Tag Archives: domestics

200, Baby!

3 May

Today marks a major milestone for In the Country of Heaven. Somehow, against all odds, I’ve managed to keep updating this thing and reach a grand total of 200 posts. I’m just as shocked as you are. I don’t know how much longer I’ll keep this blog going, but I’ll keep posting if you all keep reading.

To celebrate, here’s a picture of me looking ridiculous in front of the Eiffel Tower.

eiffel tower

Laundry In Strange Places

16 Apr

Doing laundry is tedious business, especially when you have to wait three or four days for your clothes to dry. Not a lot of people have dryers in this country, least of all us lowly peons at the dorms. So we hang our wet clothes out on lines or on hangers, hoping to get a few rays of sunshine.  Mostly, you see laundry hanging in windows or on balconies. It’s pretty straightforward. But sometimes, you see clothes hung out to dry in some pretty weird places.

 On top of the Hongwa Hotel

On top of the graduate studies building.

 Doctor hanging up some laundry outside the hospital.

 Hanging up inside the bathroom of the Tibetan Studies department.

Am I a creeper for documenting all of this? I don’t know, probably. But it’s kind of funny. And finally, how I dry my own clothes.


19 Sep

Warning: This post contains high quantities of knitting and wool. If this is not your thing, go find your own cup of tea, yeah?

The weather this past weekend was excellent for knitting: dreary, cold and damp, with occasional downpours and cracks of lightning. Very impressive on the part of Mother Nature, especially since all I wanted to do was curl up with a cup of tea (thanks, Stephanie!) and “The History of Rome” podcast. Thanks to enforced slothfulness and a meeting of the Chengdu Ravelry knitters club (hi guys!), I finished my first real knitting project. Well, half of my first real knitting project.

This is the super lovely Charade pattern from Ravelry. (Link leads to a restricted site, but registration is free and I highly recommend it if you want new patterns. I’m metaneira on there.) The pattern is very easy for beginners and not too hard to decipher. I deviated from the pattern in a few places, but mostly in the toe. The original pattern went mildly wonky and not at all suited for my ginormous big toe. It was kind of weird looking, so I frogged it and went looking for something a little more reinforced, to stave off the inevitable holes.

I found the Nutkin pattern, also on Ravelry, and figured it couldn’t hurt to try. I also gave myself an extra three knit-purl rounds in order to accommodate my aforementioned big toe. This time, it worked like a charm. Also, cool thing, I hooked my phone SD card up to the computer and could load the pattern PDF onto it. Now I don’t have to print the darn thing out or spend an hour scribbling out incomprehensible gibberish onto whatever I have handy. Cool, huh?

This wool is a superfine merino bought from the lovely ladies at the Knitting Cove in Port Jefferson, NY. If you’re in the area, check ’em out, they’ve got great stuff. I love the variegated reds and pinks. It’s very cheery, although, I’d probably pick a slightly sturdier wool for socks next time. It feels a little thin for someone as, uh, unkind to her socks as I am. I used up about ¾ of a large skein on this first sock, but not to worry, I bought two! Yay for thinking ahead!

I feel really pleased about finishing this sock. Sometimes, my projects tend to go a little off, like the hat for a giant, or the sock that would have barely fit a child, let alone me. This sock took me about two months? Yeah, that sounds right. On the other hand, I frogged it like three times, due to hilarious mistakes. So, I figure the next one should go a little quicker, since I know what I’m doing now.

Yay for knitting!


14 Sep

SO, I was going to use this blog post to talk about my classes.  Unfortunately, due to a series of rather silly mistakes by myself and my professor, I still haven’t attended any classes yet. I’m going to a lecture tonight which should be interesting, though. Instead of talking about academics, let’s talk about why I love shopping in China.

First up, my shiny new cell phone.  I got this at the Trust-Mart, a Wal-Mart knock off that has been my saviour these past few weeks.  I’ve gotten ramen noodles, silverware, and other useful necessities there.  It’s a Samsung Galaxy Mini.  I realise this means very little to most people.  I’m just amused by the name.  Key features include a touch screen, music player, internet, GPS, and a Chinese-English Dictionary.  I love this thing with a passion.

I also refuse to say how much I paid for it, except that I wanted it, dammit, and it’s shiny.

Yesterday I found the local dvd stand.  Usually, it’s just a dude on the sidewalk with a couple of suitcases full of dvds in thin plastic sleeves, but here at Chuanda, he’s established enough to have a few permanent cases next to a bookshop.  I think it’s pretty telling that he’s set up over by where the foreign student dorms used to be.  Anyways, I was thumbing through and found the holy grail.  All six seasons of Supernatural.  I paid 36 kuai, which is roughly under 5 bucks.  Think about that, six seasons of dvds for five bucks.  I’m going back for the Doctor Who set when I’m done.  (Curiously, Supernatural is called something along the lines of “The Power of Evil” in Chinese.  Yeah, I dunno what they were thinking with that. Appropriate, but…)

I also bought myself a plant for the room.  It’s a cactus of some kind.  I was told by the store owner that they are nigh indestructable.  I am kind of waiting to prove her wrong.

Yes, I have already named it.  This is Scipio.  (As in Scipio Africanus, the Roman general who kicked Hannibal’s Carthaginian butt.)  Can you tell I’ve been listening to “The History of Rome” podcast when knitting, or what? He sits on my desk and looks pretty.

That’s mostly it on the cool things I’ve bought.  Likely, there will be a few installments of this, especially if I get anything totally awesome in the future.  That’s it for now, folks.

Moving In

2 Sep

I’m going to assume all of you know who I am. Introductions are so pedestrian, don’t you think?

I’ve been gone from the US for a week now. I think the worst of the jet-lag has passed, but this week was primarily spent inside, either sleeping or listlessly futzing around on the computer, after the excitement of last weekend. Thanks to the CSC, I’ve got a room at the study abroad dorms. My roommate hasn’t moved in yet.

This is my room.

 Yes, I haven't unpacked yet. Don't judge me, my roommate hasn't moved in and I haven't bought hangers yet.

Yeah, it’s not much. Very reminiscent of Shaoyuan 8. I’m at least thankful it came with bedding. Supposedly, there’s a cleaning service but I haven’t seen it. I still need to scrub down the bathroom, but I did buy a shower curtain today, so there’s that.

Domestics, I know. I’m not very interesting this week.