1. Unpacking an entire school. This includes moving furniture, unpacking boxes, scrubbing dust caked desks and bartering for the least destroyed and highly valuable teaching amenities of buckets and hanging files
2. Walking through bumper-to-bumper, grid locked traffic in the vain search for a taxi.
3. Standing, sticky and soggy in ankle deep puddles, frantically failing in yet another attempt at taxi flagging
4. Teaching P:E in a classroom (not a gym but a classroom!) to 20 Grade 5 & 6 students.
5. Movement of any and all kinds
7. Well anything really…
I’m all for having some heat but I’ve been in back for just over two weeks and I’ve seen the sky twice. There is perpetual stain of grey smog hanging from Dalian’s ceiling. The city looks like its been drawn in charcol with grey smudged lines. Buildings blend into the sky or the sky blots out the tops of buildings and everything hangs heavy, full of heat and water. Then there is the lovely oil spill. If you didn’t hear about it, some tanker pipes burst this summer and coated Dalian’s seaside. 1/4 of the entirety of China’s oil reserves sits in that harbor hanging precariously close to an explosion that would have turned Dalian into a concrete inferno. Rumor has it that the oil workers were calling their families in panicked attempts to get them out of the city. In the end the mega disaster was avoided in exchange for an environmental one. Fresh sand was dumped on top the oil coated sand and that seafood is contaminated for years. This destroys one of their largest industries and of course the fishing villages. Every restaurant claims to have imported seafood but no one can afford it so I’m left thinking that people are lying to maintain their livelihoods. I don’t blame them. I try to be optimistic about our ability to change our actions and save our own (and many other!) species before mother nature gives us the good ol’ boot but am increasingly disheartened. It’s easier to believe in these things in Canada, where you can still see what the world is supposed to look like. Here, all you see is people and the effects of their existence. Crowded does not even begin to describe it. Everyone (me included) take black smoke spewing transportation, burn coal for heat and buy, buy, buy cheaply made ‘things’ from factories that pump out urine coloured clouds from their smoke stacks. Yup. We’ve created quite the mess.
Sorry for the pessimisms but the sticky, grey cloud above my head seems to have affected my mood…