Some pictures

It’s getting cold in Shanxi. It’s starting to reach that temperature where my morning ritual includes me debating whether to wear long underwear.

I took these photos in early October, when I could still go outside in only a sweater.  It was still that point in my Chinese life that I remembered to carry a camera.  These days, I haphazardly hop on buses and go places and never remember to bring my camera.  In related news, whenever I go to Taigu to visit the Shansi fellows these days, I will often forget to bring pajamas, but I’ll never forget the beer.  Priorities.

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Chrysanthemum (菊花) display in the rain at Jinci (晋祠) Temple 30 minutes from Taiyuan.

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really cool dragon on a pillar of one of the buildings in the Jinci Temple complex.

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This dragon was made of chrysanthemums.

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Shanxi is known for its dates (红枣). No date puns, please. The blurry folks are my parents, when they sent me off at the end of September.

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The ubiquitous condiment in Shanxi on the left: vinegar made from aged fermented sorghum. It’s called Mature Chen Vinegar (老陈醋).  Yes, that’s my name, don’t wear it out.  My namesake is incredibly aromatic and delicious, and I have begun pouring it on everything.  Sometimes I take shots of it.

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One of the many cafeterias on campus. These fine people are eating breakfast. Might I add that they eat largely savory breakfast here. It’s becoming my favorite meal of the day. More about Chinese cafeterias later, they kind of rule at TYUT.

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The school gym, across from the building where I live. I can only find the badminton courts in this monolith. I can’t find the weight room. Word on the street is that it exists.

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I get up at dawn here. What is happening to my life. Here are the outdoor basketball courts at TYUT.

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This is the ivory tower of my abode. I live on the 11th floor.

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Sometimes I spend time with this lovely creature.  Here, Amelea lives up to her nickname, “Bundle of Joy.”

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Sometimes I spend time with this other lovely creature. Here, Veronica pours honey into our very first China homebrew.

I should probably write more.  But I also should go to bed. What a life, to be an expat in China.

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