Summer in Changsha comes to an end

Tickets are now booked for Beijing! I’m off tomorrow (Monday) and Zhouzhou’s following me the next day. Arthur will be remaining in Changsha until September the 5th. Originally I’d said I’d like Arthur back before the end of August to get into a routine from the start of work, but Nana played the birthday card (its her birthday on the 4th). I was up for taking back Arthur back to Beijing with myself and Zhouzhou but I think that would just have stressed Nana and forced her back earlier than she wanted, I suppose the quiet will be a good chance for some final holiday reading!

One thing that’s caught my attention to Changsha, is the number of car-dashboard decorations there are (something I seldom see in Beijing beyond the National Flag), lots of cartoon characters, or in the case of my father-in-law’s car, a statue of Mao. Changsha is a a bit zanier and grungier in its aesthetic. Lots of tattoo parlours and florists, Zhouzhou suggests that the former is due to lingering Hongkong culture that was prevalent here when she was younger. That would also fit in with the ubiquity of denim (even in the heat!) here, the cloth of choice for Hongkong’s stars when they were the big cultural producer of the previous generation. Denim is certainly something that has lost its chic in Beijing and Shanghai ( and apparently also in Japan, I was watching show where a group of young girls declared only creepy old “uncles” wear jeans any more).

Was introduced to a new word in the dialect ce (策), which literally means to spur (as in the sense of a horse) but is used here to mean messing with someone (one of the closest terms I’ve come across to “trolling someone” in Chinese). The original context was when I was heading out of the apartment complex with Zhouzhou, the entrance security guard (who I’d already interacted with briefly with already) asked if I was African, apparently this was a ce… He also called me over to his booth when I returned that evening and asked me if I knew what he was doing: he had a blind 5ft chap squeezed behind him in his booth giving him a massage (seriously). He asked if I would like a massage too, I gratefully declined.

Arthur has been collecting trinkets from around the house and storing them in a sink area, it was brought to my attention when my pen went missing, Zhouzhou was also able to find her neck cream in the process! A little concerned about Arthur’s impatience, he gets very irritable when he doesn’t get what he wants immediately (for example trying to unscrew lids off various foodstuffs), but hopefully its just normal terrain for the age he’s at. Now 15:00 and I’ve had a headache brewing for the last 2 hours, hoping a can fend it off with lots of fluids.

Living in Beijing. Everyday trivialities, trivial thoughts.