Monday: I barely managed to drag myself out of bed. I think my body was still tired from the long cold of Sunday's activities. Horrible 8 AM classes, how I hate them! Although this particular instance of class was good and worthwhile, I hate them as a concept. :P And it was still exceedingly cold out.
After my class, I got on a bus outside the East Gate. An odd moment on the bus, not déjà vu but another feeling, like the moment was memorable for no particular reason: but I remember everything about it. The pattern of sunlight, the mostly empty bus, where I was sitting, near the front where I watched the driver shifting gears. The gears of a Chinese bus are exactly backward from an American car--first gear in the lower right, second gear in the upper right, and third and fourth in the lower and upper left respectively. Interesting. Almost hypnotic.
But then time speeds up again. I got off the bus and dashed into the National Library. If things went smoothly, I thought, I could copy the article I needed and be back in an hour and a half, in time for a lunch meeting I had planned with one of my classmates.
Well, nothing ever goes smoothly at the National Library. I requested the book (I know the ropes now!) and waited…and waited. After an hour I was starting to get really annoyed. Then my number appeared on the "We can't fulfill this request" section of the sliding LCD display.
I sent a text message to cancel my lunch meeting.
I negotiated with several different people, went back and forth about computer entries. They're bad with Western book titles. They always make a spelling mistake or two and then blame you when the record won't come up. They sent someone else to look for the book. He found it, both copies! I was very very pleased, far more pleased than annoyed. When something actually does go right, it's easy to forget all that has gone wrong.
Back at home, I ducked in for a pulled noodle lunch. The noodle chef is very busy at lunch time, but they all treated me like the regular I am anyway. It's subtle--they can't really do much extra for you or anything--but just saying "the usual?" instead of asking you what you want, giving you an extra smile or nod, it's enough to make a person feel good. I was happy to see that they were so busy; I had been worried about their fate only seeing them at dinner hour. But now I see that they won't be going out of business anytime soon! The office worker crowd comes down out of its skyscraper and consumes many bowls of noodles.
Worked until my evening class, went to it, had dinner, came home. Nothing much to report, except that I ought to be more productive. And I had a strong case of the moon illusion, where the moon near the horizon looks huge. It was full, and it really looked huge! Also, above the tall, light-partitioned wall of my apartment building, it had a grandly alienated urban look--yes? I tried to take a picture of it but without a tripod of course nothing is much in focus. The other picture is the same scene with a little wiggle of my hand.