Growing up, Easter always meant gaily decorated baskets filled with colored plastic “grass,” chocolate eggs, and a new stuffed toy rabbit every year. My brother Kenton seems to have slightly darker memories of the holiday, fixating on “Sugar, bad chocolate, new socks or a tie…and church.” OK, so I loved the giant Brach’s chocolate fruit-and-nut-filled eggs. Mea culpa.
One of my most memorable experiences was walking through Venice, Italy, on Easter morning 1980. As I reached the middle of a bridge over the Grand Canal, suddenly all the church bells in the city began to ring. The sun was shining, and for a moment all was right with the world.
Crabapple blossoms, Chengdu
Monday, April 9, 2007
A cool, wet day after a night full of rain. Peaceful and content and calm. Burned my fingers on my teacup! Oatmeal with honey, jasmine tea, meditation, some reading, and a serenity of soul. Doesn’t happen very often.
Began to feel “at home” in Chengdu yesterday after spending some time with my friend. Visited the new Chengdu IKEA store, and as usual ate VERY well this weekend. Our “favorite” restaurant finally seated us upstairs in the 2nd-floor “VIP room” where we felt very privileged until the space was invaded by screaming children and large lunchtime groups. Watched Prison Break. Favorite character: Lincoln Burrows.
Today, April 10, 2007
Sometimes I have a teaching day when I feel like my lesson plan just falls flat on its face. Splat. Nothing to do but scrape up the remains and make the best of it. This must be the way a stand-up comic feels when he bombs. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the students. “I know you’re out there – I can hear you breathing.” I was over-tired, and I couldn’t figure out a good transition between last week’s job interview role-plays and next week’s study of Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine. However, as we say in the AA program, “Fake it till you make it,” so I faked my way through the morning’s classes and then went home and went back to bed.
Tomorrow I’ll re-vamp my lessons with some music videos and a TV interview with the band U2. that should liven things up. Achtung Baby!
If all goes well, my next post will be about Sichuan cuisine. Until then, the culinary-minded can check out another of my favorite blogs, Chopstick Cinema: Celeste Heiter’s Daily Adventures in Asian Food & Film.
Han bao zi – meat-filled steamed dumplings