November 1st

I keep waiting to run out of work to do so that I can start writing again.  I’m beginning to realize that the end of my ‘marking pile’ doesn’t actually exist.  There will always be another summary to correct; there will always be another grade to assign.

Death to procrastination!!!

My goal is simple, though it won’t be simply achieved.

Write between 100-250 words per day about life in China

I already know what my excuses will be:

  • Grading
  • Exercise
  • “I need to relax!!”
  • More Grading
  • Gigs
  • “I REALLY need to relax!!!”
  • Dinner with Friends
  • “I’M GONNA BURN OUT IF I DON’T RELAX!!”

100-250 words per day…should be easy, right!?

Enough of that…time to start writing!

Today’s photo:  An Ode to Caffeine

Today it’s green tea.  Usually it’s Earl Grey.  A girl’s gotta switch it up sometimes!

We are here nearly every day this year, and I feel bad that I still don’t know a single Barista’s name.  I should at least be able to apologize to them directly as they kick me out every day when they close at 10, as I try to finish just one more paper…

I like working at Starbucks for several reasons:

  • There are no cats here to distract me from my work
  • I don’t have to make my own drink (or clean up my own drink)
  • The table where I work is huge and gives me ample room to spread out essays and toss around markers as I madly colour code my students’ mistakes.
  • They have good value

Cafes are stylish in China, and therefore are usually over priced.  Starbucks is easily the best value for caffeine I’ve seen in the Orient, though to say that prices are reasonable here is still a long shot.

This tea cost me $4 Canadian, which is outrageous given that it’s just green tea.  Anywhere else in the area, the same green tea would cost $6 or $10 instead.  How do shops get away with this, you might wonder?  I’ve also been wondering for 4 years now…

Regardless of the reasons…this is my work space.  I’ll be back tomorrow with another snippet into the life of the Kinetic Canuck!

Movin’ Mumbai – Bustlin’ Bombay

We are sitting at The Mark Cafe, a 2 minute walk from the River Ganges, and it’s Valentine’s day.  Dave and I have a habit of spending the most romantic day of the year in foreign countries, and although this Valentines day has probably been the furthest thing from Romance that we’ve seen, it’s been interesting in its own right.  I’ll be writing about Varanasi, or Banares, next time though.  For now, I’ll be writing about the mayhem that is Mumbai.

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The Mumbai Skyline

Mumbai, formerly called Bombay (during the Brittish rule of India), is a port city on India’s west coast.  It’s the home of Bollywood, the world’s largest open-air street food market and is also India’s most populous city.  There isn’t a whole lot to do in Mumbai, so we didn’t stay very long, but a day and a half was ample time to see the sights that deserve to be seen.

 

What makes Mumbai so remarkable, as far as I’m concerned anyway, is its architecture.  Because the city has been under both Portuguese and British rule in addition to its Hindu and Muslim history, there are so many interesting buildings to see!

One of the difficulties of being in Bombay though, is the security…

There’s some ugly history here.  Some fundamentalist Hindu groups have caused problems for the Muslim population (killing over 1000 Muslims in 1992 and 1993 during riots) and in return, Muslim fundamentalist groups have bombed popular tourist sights and other places of interest in Mumbai.  There has been peace in the city now since 2011, but as precaution, there are metal detectors going into every shopping mall and every tourist sight.  Even going to Starbucks, means having your bag searched, being patted down and walking through a metal detector.  Scary stuff…

But not all of Mumbai was scary…like every city in India, they have an abundance of farm animals running through the streets….Also, the taxis here all have funny designs on their ceilings.  They’re quite nice actually, as far as taxis go.  And everyone uses their meters so HAZZAA!!!  No arguing required!!

My next post will be about the most insane city I have ever visited…stay tuned for my post on Varanasi – Home of the River Ganges.