Sunday, January 22, 2006

I end this week feeling a little bruised and battered. This is partly due to the bizarre goings on started by forming a pretty innocuous group of friends. It's also due to me starting arguments full of holes with unclearly thought out routes of reasoning such that it's become clear that I'm beginning to eat my own tail. It's also because the pollution has taken a turn for the worse over the last week and going outside is not a particularly pleasant experience at the moment. Mainly I think it's because of the three month blues that I was warned about.

It's arrived pretty much on queue and is just about as it was described to me. I realized that my subconscious is playing games with me as I started humming 'We've got to get out of this place'. I was surprised when I was arrived at the lack of culture shock. Perhaps that's because it takes (or at least it has for me) a while to set in and isn't so much a shock as a frustration. I'm now pretty exhausted and direly in need of the break that is coming up in a week's time so I feel I have just enough energy to make it through this week, including an attempt to go the British embassy tomorrow.

Anyway, enough of slightly depressing matters. There are still many enjoyable things to talk about.

I'm thoroughly looking forward to the arrival of Mr B and a great couple of weeks ahead.

Last night after some games of pool in a Korean pool hall (regular pool, run by Koreans) I ended up, after being driven by a taxi driver who genuinely didn't know what to do with a map, at a heavy metal club. Not generally my thing but seeing live bands is almost always great fun and this was no exception. Chinese metal (or at least this stuff) is really energetic and the crowd was up for a great time. Only one serious incident in the night when an overenthusiastic fan grabbed the female lead singer of a ska-metal band and in trying to hold her aloft toppled over in his drunken haze and slammed her head first onto the floor. Gasps and a rapidly cleared audience looked on to see if she was ok/unconscious/dead but after a few moments she got up looking dazed and confused with a sore bonce and a bad case of bed-head. Within a few minutes she was back on the stage and surprisingly said fan was back at the front both hands up in sign of the beast salute head banging to his heart's content.

Today has also left me slightly puzzled. I would have thought that Ikea in a country with over a billion people would be a horrendous place to be at the weekend, my mother having spent six hours stuck in one in the UK. However, by design or good fortune I managed to get in and out having picked up a bed en route within half an hour. My advice, if you want a lamp-shade or some cushion covers, come to Beijing, you'll probably save some time.

My penultimate unconnected story...I've finished the Grace Paley book which I thoroughly enjoyed. Short tales of urban American life told in a very unusual style disregarding the norms of grammar on a lot of occasions to great effect. Any other recommendations of her work would be gratefully received.

...and finally, some great news...Stephen Hawking will be coming to Beijing for strings. I won't say too much but I was connected with this and am consequently officially elected to the communications committee for Strings '06. Should be good for the CV.

Anyway, enough, I retire weary but still happy to be here even if I'm tired of playing hop-scotch with spit on the street and being elbowed out of every queue I join! For now, adios.

6 comments:

Mr Deed Pol said...

Dearest Jonathan,

I think you should change your first name to "Culture".

Sounds like you're not having the most fun time at the moment. I'm sure the mystical healing powers of The Bailey will help....

Jonathan Shock said...

It's really not too bad. I think it's mainly exhaustion. I still feel like I'm having a great time but could do with a break from the office for a while.

If Bailey doesn't get stuck in some seedy establishment before catching his plane, Mystic B will indeed be a hugely welcome addition to the Beijing population.

Jonathan Shock said...

thank you nonetheless for your supportive words.

Marty McFly said...

Jon The Boy,

Worry ye not about sketchy arguments hastily conceived. I was reading your blog on Saturday evening and couldn't resist the chance to add my tuppence-worth. Nothing more than that. On another note, your three-month blues are a familiar tale. Just plan yourself plenty of things to look forward to. Sounds like, what with Bailey and Hawking both in the diary, you're doing rather well anyway...

Anonymous said...

Hi Jonathan,
statistically January 22nd is the most depressing day in the year - I heard this today on the radio. So, look at it this way..."things can only get better"!
(It's been a bit of a bum week for us too!)
Anne and co

Jonathan Shock said...

M.M, I'm delighted that people are happy to add to my musings. I would no doubt fly off at a complete tangent if people didn't steer me back in sensible directions every now and then!

With just three days until a break, the light at the end of the tunnel is pulling me forwards. Fear not, a week away from work should see me right.

A+P+S+C, that's excellent news about the 22nd. I see I'm completely predictable in my mood swings which is slightly disconcerting! Anyway, good to know that as we get closer to Christmas, things will improve!

I hope that your bum week improves dramatically.

all the best to you all,

J