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4 July 2005
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KLB - Beijing (10)

I woke up at 7:30 AM today by my own accord. I haven't gotten up that early without reason in a long time. It feels good, and I hope I can get in the habit. Not drinking helps, of course. I was drinking almost every day when I first arrived. Then I got sick on fake Carlsberg drafts that I had at one of the downtown bars the weekend before last. I had 6 or 7 mugs and wound up throwing up all the next day and felt run down a few days after that. Turns out several people Jake knows have gotten sick off the same beer. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise cause I haven't had a drink since. I tried to have a couple the other night when I was out, but they made me naseous. Maybe it'll be like the time I got food poisoning in America from chicken parmesan. That was 10 years ago and I haven't been able to eat it again since. OK, somehow I doubt that will be the case with beer, but it's a good idea to take a break anyway before it becomes a bad habit.

So what can I do with all my time this morning? I guess I will study Japanese and Chinese again before going to the health club. Oh, did I mention I joined one a few weeks ago? I figured why not while I'm here. It's a small, inexpensive place full of beefy Chinese guys, a few Koreans and several hot women! I met one Chinese guy who is married to a Korean. As he lived in California for 5 years years before moving to Seoul for a job, he can now speak fluent English and Korean. He and his wife are in China now because his wife couldn't speak a word of Chinese and so she is studying here. He uses the time that she's studying to work out.

I'm back with breakfast. More chow mien noodles and a bag of delicious Chinese dumplings called baozi. Total cost: 8 RMB, or about $1.15. This will fill me up until the evening.

Last night it was KFC. For some reason, perhaps because there is one on every single corner in this country, the KFC is much better here than I've ever had. You also get much bigger portions of french fries and cola than in Korea, though perhaps an American would still consider them to be small size. In Korea they give you about 8 french fries and a third of a regular cola.

As for the e-book, I've got the first 40 pages done. I worked on it all day yesterday. I'm aiming for 100 pages but the file size is getting big, so I may make it two parts. More on that soon.

Do I miss Korea? I can't say as I do. It's odd, but I haven't missed anything from there since I left. I'm sure it would be a different story if I was back in America now or if I couldn't just walk over to the store down the road and buy kimchi chigae in the Korean town. Probably the biggest reason I haven't missed Korea is because I don't miss teaching. Even though it got much much better when Cathy quit, 10 months teaching the same 50-60 kids will wear anyone out. Still, I don't want to be lazy too much longer as it just makes it that much harder to get going again. Thats why I'm trying to wake up earlier and study and exercise and keep up the writing, just to stay active.

Well, time to get off the computer and over to the health club. See you later. Hopefully I'll be up early again tomorrow. I seem more inclined to update in the mornings.


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