Friday 25 November 2011

7:30 AM – I have breakfast in the dining hall but arrive later than usual so I eat alone today:

  • congee with pumpkin
  • steamed bun with red pepper flakes, onion, and something else inside

8:30 AM – 408Today is the last day of class. I come with a list of unanswered questions I want to ask of Mo, so Miki acts as translator. I begin my first red-character (zhuwen) seal. Mo shows a few of us how to make small tampers and gives me one. There’s not much in the way of goodbys—I thank Mo, ask him if I can take a picture of him, and say goodby to the few students I have gotten to know. All of them will be together again for their next class starting on Monday.

12:30 PM – As a way of saying goodby and to celebrate the end of class, a few of us have lunch across the street—in the same restaurant I had eaten at previously with Wang Gongyi and Eva. The woman student from Switzerland, another from Korea, Miki, Tomomi, and a woman from Taiwan are all classmates together in other classes. They order several dishes, all excellent. My share is $6.75.

After lunch Miki, Tomomi, and I walk to the art market to buy seal ink as recommended by Mo. They have a store in mind to go to—one that Mo recommended on their first day in class, which turns out to be the same store that Wang Gongyi and I had been to previously to buy paper. I buy five small packets of seal ink recommended by the shop owner for $94.31. He tells me that the more I use the ink/seal paste the longer it will last. He refunds me $26.48 for overpayment for postage on my previous paper shipment and gives me the postal receipts.

6:30 PM – In the early evening I walk to Hefang Street and the Rhongbaozhai bookstore. I buy two books on seal script calligraphy recommended by Mo and books on the Qing dynasty seal artists Deng Shiru and Ding Jing, and one on modern seal artists ($39.64 total). Further down the street I go into the Copper/bronze museum/gallery. I stop in at a fan shop and buy one large fan, three smaller fans, and a pair of small fancy scissors ($55.49). In a chopsticks store I get two pairs of matching bone chopsticks in a box and a pair of metal collapsible chopsticks ($29.80). At another gift shop I buy various small souvenirs ($13.95) and end up at “A New Cafe Shop” bakery where I buy garlic bread, French cheese toast, and a Russian white, sweet mini-loaf ($2.48). It is dark when I leave Hefang Street on my way back to the dorm, and there are men flying kites with lights suspended from the strings.

When I get back to the dormitory I decide to skip dinner and instead eat the bakery bread in my room.

In the evening I go again to the Lavazza Coffe shop for watermelon juice and wifi ($4.75) and then to the nearby bakery for something for Saturday breakfast ($1.42).

It’s a cool but pleasant sunny day—good for walking with a coat on. The temperature is again 61 degrees F.