what an interesting week.
where to start. i guess the 1st thing to say is that i am finding access to internet 'tricky' it seems to be everywhere, but i don't have a laptop to connect and a computer with english language installed is problematic.
i have been mostly living in a glass slumping factory, monitoring a 2m x 4m kiln (it's freakin enormous!) which we are annealing all the glass in. the factory is (unexpectedly) dirty, and itially seems chaotic, but there is a different pace here and the working methods are similar, but seem less organised. the OH&S is (as expected) minimal, or none existant, with the workiers seemingly unaware of the dangers they are placing themselves in ( in terms of the gunk they are breathing in, and the handling of materials).
i am sending this from the 'tiffany lighting company' which is a copper foil, 'stained glass' factory. they are a happy go lucky bunch of workers who have sheepishly mastered 'hullo!' and 'good morning!'
erm. theres a squillion pictures and tapes of footage that i've taken, but transfering them on this pc is again problematic, so... plain text till i solve this isuue.
food - heh. we all know the fussy eater i am, and white rice ("fun") seems the solution, there's bowls of it aplenty, and i am eating a large quantity of bean and potato dishes - which are bathed in garlic, butter and chilli. i am just avoiding meat, frankly it's highly dubious, so i'm stuck being a vego. who'd have ever known ;) there is heaps of food however, and we often joke about how the pig will eat well tonight, it's not uncommon to order 5 dishes for 3 people and only eat half. i am stunned at the waste, but then there seems to be this undercurrent of wastefulness here in general.
traffic - woah. i'm under the assumtion there's rules. and it seems to flow, but, erm, going round a courner and finding the road blocked by 2 oncoming trucks, 2 motorbikes and multiple pedestrians - all oncoming - can often be daunting, but the local drivers just beep the horn ( a lot) and continue on. sometimes they even slow down. 125cc motorcycles are everywhere. everywhere, and it's not uncommon for 2-4 people to be sharing one bike - let alone overloading it with giant loads (or unkown _stuff_)
people - i am amazed. initally they all seem to wear these stern expressions, and be very serious, but i am forging on an flashing my cheery grin at everyone, to then be greeted with flashy smiles in return. i get the feeling most people here are pretty happy with their lives.
however, amongst all my complaints about not being a minority group at home (male and middle class white) here everyone stares. all the time. kids, drivers , people on bikes, everyone. it is highly rare to see a white person and it seem like a 6 foot, larger build, western individual is just plain unique. i have already been told that i look like a wwf wrestler (so big and having long hair), and the packs of teenage girls giggle openly and then all practice 'hello!' on me. it's kinda cute, but i'm begining to tire of the attention.
communication - heh heh heh. grunts, pointing and lots of hand gestures. i have actually found if i say things in english and hand gesture, they then repeat it in chinese (mandarin mostly) and that seems to work. I also have a singaporean artist with me, Lu-fang, she's super awesome at translation, which has saved me a few times now. most helpful. she leaves 2morrow though, but got me started, as i have been tasked by Jane, then left to do the job. she takes off 2moz tho, so we'll see how i go on my own.
the plan for the next week (cut and paste from an email i recieved just then!)
16 Dec Jane fly to Singapore
Lu Fang fly to Singapore
Sui do last day of this batch of annealing of dragon (by self)
17 Dec Jane fly back from Singapore
Sui with stained glass to check and take photo/video of production (by self)
18 Dec Jane do metal colouring at Zhong Shan (maybe Sui is with Jane to assist in the colouring... TBC)
Sui finish at annealing factory and bring all back (need driver to assist)
19 Dec Jane do colour selection at resin factory, Sui to assist
20 Dec Jane and Sui at hot glass production to do Amber dragon casting
21 Dec ??
well that's it folks! its fun, scary, exciting, frightening, adventurous, and thrilling.
i'm sleeping fitfully (the matress in the hotel is _firm_ (hard)), and a little tired, missing home - it's just so 'safe' in canberra, and, yeah...
pictures when i can