I'm sitting in a nearby cafe with the unfortunate name "Hump," finishing a plate of creamy pasta with bacon, sipping Silvia's leftover, cold coffee, and checking e-mails since the internet is down at our place. Behind me are a pack of blonde girls and a black girl, all study buddies and chatting in very basic Chinese, to the left are a group of Korean guys smoking lots of cigarettes and directly in front of me are three Chinese businessmen talking about me and the aforementioned girls, thinking that we cannot understand what they're saying about us. (which is partly true.)
I'm starting to work a lot more, maybe too much, but once I get paid it'll feel incredibly worth it. When I'm not teaching, I'm painting, not making enough progress with Chinese, planning lessons, grading papers (reading essays is actually very entertaining) spending all my time between Silvia and Masa...
Saturday I went with Silvia, Masa and Saul to the strange, seedy bar area of the embassy district where they have a tremendous market selling phones, electronics, used furniture, clothing, junk, records and CDs, shoes... nearly everything. Saul found a few hard to find records, and Silvia haggled over but ended up passing up tiny, bright red apple mp3 player. Nearby there is a giant African themed club, one of the few Kosher restaurants in Beijing, American style eateries, slightly scary, abandoned nightclubs, and African drug dealers and prostitution after dark. The embassy areas and it's surroundings, like sunlituan, are always the most sketchy, most hedonistic areas of the city.
Oh, I sent out mother's day packages and letters, so please e-mail or post if you've received them!