Otherwise, it's been browsing through taobao for XXXL clothes, marathoning tv shows, and reading "Romance of the Three Kingdoms". I also found a "Three Kingdoms Podcast" which has been useful because I can read and go back and listen to someone summarize the chapter for 30 minutes. It's interesting, and it's a classic that has influenced things from Chinese opera to expressions used in the Chinese language but it's also a huge book that spans 100 years from the collapse of the Han dynasty to the three kingdoms period to the beginning of the Jin. Which also means having to track a lot of officials, ministers, warriors, rebels, battles, and adopted sons. It's hard for me to keep up with who's related to who and how long each character lasts in the story. I remember Liu Bei partly because of his description. If a book spends that much time describing a tall man with huge ears (which suggests wisdom) and good sense, then he's probably important. Then there's Dong Zhuo who takes out the Han emperor and puts in the Chenliu prince and takes charge of things from there, the people who fight against him, and then the battles that ensue as coalitions fight against each other. Again, there's only a handful of characters I can keep straight. I did feel quite accomplished though when I turned on the tv and was able to recognize some of the figures they talk about on "Wen Ming Zhi Lu"/"The History of Civilization". And then I finally sat down to watch "Farewell My Concubine" and recognized a few names (the movie's title comes from the opera the characters perform at different times). That was not an easy movie to watch, which isn't surprising considering everything that happened during the 20th century here but it was very interesting. The author of "Farewell My Concubine" sounds pretty interesting too actually. I read somewhere that she works on movies to reach as many people as possible, since books are limited to those who can read.
Outside of school and reading and tv, I had to replace the lock on my door (again). I was dumb enough to forget my keys inside and I never gave the school my new keys but they didn't believe me and had me test the ones they had. They didn't work so we called the locksmith. I also forgot about a lunch I'd agreed to and had to run off and put off meeting with the locksmith until after lunch. So basically, I left my apartment at about 10 in the morning and got back in at 17:00. I'm kind of exhausted from all the running around and I had to go back to Changsha for my medical certificate. I decided to forgo using my movie voucher. It's a free movie, sure, but all I wanted was rest. I really don't want to do testing, but I want it done and over with since that is part of the job. I may or may not have class tomorrow with the children's day things going on. I can't believe I'm at my last month and I feel so unprepared. I haven't looked at whether I'll need a second suitcase or not. My sitemate laughs when I worry but even if it's less than what others have, it's still baggage and still stuff I have to carry. I hate having things that I have to carry. I hate baggage. But I'm sure it will work out somehow. It won't be comfortable though. I've never really traveled with more than one suitcase and my violin, occasionally another bag I can wear on my back or strap onto myself somehow. However I feel, the fact remains that I will need to clear out my apartment somehow. I'm excited about Japan, but less so about dragging stuff around Japan. It'll be a well-deserved break and I hope I can actually wrap up my class and ask them about the things they learned instead of testing them and running off. It's the last push and I have so much to do, I just need to keep myself together as everything closes up.