It’s been rainy, so that’s my excuse… Pictures will be up eventually, I promise. It’s just that I still haven’t transferred them, and the USB cord is currently not within my reach, so please accept this story about my day instead.

Upon waking up, I got excessively distracted by social media for probably 20 minutes more than I should have. So I got up in a hurry, got dressed, and ate some Frosted Flakes. And then I had the misfortune of realizing my umbrella (雨伞) was nowhere to be found! The best I could do was pull a hoodie on over my stringbag so that I looked like an awkward blue turtle, and then I went out and braved the rain!

After class, I went to the first small shop I passed, stepped inside, and immediately asked, “Do you have umbrellas?” Of course they had some, they said, and did I want a big one or a small one. At that point it really didn’t matter – wearing a wet hoodie over a stringbag was both uncomfortable and inconvenient, haha! So I wound up with a large dark green umbrella that did its job quite well.

Armed with my new umbrella, I felt a sense of empowerment! And I forged onward first to Starbucks for a vanilla Frappucino, and then to the post office to send more postcards. As I was making a mess pasting on the stamps, the security guard, who speaks surprisingly-good-though-still-not-too-good English, insisted that I go look at something that was in English and explain it to him. I was really hoping it would be something easy that I could translate easily and then feel good about myself, but it wasn’t so. It wound up being something about Firefox not responding and how they needed to restart the computer? Firefox? FIREFOX?? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO SAY THAT. OR HOW TO EVEN SAY “INTERNET BROWSER”. Those are just not important words right now! But I flailed my arms a little bit and manage to convey the message through highly technical phrases such as “a surf the internet thing” (一个上网的东西), and “it can’t move” (不能动).

Once all that was over, I took the subway (which was lovely and comparatively empty today since it was pouring and nobody in their right mind wanted to go anywhere) to People’s Square and had some lunch, and then I walked to Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street (南京路步行街). Luckily I could walk there through the subway station because People’s Square is really close to Nanjing Road, and the area is a big hub for the subway, which means there are a lot of passageways underground that lead to a lot of different exits. Just to clarify, I also ate lunch inside the subway station, so I didn’t actually even go outside at all until I got to Nanjing Road.

Now, why would I go walking around Nanjing Road in the pouring rain? The idea was to look around and maybe get some shopping done while it wasn’t so crowded. Of course there were still plenty of people – in China, there are always people everywhere. Well, as it turned out, what seemed like a good idea before I got there turned out to actually be a hilariously miserable idea. The drains couldn’t keep up with the rain, and the whole street was basically one very large puddle. The stairs to the underpasses and subway might as well have been water park rides. The rain soaked through my shoes and then through my socks, and even though I got home hours ago, I’m pretty sure both are still wet. And of course, I got absolutely no shopping done. But I discovered that there’s an M&Ms world opening here this year!

Anyway, I’m going to go check on my laundry and then watch some movie that my teacher wants me to watch. Apparently it’s by some famous Chinese director I’ve never heard of: JIA Zhangke (贾樟柯). She had a collection of them and let us each pick one. I couldn’t read the summaries too well, so I just took one called Unknown Pleasures. I hope it’s good. I’ll let you know!

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