Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Spring Is In The Air. And On My Shoes. And Across My Floor...

The past two or three days have been exceptionally warm, but yet we've also had snow. It's quite odd. But at the same time, obvious that the groundhog (do they have groundhogs in China? I dunno.) didn't see his shadow.

So it's an early spring in Harbin. What does that mean? Well, we've got an exceptional amount of sludge everywhere. Please remember that it's usually very cold here, and everything freezes. The roads and sidewalks have all had about 1/2 inch of ice overing them since early December. A lot of this frozen fun contains settled coal dust from the power plants that heat all the apartment blocks across the city. Then, according to my Canuck co-worker Craig, there's an extra inch of ice solely derived from people's spittle.

It's cold in Harbin. And dirty. Together, well, causes one to hock-and-load on frequent occasion. I've been practising. Thanks to an average of 4-6 hocks between the 2.5 blocks from home to school, I'll get in half a dozen shots. My accuracy is impressive, and my range is now great. All in all, its disgusting.

Have we mentioned the lugies in the restaurants? Oh, thats a fun time.

I digress. The frozen fun is melting. That means spring. How else do I know?
1. The BBQers are out in full force. Anyone who can is setting up a steel drum outside their establishment to roast up some meat-on-a-stick. Good for me. It's delicious. The lice love it.

2. The streets are nothing but black slick. This is not a good thing, only a ominous fore-runner of better things to come.

3. Some Chinese are not wearing long underwear. But many still are. Many consider it crazy to take off their long underwear anytime before April. Which, in itself, is crazy if you ask me.


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