Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Turn the Page (very slowly)

When I am not spending evenings helping the orphans hone their bar tending and customer service skills, I like to lie in the Plexiglass Bedroom under the comforting glow of a neon light, sip a cold Tsingtao and read while listening to the sounds of the traffic and people 19 floors below through the Window That Will Not Close.
But English language reading material is scarce here. Very scarce. I've been told it can be had in Hong Kong, but I haven't had the chance to venture there yet. There is a very large bookstore in Shenzhen, like a bigger version of Denver's Tattered Cover, but a scouting expedition revealed very little in English except tech manuals and dictionaries.
Which is all by way of explaining whyI am thrilled to announce that a copy of the Oct. 13 Sports Illustrated arrived today, along with an early birthday card. (Oct. 26 for anyone keeping score.)

"Do You Believe? - Kerry Wood Leads the Cubs Into Magical Territory" is the cover story. Unfortunately, I already know how that story ends, but I'm going to read it cover-to-cover anyway, including the 2003-2004 Hockey Preview (which I normally have no interest in). I just finished a tattered, grimy and yellowing Ken Follett novel that foreign barbarian coworker Jeff says has been through about 110 expats before me. There's also a glossy Japanese arts and culture magazine that an email friend in Tokyo was kind enough to send me that I am reading like relaxing slowly in a warm bath.
And I read, and re-read the instructions on a package of instant rice, bamboo shoots and pork many times last night both both for the meager pleasure and to figure out exactly how to fix them. I'm still trying to figure out what "Insert meal package in meal package after beginning monkeys discarding is boiled firmly" means.

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