Now I am officially half way through the year 2011, and it has been a few months since my previous post. You may wonder what kept me busy during the time. Here are a list of my recent adventures in life.
- Driving. I didn’t expect it was that easy to get a Chinese Driver’s license with my U.S. license. All I need was to pass the written test and wait a few days. I have heard horrendous stories about driving schools in China: basically you pay the money to get bullied by the nasty coaches — according to my colleagues. Fortunately I don’t have to go through all that.
- I bought a Citroen C4 and already drove it for over two months. It was kind of gas inefficient at first, but now it starts to be more drivable and consumes less gas. Although there are a few minor scratches and abrasions, I have been careful enough not to cause any major incidents. Most of the spare time has been devoted to reading up the posts of car forums. I was tormented by the choice of a standard transmission or automatic one, and finally I yielded to the pressure and went automatic. Maybe my next car will be standard transmission if I am not too old to drive it.
- My dissertation is going to be published by the university press in a few days. I have to pay about $1400 for its publication and the other half of the cost will be covered by the department. This is not a very proud thing to say since I have to pay for the costs instead of getting paid for my book. But this China and this is how the academic publishing circles generally operate. When proof-reading the drafts, I couldn’t believe that I actually wrote it. It indeed required enormous dedication and efforts and I am not sure if I am able to repeat the efforts again.
- Fiddling with my Linux VPS and Nook Color Reader/Tablet. Just flashed CM7 on my Nook and I love it. Reading books every night by the fish tank should be a great experience and I need to do it from now on if the mosquitoes do not bother me too much.
- Watching It is always sunny in Philadelphia and a few other so-so movies. The quality of the recent movie releases did become lower and maybe it is a reflection of the current world economy?
In the upcoming summer, I promise I’ll swim, sleep and read a lot. Oh, I forgot another thing: keep updating this shabby blog of mine.