The air conditioner is fixed! Well, sort of. I can't touch the cord or the plug, because even a stiff breeze causes it to become un-plugged, and it takes a long time of tweaking and pushing and swearing to get it to connect again. But as long as I don't go near it, it blows cool air, and that's all that matters.
It's been a good productive week of getting things done. I had my first job interview completely in Chinese (I'm looking for some part-time teaching work to help keep me in dumplings and shoes).
Tried to go and see "Transfomers" with some friends the other night. We bought our tickets and sat through all the trailers until the start of the movie, when we discovered that it had been dubbed into Chinese! Strange thing is, those same friends had seen the same movie at the same cinema last week, and it was in English. We did some asking around and discovered that one must hurry to see English-language films right after they are released, before the dubbers have time to do their dubbing. Lesson learned. We left the theatre sheepishly, much to the amusement of everybody else.
Tomorrow I'm going to Shanghai to pick up the new group of teachers. I remember so vividly the arrival in Shanghai last year, and how overwhelmed I was by the reality of finally being in China after such a long time of reading and dreaming about it. And one year later, I still find China exciting and overwhelming, and so much of it is still brand new every day, aside from a few little things I've gotten used to. For instance, I got hit by a motorbike today and didn't even stop walking. Not a bad hit, just your everyday struck-by-a-vehicle-even-though-the-crosswalk-light-says-"walk" type of thing. Luckily neither I nor the motorbike were going very fast. Both parties came away unscathed, though I did dish out a healthy dose of what Allister calls "the hairy eyeball."
On the whole, one year after stepping off that airplane in Shanghai, I'm still very happy to be in China.