I recently took an eight hour train ride, standing.  This, in itself, is not an incredibly challenging feat.  I did as much during my time as a chef at camp, albeit with some brief sitting breaks for food there. The lack of distracting work, ability to walk, dope music, and camaraderie on the train are also notable.  However, I made it through without too much duress.  Read a book, started some other books, listened to some chill music, and even zoned out for a moment. I unfortunately forgot the technique that made Camp easy on my knees until I only had two hours left, and that’s the power squat.  We learned at camp that if you’re working at a prep table, you can take a wide stance and bend your knees to about 120 degrees, which takes the weight off your knees and works your core if you’re doing it properly. Try it out some time.

The book in question was “Hidden Figures”, you may have heard of or seen the movie that came out recently.  It’s a very educational book and written with a great deal of love and care.  Bit dense or lacking in drive at some points, but overall a beautiful tribute to these women.  I’m doing a book club session for the consulate next month, and that seemed to fit the theme of “space” and “America”. If any of you would like to read along, you’re more than welcome to.  I’ll be sure to share the discussion questions and the discussion that’s had after the event.

Why was I standing though you might ask? This seems to be the high season for travel, so tickets are practically impossible to come by.  As a result, sold out trains offer “standing tickets” which are exactly what they sound like.  Inexplicably though, they’re the same price as normal economy tickets, which I feel is a bit ridiculous and evil, but when you gotta get to Beijing, you gotta get to Beijing.

Blog content will be minimal the next couple weeks, but if I have something worth sharing be sure it will be shared.  Updates, I’ve started reading the Koran. I intend to finally read the Bible one of these days too, but I was able to find a free ebook Koran and not a free ebook Bible, so here we are.

I’ve sent my Fulbright article off to get a rough once-over by a Chinese friend (and hopefully not inflicted too much pain on her in the process), and the novel has kind of stalled as the city library is closed for the time being.  So just reading random novels that were preloaded on my kindle and waiting for inspiration to strike.

Lastly, back to the subject of Camp, I found this great article from the NYT about dishwashing.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2017/08/07/chefs-say-a-

If I’ve never bored you with accounts of my time dishwashing at Camp, I very much feel what’s conveyed in this article. Dishwashing is such a physically, mentally exhilarating experience that takes great skill to do well.  Mentally planning how to keep the dishwasher running at max efficiency while keeping in mind the needs of the kitchen, all while performing a frenetic dance solo that sees you whirling to and fro putting away clean dishes, flitting in between waitstaff and chefs as you go to retrieve dirty ones, and your hands never standing still as you shuffle pots, pans, plates, and whatever else appears into a scalding steambath.  I miss those days a lot actually.

Lastly, as always, cat  pictures. The kittens are getting bigger, and super lovey!


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