小北的不老歌

Monthly Archive: February 2010

恍若隔世

回国不到三周,在美国的那些日子已然恍若隔世,没有太多留恋,更多的是期待。

大概还在蜜月期,好像除了觉得包括房子在内的各种东西价格比心理价位要高以外,暂时还没有什么不适应的。其实是一个心态问题。已经有好几次被人问:都出国那么长时间了还回来干什么?不知有没有“是不是混不下去了才跑回来”的弦外之音。我想,我在国外还是能混的,也没觉着给那什么什么的丢脸,但会游泳的就一定要一直泡在水里么?

然而南京市敬爱的警察阿姨却不这么认为,非要假定我已经在国外定居,一定要我出示两年前在美国从学生签证转为工作签证的美国移民局文件才给我上户口办身份证。于是,一个中国公民在中国的土地上得出具美国政府的文件才能落户才能拥有自己的中国身份证,也算是奇闻一件。而国家一方面说欢迎留学生回国,但回来以后国家要怀疑你,程序上假定你一定是在国外定居了,非要自己国家的公民来举证没有别的国家的户口,也是非常具讽刺意味的。

回国前萍儿说,以后不能总用国内的短处比国外的长处,应该多反过来想想。深以为然。

DSCF0100
肉食动物的新发现

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另:如果有朋友遇到过类似情况有办理的经验,请不吝指点一下。

Work Begins

I mean, began a couple days ago. As usual, what I do at work is entirely off-limits to this blog, but there’s always something to write about outside of work, or at least that’s the hope.

So it’s past midnight here in Beijing and I’ve just finished what I wanted to get done for the day and am getting settled into my new office. Compared to my old office in NY, it’s bigger, has newer furniture, plenty of shelf space, and no officemate (though this last point oddly isn’t as much a plus as I thought).

For a few days in a row now I would go home for a quick bite at night and go for a walk outside with Ping to sample all the things Beijing has to offer after nightfall, or just admire the glitter. On one of the walks Ping said that she’s really happy that we came back, so that we can enjoy, among many other things, a late night walk hand-in-hand, side-by-side, worry-free, after a long day’s work.

I couldn’t agree more. And I was even happier when we found a decent place nearby that offers 5 yuan breakfast and 10 yuan meals and is open 24 hours.

Beijing Impressions

Huge. Beijing is huge. Even the CBD area seems huge. Despite the massive skyscrapers there still seems to be plenty of open space, unlike in Manhattan where sunshine on the ground is a rarity unless the street is perfectly aligned with the direction of the sun.

Expensive. Not as much as New York overall, but certain items are as expensive or even more expensive. My rent is about 1/3 what I used to pay in NY, for an apartment that sells for about the same as what my old apartment in NY would sell for. But there are certain things that seem to be double what I am used to paying in the U.S. Overall my preliminary estimate is that 400k rmb per year after tax is what it takes for a family of 4 to live comfortably in Beijing in a rented apartment with no luxury purchases and still have just a bit of money put away as savings, but whether that turns out to be true remains to be seen.

北京

上一次到北京还是两千年的时候,千禧年午夜和萍儿在某辆出租车里听广播里的主持人倒数计时,听见零点时相视一笑互祝新年快乐。

今晚的火车,又要去北京了。不知这次能住多久,是不是还像以前一样喜欢这个深厚大气的城市。

论剑

如果说开车是过招的话,那各地的出租车司机一定是武林高手,还是能将一柄古旧钝剑舞得飘逸灵动收发自如的那种。

桑塔纳两千和捷达似乎是我出国那会儿的主力出租车型,现在好像还是,十来年的光景好像对除了避震以外的车况没有太大的影响,油门依然十分灵敏,能让乘客体会到充分的推背感;刹车也总能在眼看要亲密接触的时候剑走偏锋化险为夷。当然,在艺高人胆大的高手手中,再老再钝的剑也是利器:跨越黄线逆行超车那是入门功夫,超正在逆行超车的车才是登堂入室的本事;在人行横道一曲清笛逼退几个行人也不过是雕虫小技,在十字路口眼看行人如织而红灯将至还能左躲右闪毫发无损地在红灯的一刹那实现空间穿越那才是真功夫。

当然,在走路的时候,看见高手远远地长啸而来,是一定要退让的。于是,这几天的脚底轻功长进不少。本以为自己好歹也练了十来年的功夫,相比之下才知道其实是跳了十来年的健美操而已。

跨越太平洋的牙痛

上飞机前几天开始牙痛。一开始不太疼,到临行前一天开始爆发,受不了了于是临时在机场租了辆车去看牙医。美国的牙医很仔细地做了检查,然后拍了X光,认真研究后宣布不是智齿没有蛀牙也没有外部损伤,是疑难病例,他无能为力,要约专家会诊。无奈,求他开了点青霉素,再翻出大概是萍儿剖腹产时候留下的止疼片,上了飞机,谨遵医嘱,隔几个小时吃几片,还是疼。

到了上海以后直奔南京,去办理户口未果,出门看见南京市口腔医院,于是想如果能把牙痛给解决了也不算白跑一趟。市医院的医生也做了口腔检查,也拍了X光片,研究后也宣布不是智齿没有蛀牙也没有外部损伤,也说情况不明,吃几天阿莫西林看看。

那天下午牙疼得实在厉害,遂去江苏省口腔医院看专家门诊。省医院的专家也做了口腔检查,也拍了X光片,研究后也宣布不是智齿没有蛀牙也没有外部损伤,也说情况不明,吃几天阿莫西林看看。

然后回到江浙交界的老家镇子上过年,连吃了几天消炎药一点用都没有,止痛片的功效也是飘忽不定。不知能不能坚持到年后到北京去看中华人民共和国口腔医院。

某天吃饭时和姑父们提起牙痛的事情,他们很不以为然地说这里牙痛都没有拍X光片的,去镇上的牙防所让医生用刀划开牙床放点脓然后吃点消炎药再含点西洋参片就好了,还有云南白药牙膏也又特效。

从没听说有用西洋参治牙病的,也对镇上的牙防所不甚了解,但牙痛实在难捱,方圆几十里也没有大型医院,抱着实在不行就让牙防所打上麻药把牙拔了的想法,去了牙防所。

对于一个富裕程度在全国数一数二的镇子来说,这里的牙防所的设施还是很不配套的。牙医椅已经看不清原本的颜色了,坐垫上破的口子看来历史久远,里面露出的海绵都变成了棕黑色,不锈钢器械细看也都是锈迹斑斑,一共两个牙医,其中一个倚着桌子在吞云吐雾,另一个医生顶着一头油腻的乱发,命令我坐到椅子里。他果然对拍X光片一事非常不屑,连我带去的现成的X光片都不要看,用探针在牙床上戳了几下,非常不耐烦地说你这个都还没有熟透怎么就来了,你叫我怎么给你挤脓,回去吃消炎药去。

我已经没有在这里拔牙的想法了。于是告诉他已经在吃消炎药。

“那就吃点别的消炎药嘛。” 他开了两种其他的消炎药,说两种都要吃。

从牙防所出来,又去姑父那里拿了点西洋参和白药牙膏。按时按量吃新的消炎药,西洋参片敷在牙床痛的地方,每天再用白药牙膏刷牙。

敷参片的地方很快就不怎么痛了,一天以后,疼痛渐轻,两天以后,这个两国三院的医生都束手无策的牙痛,就非常神奇地在一个在被萍儿戏称为江湖郎中的牙防所医生和两个非医生的姑父手中,被整治得全无踪影了。

Strange but True

Anna made up a new story after her trip on the train, “I went to potty on the train. I thought there was no toilet but actually the toilet was in the ground. How very strange but true!”

Traveling on the high speed rail is quite an experience. Sustained speed at 200 km/h is probably the fastest I’ve traveled on the ground. But we also had to fight our way through dozens of other eager and exhausted travelers to board the train, with two kids, four bags and a stroller. I must have yelled at, elbowed or pushed various people (and used my fullsize luggage as a defense against similar infractions) at various times but miraculously everyone made it onboard during the minute or so when the train was at the station. And then everyone happily went about their own business as if the struggle never happened.

I actually don’t mind any of this. I think this is kind of fun. How very strange, but true.

爸王龙

小南还是很迷恋恐龙,还总结出了肉食恐龙和植食恐龙体型上的区别。

问:你看爸爸是植食的还是肉食的?
打量一下,答曰:肉食。
为什么呢?
你是大头短脖子。

P1060023
大头短脖子

P1060024
小头长脖子

卖车

大学毕业时候买的小本田基本毫发无损地开了九年十二万英里,小毛小病时常有些,大的如油门收不住刹车踩不下之类的丰田问题侥幸还没有过。下午开出去到汽车经销商那里准备把车卖了。

一直都很期待卖车的一刻,一方面是寻找点出发前破釜沉舟(车)的感觉,一方面是美国买卖东西多是一口价,汽车是为数不多的例外之一。回国侃价的场合恐怕要多很多,所以可以预先拿老美车行的伙计来演练一下套路。

车行的伙计很老练地绕车一圈,在小本上刷刷地记了些东西,然后开车绕场一周,下车来说:你要多少钱吧。

网上看来我这旧车估计值两千四左右,于是很诚实地报出价格两千四。

“天啊,我还要不要赚钱啦。我最多给一千块。”

几个回合以后,敲定一千八,三天后交车。

我很亢奋地开着车回家,路上想,很久没有侃价了,还好没有大败而归,只比网上的估价少了几百块而已。等回到车库把车停稳,开始想是不是应该开口报个三五千的,于是猜想那个伙计大概在得意地笑啊得意地笑。

另外算了笔账:回国买车假设三十万人民币,就算能用满十年,一年也要三万块,加上油钱停车费保险和各种税费,平均一天一百多,恐怕每天打车都够了。那这车是买还是不买呢?