A Short Tribute and Other Daily Woes

Today is a sad day. I discovered that one of my favorite childhood authors, Brian Jacques, writer of the Redwall series, passed away. It’s very sad for me, because I spent countless hours with my nose stuck in one of his books. His life work had a profound impact on my happiness as a kid, since even then I was a little bit of a robot and a nerd, and when I didn’t have many friends, reading became a refuge. Jacques’ stories provided me with an escape to a world of adventure, humor, quests, honor, and amazing descriptions of food. Reading one of his books would never fail to make me hungry and wish I could eat the tantalizing dishes he fabricated. I would read his book curled up with a slice of cake, or bread and cheese, and a steaming mug of tea or hot cider. I was even inspired as a 6 year old first grader to try and write a sequel to his book Mossflower, before I realized he had like, a series of 20 books. So, Brian Jacques, thank you for your wonderful work, thank you for the entertainment, the joy of reading, thank you for my childhood.

On a happier note, I had a leisurely lunch with Film Director today at a place in Sanlitun called Bocata. They served excellent sandwiches that were almost paninis, bread was crusty and toasty on the outside, chewy on the inside, I ordered roast beef with melty cheese and he got German sausages with other cheese and vegetables on top. it was a good fix for when you’re craving a good sandwich. I also got a very refreshing fresh cucumber juice with honey. I met Film Director at a street corner and hopped on the back of his moped, and thought about what a weird world it is when I, of all people, am getting accustomed to casually riding on other people’s scooters.

Afterward my plan of attack for the day was to register with the police (all long term foreigners are required to do this) and open a bank account. Yesterday, Bambi and I tried to go to the police station, but they were closed. I went alone today, hoping i could register for the both of us. After being made to wait for 30 minutes in an otherwise empty station, the lady told me that they required copies of our passports and visas. Even though I could see a copier machine in the office, she wouldn’t help me out, and said there was a place somewhere down the street, and to come back by 4 or the next morning. Dutifully I gathered up my papers and went out and found the printmaking shop, but it was closed.

So then I went to the bank, armed with a script of translated sentences I thought I might need to know, only to discover that it was also closed. While some businesses have opened today, tomorrow is the real day that business gets back to normal. Thank you, China. Chinese Bureaucracy: 2, Robot: 0.

At least I managed to order two barrels of drinking water without messing up.

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