Tuesday, August 23, 2005

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I cut a large part of my hair off again today. I've always taken it out my hair when things aren't going according to plan. I imagine that my hair wishes that I'd find a new way of dealing with things.

After a friendly kidnapping by a cabdriver and a trip to an Indian restaurant in Hangzhou (these are both stories that must be told in person--I don't write funny enough to do them justice) we took a slow boat to Suzhou.
I just love saying that I took a slow boat in China.
We shared our teeny tiny cabin with a man who spoke surprisingly good English, but who wasn't interested in talking to me because I don't speak any Chinese. That was just fine with me. The best part of my trip was easily the fact that I was always excused from talking to anyone. I am an overcommunicator by nature, so it was incredibly refreshing to have a chance to remove myself from my normal behaviors.

Very early the next morning, we were woken up by loud music. Val and Rich asked our roommate what was going on, and he told us that what we were hearing were the words of Mao set to music. China isn't really very Communist anymore; they're all too concerned with making money, and most Chinese kids couldn't tell you what Communism means. But Mao is still sort of everywhere. He's a bit like a crazy old grandfather that the family still fears but doesn't talk about much. Every now and again, you'll come across Mao. And no one really knows how to react when they realize a foreigner is looking at the Chairman. They freeze, and then try and divert your attention. It's a very Chinese way of handling things.

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