Saturday, February 21, 2009

Some changes 'round these parts

It's been a year-a-half since I since my leave of absence of blogging. The general idea was that I would blog if I had something interesting to talk about. Unfortunately, living in Midwestern America did not provide such opportunities. However, now that I have returned to China once again, I hope to resume blogging activities.

While I certainly appreciate (and did not expect) the warm response this blog has received in the past, I am wary that this blog may be a bit different than before. While I'm still hoping to share crazy stories, cultural experiences, and bizarre culinary adventures, I'm anticipating less of these experiences this time around.

This primarily has to do with the environment in which I'm living. There are several obvious, striking differences in my environment here in Beijing than in the South where I lived before.

First off, I am living in a city of approximately 17 million instead of a rural town of 300,000 (incredibly small for China). While in the South, I couldn't walk down the street without every head turning towards me, with people laughing, pointing, or staring, people here are very used to foreigners here, especially since the Olympics this past summer. I should be carefully sensitive in my description here, but people in the city behave much more... (and I hate to use this word...) 'civilized'. Due to significantly higher income levels, and the fact that they're not farmers, people in Beijing engage much less in activity that a foreigner may find mildly amusing / offensive. (i.e. holding your baby over the street to poop)

Also, while I am determined to eat at the 'penis restaurant' here in Beijing (a restaurant that specializes in cooking dishes with penis as the main ingredient), food from the Northern part of China tends to be far less exotic than food in the South. So it might be slightly more difficult to find dog meat noodles or duck tongue soup here.

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of all though, is that because the omnipresence of hilariously mistranslated signs was viewed as an area of national embarrassment, Beijing had hired a task force of competent English speakers to eradicate all instances of such malsignage.

Lastly, I am living in a college dormitory in an upscale part of town. The campus is gated, and I will more than likely be spending the majority of my time within these gates. This does seem a bit tragic, but I need to remember that my primary reason for being here is to study, and study I shall do.

You may also notice a few additions to the site by the way of the sidebar. These are just a few other widgets added to broaden the spectrum of updates. Now, if you're interested, you can receive more Simon than you ever wanted or can handle.

  • Twitter feed - You can follow me on the microblogging site Twitter under the username simonlesser.
  • What I am listening to - Music that is currently rocking my guts.
  • What I am reading - Interesting news stories or links that I have shared through Google Reader. (If you use Google Reader too, you should start sharing too and let me know about it!) I scour a number of blogs about China, so this may be a great place to keep up with news that flies under the radar. (Be aware, geek stuff may be intermingled in here as well.)
  • Subscribe to this blog via RSS - Allows you to read this blog in the RSS reader of your choice so you don't have to keep checking the site for updates.

1 comment:

steve said...

Your canny. I'm sure you will continue to write about interesting things this time around. Just make sure to get outside the gates.