Monday, January 22, 2007

Of Flights and Movies

Today's top news is that my flights home have been booked for May 4th, so everything is set. I just need to send a few things back by sea in a few weeks. Geoff, I'll hook up with you for an hour or two in Vancouver, if you can manage it. If I look doped up, it's because noon in Vancouver is 5am the following day for me...

Things in general have been fairly quiet. It appears that our "busy" winter period may not be too busy, which isn't good news (for the school). That starts next week, or ought to. Government doesn't release dates for festivals/holidays until about two weeks in advance of them. We teachers are likely going to have 5 or so days off for Spring Festival, and I'm not sure what/where I'm doing/going. Possibly just Tianjin for a day. I can't see myself wandering too far, though perhaps a little trip to Tai Shan would be nice. Hmmm... I just don't want to dip into the funds for my Sojourn with anything too extravagant.

I went to the movie theatre and saw "The Curse of the Golden Flower" yesterday. As an international release it had both Chinese and English subtitles. It was alright, but it felt a bit too "I'm Zhang Yimou! Look how much I can spend on my movies!". In other words, too much lavishness for the quality of plot. Of course, I suppose that was part of the statement he was making, but it was done somewhat frivolously and without much of his usual stylistic flairs (ref. "Hero"). It was worth seeing anyway, though it's weird how many pop singers are also actors. Found out one of the main male leads in House of Flying Daggers is a singer, and Zhou Jia Lun was in Curse of the Golden Flower. (Hell, even Jackie Chan has an album or two out. Scary, I know.)

I've been buying quite a few Chinese movies over here. I got Crazy Stone, which is sort of like a Chinese Guy Richie film; After This Our Exile, a great little story about a Chinese father and son in Malaysia; the Banquet, one of my favourite movies now; Confessions of Pain (haven't seen it yet, but it has "Tony" Leung Chow-Wei so it's gotta be good); A World Without Thieves which is awesome; and Letters from an Unknown Woman (haven't seen it yet)... on top of all the wuxing style movies (Crouching Tiger, House of Flying Daggers, Seven Swords, Hero, etc). I've also bought three Takeshi Kitano films: Zatoichi, Boiling Point and Kikujiro (which is such a great little story). I never knew that "Beat" Takeshi who is in almost all of Takeshi Kitano's movies is Takeshi Kitano, the director. Sneaky bastard...

We teachers also had our first at-school Chinese lesson. There was a high level class for Duncan, Camilla and Andrew run by Katy, and the low level lesson for myself, Michelle and Alistair which was orchestrated by Lily. Learned a tonne of things, and she taught very well. It was a lot of fun, and I hope to get in an extra lesson on Tuesdays if one of the girls is available. Actually, I need to head into work fairly soon and arrange a little surprise something.

Not too much else to report, really. I haven't done anything extraordinary in a while, though for Nick's going-away party we're having a night out in Beijing, so that ought to yield lots of fun and silliness. I will be wiser this time in terms of my alcohol consumption...


Angie said...

You'd better not drink too much. I don't want anymore sympathy vomiting at 5am.

Andy said...

Hey Patrick.

I'll keep you in the loop by replying to your blog in a blog-like fashion. I'm blog-mooching to inflate my already ginormous ego.

At my third sparring class, I went up against a black belt that knows I'm pretty competitive, so we went at it fairly hard. What I didn't expect was that "hard" meant "please bruise my ribs with a side kick".

That was exactly 2 weeks ago. I skipped about 1.5 weeks worth of classes because I couldn't do anything for a while. On Saturday I could do just about anything other than crunches (sharp pain = do some other exercise), so I figured "close enough".

I'm heading to my first sparring class since I got injured tonight. I talked with the instructor and he has a chest protector I can borrow. I've never really seen one of those, and he's a little smaller than I am. I might end up looking like I'm wearing a corset. That'll scratch one fantasy off my list.

On second thought, forget you heard that.

In the meantime, the other orange belt I was advancing with got her second stripe. I know, it's not a race but damnit, she's beating me!

Anyways, back to work.


PG said...


Life in China is definitely getting bland compared to your crazy trips and Drunken Bowling Adventures on the 18th Dimension.

Take care of yourself, looking forward to see you in Canada!


Wayward Mind said...

Yeah, things have definitely plateau'd, Pascal. There will be enough insanity in March/April to more than make up for it, I assure you!

Damn, Andy... letting a girl beat you. Wuss. Pay someone to take her knee out, Olympic skating style. ;)

Andy said...

Bah. I caught up to her last night. Now I'm half way to green.

I'm entering a tournament on the 18th. It was kind of funny, I'm coming off bruised ribs and can only sometimes do a sit-up, so I decided to ask my sensei if it was a good idea to enter. He was very non-commental, which I took as a bad sign. When I finally said "look, I'm really keen on going and I just want to know if you think I'll re-injure myself" things went quite differently. I guess he just wanted to make sure I wasn't signing up because I thought he wanted me to (follow that sentence if you dare...). I got offers for directions, the IP Address of the site hosting it, and offers for coaching since he was going to be there anyways. I knew the first two and accepted the third.

I wonder if I'll just be going up against other gimps like me, or entering against a 6'5" black-belt named "Ripper".

On a completely unrelated note, Costco has jumbo tubs of A5-35...