Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Food Poisoning, Wu Laoshi, and e-mail

Three things came together in the past three days that caused me to start this blog. Food poisoning, an e-mail from a friend, and Wu laoshi (laoshi = teacher). And so, here I am sitting in a friend's room, which he nicknamed the "African Embassy" using the computer to compose a blog. My, how things change.
So, you may be wondering how these three things conspired to bring about this wonderful glimpse into my life in Shanghai. As it turns out, I'm willing to let you know. First, food poisoning. While sparing you all of the gory details, more than 6 hours in the middle of the night alone in a bathroom give one much time to contemplate numerous things - from death (just end the torment) to e-coli (which I thought I had for about 3 hours) to blogs (wouldn't everyone love to hear about this). Hehe.
And the second, a few people suggested before I left the States that I start a blog. But, I thought, "Who would want to read my stupid blog." Well, as it turns out, I read other people's blogs. And then, today, after getting some pictures I e-mailed to her, a friend of mine said that if I started a blog to let her know. So, I thought, "Hey, she'll read it."
And third, a conversation with Wu laoshi, my wonderful Chinese teacher. Today, after 6 weeks of trial, she told me that I am doing well in her class. A few weeks ago she told me that Americans don't study hard, she thinks we are lazy, and that it will be difficult for me to keep up with the class (which is a beginner's class). With that in mind, today's post-class chat was a big self-esteem booster for me. And I thought, "I want to share this with the world, I feel smart again!" Given the endless jokes I have about my "big brain" and how it's worth at least $150,000 USD (if you don't believe me, I'd be more than happy to have you pay off my student loans), feeling smart again is a big deal.
So, here I am, a Black (Caribbean, British, Portuguese, African) American woman in Shanghai. Sometimes I feel like that explains everything...

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