Scheduled events yesterday consisted of a workshop with people from the international center advising us on cultural differences to be aware of and the like, a brief rundown of transportation that, summarized, went like this: “Don’t take the buses. Take the subway.” Our evening documentary was on the revolution in 1989 in Tiananmen square. It was pretty much horrifying to see what happened both in terms of pure brutality and excessive force and the restrictive, totalitarian leadership of China at that time.
During our free time we wandered a bit. We visited Borders and people got some books for the flight(s). Yun got a “vocabulary builder” merriam-webster book which entertained us for about the next hour as we sat eating ice cream and trying to define obscure words. “Gravid” was one of the words which I proudly shouted out meant “Heavily pregnant! Chock-full of puppies!” We then proceeded to point out to one another a gravid woman who walked in later–vocabulary at work. [Update: I have seen the word gravid frequently in the literature having to do with C. elegans that are full of eggs] We checked out some movies from the library which we watched later that night using a Jerry-rigged theater consisting of the projector we watch documentaries on, which we moved to a room we found that has air conditioning, projecting onto the sheet off my bed which was hanging from a sprinkler system pipe along the ceiling. We all felt pretty cool that we’d had such a good idea because the alternative plan was to go watch a movie in a real place which would have cost money and required the hassle of bussing to and from the theater.
Post-movie some of us went and hung out with the, to-date, more party-going crowd in our lounge at Oxford which was very fun. Great stories were told and good times were had and it was nice to spend some more time with those people who I hadn’t yet spent much time with.