Sunday, May 2, 2010

How to Get to Shanghai, Google Style

Beth, who is doing her student teaching in band and has been to China with an NAU music group, was kind enough to show me the Google Maps driving directions from Flagstaff to Shanghai. For some reason, the route goes up to Seattle, where the next direction is (I kid you not) "Kayak across the Pacific Ocean" for some 1200 miles or so. You pick up your car in Hawaii and kayak again on the opposite side of the islands until you reach Japan, then drive through Japan until you hop a jet ski into Shanghai. The directions are so serious that you just laugh until you are crying. I think we'll stick with Korean Air!

The "what will Tammy be teaching?" contest continues. Steve wrote with what he hopes is good news, that my current assignment will have a couple of strings classes (hooray!) and probably percussion ensemble. The only roll I can do on a snare involves the drum rotating sideways down a hall or something, but perhaps I can learn a little before August.

The countdown song produced some lively lyrics, mainly from my family members, who really like to create lively lyrics. Here are some samples, and you can fill in your favorite number of days (it's 93 today FYI):
# days 'til we fly to Shanghai, # days 'til we fly
"You'll be in a place where the government spies"
"You'll be in a place where they eat dogs in pies"
"Jack will be sad, in his room he will lie"
"Your family will all stay here and cry"
# days 'til we fly to Shanghai.
Clever, no?

I finished "Red China Blues" and recommended it to Joe. After recounting her experiences, Ms. Wong gave her (1996) opinion as to how China will develop in the coming years, and she, like many other China commentators, is at best uncertain. However, I found her analysis of the one-child policy to be rather convincing. She quotes a friend of hers, Michael Crook, who says, "If you have a population of Little Emperors, you can't have a population of slaves. Everyone will want to tell everyone else what to do. You'll have democracy." Hey, that sounds like a good idea! Someone tell the Communist Party, but not me. I'm still working on a visa application.

We tried a little home Chinese cooking, with different results. I made Kung Pao chicken and hated it, but Joe liked it. Joe made Curried Beef and loved it, but I hated it. The kung pao sauce (which involves soy) made everything taste burned, and the curry was just plain sweet. I love sweet stuff, but not as a main dish. Today we had hot pot cooking (the Chinese form of fondue with a spicy sauce instead of oil or cheese) and pork dumplings. Fortunately, for this experiment, no soy sauce was used and we went to the home of our friends Sarah and Nate, who have both been to China (Nate did his LDS mission there and speaks Chinese) and have good cooking skills. I loved both of the dishes, so hallelujah and pass the hot pot!

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