Tickets booked for our planned CNY return to Changsha. Zhouzhou and Nana are taking Arthur back first on the 24th and I’m due to follow after finishing work the next Sunday on the 31st. Lots of poster up around apartment complexes stressing that you shouldn’t leave Beijing unless necessary, which is definitely open to interpretation.

Out last night with the Go lads to celebrate the end of our recent league. One of our contingent is the manager of a pretty swanky restaurant over in one of the fanciest hotels in Beijing so we were treated to a thoroughly enjoyable spread.

Arrive in on school on Tuesday morning to find my milk had been swiped from the teachers’ lounge, for the third time this year. This is made all the more frustrating by the fact school already supplies us with free milk in a separate part of the fridge. One of my colleagues had his leftover-dinner lunch swiped from the fridge at one point and has since bought his own mini-fridge for his classroom. I think all solutions to issues with other humans can be broken into two categories: 1)Try to change/moderate the behaviour of others or 2)Give up on humanity and create your own cocoon which is not subject to external factors (perhaps there is a third possibility: just become numb. But I suppose that could be considered as an extreme means of achieving (2)). The other main forum where I encounter this problem is on the subway with folks playing videos loudly: do I ask people kindly if they can wear earphones, or do I just buy noise-cancellation headphones/earplugs. Simply doing the later feels like I’m just accepting the behaviour and giving up on communication and making a more pleasant environment for everyone. This week after raising the issue with one chap, first asking if he had earphones and then when he didn’t quite understand the purpose of the question pointing out that streaming audio on the subways though speakers isn’t allowed, he reassured me with “it’s no problem” (没事)whilst continuing to watch his video. I explained I didn’t quite understand what he was trying to convey by this. By this point I’m sufficiently agitated that even after finally getting a volume reduction (note not turn off), my ensuing attempts to re-immerse myself my book become futile; oh Karl, you silly boy. I’m reminded of the Three Body Problem where the final solution to keeping oneself safe in the universe is simply to lock yourself away in the middle of a black hole, segregating yourself from the rest of the universe. How much will humans bother with each other when VR tech/entertainment becomes what it undoubtedly can become?

Arthur and friends our and about in Beijing

Exams beginning at school this week, so marking and reports galore. Pre-prepared deliciousness for dinner tonight, homemade lasagne taken out from the freezer this morning, nearly always better than when first made!

Living in Beijing. Everyday trivialities, trivial thoughts.