument is so beautiful. I’ll have to play it sometime for those of you who are connected (if you have to ask, you’re out of the loop!). I have to say I’m glad I spent the money on my guzhen rather than an electric bike.