I'm making a lesson plan for a class that I'll be teaching every Tuesday and Thursday night. My first class was a bust because the students are at woefully mixed levels, although this should be resolved by today's class. I'm using a book called "New Interchange" which is one of the better English books on the market, with no Chinese at all and plenty of cultural references.
Working late means leaving late on an inhumanly packed train. There are heads and arms everywhere, with 16 year old Beijing security officers basically shoehorning in work-weary passengers. Chinese work incredible hours sometimes, basically all day every day except for Saturday. There was a famous story here of a boss who attached GPS systems to every employer, I believe on their cellphones, so they could be tracked and assigned to some task at any time. All this leads to a sense of desperation in the average cubicle worker, although I couldn't imagine the true desperation of those below us. News here isn't terse on the subject, so most Chinese are aware of these inadequacies but are either too busy, unfulfilled or poor themselves to care. This leads to a cycle of apathy that is far more real and far-reaching then our American, tousled hair, uniformed, MTV 2, electronic distraction version.
In an awkward transition, today I learned the word 海象 (hai3 xiang1) which is walrus. It translates directly as "sea elephant," which I think is adorable.
Also, I want to give photo credit to Chad and Cat for nearly all of the pictures below. I really never photograph anymore, which is a shame.(Thanks for comin' and takin' pictures!)