Browsed, Budgeted … just not Bought

In the shadows of palms (Ko Wua Talap). ©Ryan McLaughlin 2004

I’ve spent most the time since I returned from work tonight browsing Web sites and crunching numbers to give myself a clearer picture of what to expect over the next couple months.

First up is to get some idea of when I’m actually going to leave Jinzhou. Vanessa arrives on the 23rd of August and my classes end on the 28th. So, I think we’ll leave first thing on the 29th to get in to Shanghai mid-day on the 30th (24h train ride). The other option is to take a plane, but it depends on the fiscal difference.

Vanessa flies out of Shanghai on September 2nd, so I guess I’ll take my leave of China then too and head to Thailand. The plan was to fly to Thailand for two weeks, return to Shanghai and get a return ticket Shanghai-Melbourne-Shanghai because I’ve been told it’s much easier to enter Australia with proof you’re actually leaving again. However, I’ve since realized that to re-enter China I need a visa, whereas if I just save myself a return trip to Shanghai I can fly from Thailand (return) and have my way out of Oz with no worries about visas.

As for how I’ll spend my time in Thailand, I think I’ll spend a few days with my friends in Bangkok, spend a week on a beach on Koh Chang (and island in the gulf) and then return to my friends for a couple days before departing towards the southern hemi.

All this planning has got me wanting it all to happen now. But well, for the time being I’m still in Jinzhou… and damn is it hot. The heat broke tonight a bit with some showers, but the humidity is enough to prune your brain. The worst part is that the school is as a disaster as ever. What was mass construction for the last few months is now a constant and unbiding battle with the A/C, or lack there of. The problems are being blamed on the building being wired to a different amount of wattage than is required – and lack of construction/electrical standards REALLY wouldn’t surprise me, but it all just seems a bit convoluted when I ask for an explanation. Though this could be passed off as a “language barrier” I think it’s got a lot more to do with those who should be fixing it having no idea how to fix it.

Well, I was supposed to meet Mandy online, but she’s been coerced into going to KTV with her friends, so I think I’ll put in a long over-due call to Vanessa and when I discover that she’s likely at work all day… I’ll sit down and finally watch a DVD Matt’s been telling me to watch for about a month.

Oh… watched the entire fourth season of The Shield this week… damn does that show kick ass. It kills me that I have no choice but to wait until 2006 (along with all the other fans) to see what happens next. I liked it much better when it was just a matter of waiting for someone to dub it onto DVD.

And for any bloggers, or would-be bloggers here in China… check this out:
Who Not To Blog With If You Want To Be Read In China

And happy birthday Sarah.

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