A Quick Update

I’ve moved the blog over to WordPress. I’m hoping this will solve the comment debacle.

In other news, it’s week 3 of classes and I am getting back into the swing of a more stable schedule. I’m only working at XISU on Thursdays and Fridays. News Writing for first-year MTI graduate students and Intercultural Communication for sophomores on Friday.

My part-time gigs still include Green Molly and tutoring Andy on Saturdays. I am in the process of picking up one or two more jobs.

I’m keeping busy with finishing up the semester’s prep. This past Friday, Mother Nature greeted Xi’an with an unseasonably warm day…28 C was the high. That’s nearly 80 F! In addition, International Women’s Day also took place; Jason treated me to a foot massage.

Saturday turned out to be one of the most heavily polluted air days I’ve experienced in two and a half years. Due to a sandstorm that Inner Mongolia blew in, not only were PM 2.5 levels extremely high, but if you looked out your window, a suspended yellow haze is all you could see. I only went out for my tutoring, as I needed to go to Andy’s home this week. When Andy’s family driver drove me back home, the scene out of the Benz’s window seemed like something straight out of “Dune.” It truly is apocalyptic, as many Beijing expats note. Beijing experiences more pollution than Xi’an, as sandstorms are even more prevalent.

In some relation to the pollution story, China news is currently overwhelmed by the National People’s Congress and another legislative body whose name is too long and inconsequential to mention here. The Global Times, a newspaper with an English and Chinese edition, has many XISU students interning for them. As a result of the Congress and seeking foreigners to answer questions related to Chinese politics, it seems that my boss in the School of Translation gave a Global Times reporter my phone number for questioning. Upon calling me, he asked me the same questions I had answered for an STS student earlier that day. Questions such as did I know the current president of China, my impressions of China (what a lofty question!), and what I thought should be discussed at the Congress. I tried to phrase my answers as tactfully as possible. Finally, I asked the reporter to provide me with a link of the article, albeit in English or Chinese, since I am particularly interested in seeing how I am presented in such an article. He obliged by taking down my email address. That encounter happened over three weeks ago, with still no email. I will keep my fingers crossed.

Once I get myself more settled in the lesson department, I’ll be adding entries about Spring Festival (with pictures), recent China news, and any outings or events that occur.

2 thoughts on “A Quick Update

  1. Lloyd Lofthouse says:

    I’m glad you mentioned the sandstorms that, when mixed with the carbon emissions, make the pollution horrible in cities such as Xian and Beijing. I read in Robert Hart’s journals/letters about the sand storms hitting Beijing in the 1860s (before carbon emissions) when he first went to Peking (now Beijing), and Hart said it was pretty bad—every surface inside a house coated in dust.

    In America, when we read in the media about how horrible the pollution in Beijing, they never mention the history of dust storms that caused air pollution well before the carbon-burning engine and coal-fired power plants.

    Dust storms, that close to the Gobi, have always been a problem causing horrible air pollution. After all, we cannot breathe dust and expect to survive anymore than we can breath the exhaust from a car or truck.

    • maklu001 says:

      Thanks for your comment, Lloyd. I couldn’t agree with you more. The foreign press does a rather hasty job of reporting about most China matters. They steamroll history and forget the West’s own environmental problems. As you mentioned, car and truck exhaust. Yet, it’s evident that China has a long way to go towards “cleaning up” its environment; I just don’t always care for the accusatory language that all parties involve use towards any kind of reporting of the “other.”

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