|A shot of one of the swimming beaches.|
Anyway, after watching the Kung Fu show in the mornings, there's sometimes hot water. The old bit about "steaming hot water from 5:00- 8:00 a.m." that's posted in the lobby downstairs is a sham. Empirically, I know this sign to be false, as I've run a half dozen experiments in the past couple'o weeks that prove otherwise. There's hot water alright, the sign should read, from 7:20 until maybe 7:45, depending on the alignment of the stars or the daily sensibilities of the doorman. Otherwise, the hot water beads and dribbles out from 7:45 until 10:00. This poses a problem for me on Thursdays, when I have to leave campus by 6:45 to make get to the med. school for the nursing gals (who are all so sweet as to meet me at the gate). All that to say, I had to follow that embarrassing scene with the Kung Fu laoshi up with a cold shower and then head off to teach nurses about American dating and romance. Talk about insult to injury.
It gets better, though. Scrolling through the e-mail inbox Friday night, I about came apart when I found a message announcing that I'm to take part in a faculty lecture series about American life and culture. "Send your lecture title and the date you plan to present to our Qingdao faculty," it reads. "I'm not into publicly humiliating myself," I considered writing back, although I've partaken in that plenty recently. This series, the e-mail later reveals, runs during both fall and spring semesters and is not optional for foreign faculty. In other words, I couldn't just ignore that I'd received it, which is what I'm inclined to do with e-mails that are too long or e-mails with dictates like "Send your lecture title." I spent the weekend gnashing my teeth. So when I went to the office and read titles like "Technology Practices in American Classrooms," "American Foreign Economic Policy," and "Christmas" on the sign-up sheet, I breathed relief. I signed up to present on "Sports in America" but then realized I'm the only sports fanatic here. I haven't changed it yet, but I'm giving serious consideration to "American Urban Art," even though I know nothing about it. Thinking maybe urban graffiti and hip-hop culture. Give me some suggestions, please, if you're there.
Only other news is that I've become a frequent patron of the nearby KTV, a karaoke joint. My singing voice is quite lousy, and the only jam I know in their selection is Arthur Conley's "Sweet Soul Music." The good folks of Qingdao seem to think I have a gift belting out "Sweet Soul Music," and I think they are just having fun at my expense, but I can have fun at my expense, too.