I am not dead. Quite the opposite in fact. A new apartment has been found. This one does not come with a naked woman. It does not include all the gristle filled ravioli you can eat. It does not include a family willing to test all your toiletries for quality. It does not come with fake doors. It does however come with a washing machine. It also includes a balcony with a view of the bay. It comes with easy transport to local markets and large grocery stores. An oven thrown in for good measure. And a fair amount of privacy. The last is only disrupted by the Canadian that I have obviously been brain-washed into allowing into my life. He however includes cooking skills, and a fairly great taste in music, so we'll keep him around for now.
School is going well. I've actually been asked to leave class because I've learned enough to move on. Class. So tomorrow I start anew. Which means at least 2 maybe 3 teachers will grill me at the beginning of every class to see how much I know. Thankfully, a comrade of mine has also been given the boot, so we can get grilled together. A couple of sandwiches we are. Also, conveniently, he lives in the apartment next to mine. Class all around.
This weekend, I may be partial host to an Asian party. Let me ask a question. Who is offended by the use of "Slant eyes"? Now when I use that term, I often get a really bad reaction. But is it more offensive than "black", "blonds", etc? It's just a comment on their physical features, and it's not derisive. However, to call a group of people that includes Japanese, Korean, and Chinese people; Asian, well that seems more insensitive to me. Asia after all includes India, Turkey, Russia even, and all the Middle East. And some people are flat out offended by the term "Oriental". I suppose I should ask the people of slanted eyes myself. Well, anyway, the point is that on my floor, I am the only person of non-angled and/or particularly oblique ocular sockets. Koreans live on either side and Chinese on either end of the hall with a sprinkling of Japanese for good measure. So this weekend, we shall drink and be merry.
Next weekend I'm journeying to Moscow for the first time. I'll be sharing a sleeper train with 5 Canadians. I will either come out of this completely scarred, or dripping maple juice from my veins. Wish me luck!