ever had a piece of meat stuck in your eye?

you're not going to believe me, but i have. today i was eating noodles for lunch, and you know how noodles can fling about while being slurped into the mouth. well, one such noodle flipped a little piece of meat up into my eye--meat with spices on it. straight past my always in place safety goggles and directly onto my eyeball! man did that sting. it took about 2 minutes to get it out and even longer to be able to open my eye without it stinging badly.

so imagine all this and some 40+ year old chinese guy sitting at the table beside me watching the whole thing. i swear--although i could only see with one eye--that his facial expression did not change one bit. it was like he'd seen it all before; no need to react. par for the course. usually if they give much reaction at all its to gawk. but this guy just sat there, ignoring his own plate of noodles watching tears well in my eye, rubbing it and trying to find this little piece of rouge meat.
and finally when i did i am sure i looked like half a druggie, with one eye bloodshot and red all around.

just another day in china. well, that and i have not had a shower in 3 days, not been able to flush my toilet, thanks to no water in this part of the city. fun.


falling softly to the tune of a screaming guitar

just beyond my window snow falls softly--fluttering, dancing to the ground. like leaves falling on the stillest of days, each flake indecisively makes its way downward, to it's fate--at least for today--to melt under foot. in the back ground explosions in the sky plays over my borrowed radio. it's a perfect storm of sorts. like the beginning of the snow fall was choreographed with the song 'catastrophe and the cure.' beyond the growing haze of flakes a market full of vendors presses on in pursuit of the days wages, or at least enough to afford to eat their own fruits and vegetables at the end of the day. whereas i have the leisure of watching from behind glass, with a cup of tea between my fingers, theirs ply the trade, while voices cry out 'yi kuai, yi kuai, yi kuai.' it is of no beauty for snow to fall for them, that is the prerogative of someone looking out from a distance. it is a nuisance, one that can make the day more than miserable. not to mention, if the temperature drops too low it can ruin their stock. perhaps in a while i will take a walk in the mounting drifts of snow.

a few pics from the last three weeks

i spent about 9 days in shanghai for chinese new
year. it was a time of comforts, as you can see.

monks listening at the monlam prayer festival mani teaching.

an overview of the mani teachings from the hillside above.

a beggar sitting in the pathway of all the religious pilgrims
making their way around labrang monastery. what a
face, huh?