Sunday, October 17, 2010

First post

Everything about this blog screams cliche to my mind, so I thought that at the very least I could continue the tradition and title my first post 'First post' and follow the mass of bloggers before me. This blog, like that of many other people's blogs, is a place for me to write down thoughts that I have, hence the astonishingly cliched title 'Thoughts about Things'. On the topic of things I do indeed have many thoughts. I even chose the background with the specific idea of "Hey books! I may have read some of those books, or at least thought about reading them, which is nearly the same thing if you think about it for a little while and then dismiss the thought entirely".

Currently I am situated in the Pinggu District of Beijing, China, which is about an hour (30 miles) away from the city center. There are many people here, but I can go days without speaking English to someone and my Chinese is an awful mess, so I tend to do plenty of thinking.

One stereotype of idea that people have about China is that they really like fireworks. This may be the most accurate stereotype of all. There are fireworks being set off here at all times for all reasons. Every morning there are tremendous booms starting from about 8 a.m. for reasons that I am yet to determine, though in my days off I certainly wish to eliminate that which is being celebrated. There are two distinct "flavors" of fireworks that I hear. First, there is the classic loud BOOM type of firework. This is more prominent. However, they also shoot off those kind that give a lingering crackling sound en mass, and the crackling sound can persist for a minute at a time. That is super annoying while trying to sleep. The fireworks continue throughout the day and usually between 8 and 10 p.m. the last round goes off. I asked the woman who occasionally helps me out at the school why there are so many fireworks and she said "Are there? Maybe somebody got married?". I also asked a few of my classes in the morning about the abundance of early morning fireworks and most of them asked me "what fireworks?", as if they hadn't even noticed. This brought to mind a few thoughts. First, clearly this has happened for long enough that the Chinese people don't even notice that there are fireworks any longer, perhaps it is a natural occurrence, something that the land spouts out now and again from some natural source. A more logical example comes from the neuroscientist in me. Clearly they are a perfect example of adaption. Should one receive a constant stimulus for an extended period of time one will become adapted to it and may no longer even notice said stimulus. A good example would be your clothes. Clearly you don't feel your clothes all day, that would drive you insane. I feel that the fireworks probably are another example of this property. Secondly, regarding the answer "maybe somebody got married?", WHO IS GETTING MARRIED AT 8 AM? A note to all those who would want me to attend your wedding, if you get married at 8 a.m. I am answering "sorry no" when I receive the invitation.


  1. It's 5:00 AM and I am about to get married.

  2. you can have these fireworks i confiscated. some chinese people claimed they were celebrating new years in february

  3. "First Post," "Second Post": At least you know the title before you get going.

    Journalism classes blanche. They teach in journalism school that headlines should give away the content of the story and entice the reader in.

    Writing a blog is good therapy, except, not for people who really need therapy. Welcome to blogworld.