11 December 2012

Normal for now

After Thanksgiving we realize there are only a few more classes, and our normal routine has a short fuse.
We buy fruit and vegetables in the local market a couple times a week. At home we'd call it a farmers market, but here without the upscale connotation.
All dressed up with no place to go -- we were invited to an event in the city center so wore our newly tailor-made suits to class, but an hour before got a phone call saying it was cancelled. But we were still smiling, one needs to be flexible in China.
We call the alley across from campus Restaurant Row, and have a couple favorite places that we'll miss when we leave.
Students do most of the campus maintenance here. The trees in front of our apartment got a fresh coat of white, not so much aesthetic as to protect from bugs.
But the campus is also getting spiffed up to look good for an evaluation team from the national ministry of education. This statue of a famous local educator didn't used to be shiny black, so caught our attention.
We took a walk behind the campus, across the farm fields and past the neighboring cement plant, towering and a little ominous. The road in front was upgraded since last semester, from gravel to concrete pavement, so now many more cars and trucks zoom along at highway speed right to the campus gate, where there's no traffic light, just a zebra crossing to get to Restaurant Row. All this seems normal, for now.