Monday, February 25, 2008

Short Update

I didn't realize how quickly fires can move until last week when I heard shouting from around the office. Being all in Chinese, I was fairly certain that it wasn't work-related, but I looked where everyone was pointing out the window anyway. A few blocks away, smoke was rising from a many-floored building, flames stretching six or seven stories.

Within ten minutes the fire had risen from near ground level the thirty or forty stories to the top of the building. It looked like it was just racing up the exterior of the building, and no smoke was pouring out of any other windows, but it was still a rather frightening experience, to know how quickly fire can move.

In other news, I finally went to the hospital to see about my sty that refused to go away. It still refused to go away, so the doctor told me they were going to have to surgically remove it for me. So Friday afternoon we spent by leaving work early, and running to the hospital again. Having a sty removed isn't a particularly pleasant process, when they clamp your eyes open and scrape around to try to make sure they got it all. It's even less pleasant when you have no chance of communicating with the doctor to make sure that feeling is really the feeling you're supposed to be feeling during the procedure.

Nor is it pleasant to be unable to communicate to find out if that feeling of eyelashes in my eye is a normal after-product of having eyelids clamped open. It wasn't until I got home and removed the bandage early that I discovered the feeling of eyelashes in my eye was really because a whole clump of eyelashes was stuck under my eyelid. I was much more comfortable and happy after that. Even if I did have an eyepatch for a day, and a huge bandage for another. Oh well, stitches come out on Friday!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Odd Schedules

It's been a good, but busy, month. We spent about a week and a half in the states last month, with our time split between California and Missouri. Didn't make it all the way back to Illinois this time. As it was, I spent way too much of the week and a half not getting enough sleep--with jet lag, I found myself unable to sleep during the night, and busy with other commitments during the day. At least we managed to buy some of the stuff we'd been wanting (yay, iPod touch) and got Liz a new driver's license. (Or will have it once they mail it to us, anyway.)

The trip back to the states was nice, but without heat in our place, we ended up staying in a hotel. It was somewhat odd to be in town, driving our own car, but staying in a bed that wasn't ours. It worked out fairly well, though.

Other than the lack of sleep. That was not good. Especially bad as it managed to wear down my immune system, so by the time we were heading back to China, I was ill. It made for a not-happy 13-hour flight, being unable to sleep, breathe, or pop my ears when the air pressure changed. And continued to make for an unhappy week the following 6 days as I stayed home sick for a day, and spent the rest dreading the air-pressure changes from elevator rides.

We were glad to fly back on Tuesday (arriving on Wednesday), though--the Chinese new year holiday began the week after we got back, so to make it a longer holiday, the weekend was preempted by work, leaving a 9-day work week followed by a 9-day holiday, 1 day of work, and then a 2-day weekend. Getting back on Wednesday meant we only had the 6 days of work before the 9-day holiday.

The 6-day work week was actually pretty fun, not due to work, but due to being able to look out my window and see the snow falling. I'd been told that I wasn't going to get to see any snow this year, being in Shanghai, but somehow we managed to be here for the tail end of the worst snowstorm in fifty years. Yay, snow! I even got to see a few snowmen scattered around the city!

The holiday was pretty nice, even though Liz got sick closer to the end of our work week, and still was ill for part of the holiday. Otherwise, it was nice to get to see her family and to get to see fireworks up close and all personal-like. As in they shot the fireworks from the courtyard of our building, and some of the embers were within an arms-length of our window.

They did make it somewhat difficult to sleep before midnight or 1am, though.

All in all, even though we did little over the holiday, we enjoyed it greatly. We needed some time to relax, and took full advantage of it. But it's time to get back into a more normal schedule.