Tuesday 8 November 2011

7:00 AM – I have breakfast in the dining hall.

8:30 AM – For class today I bring ink, a water pot, an ink brush (small), a small porcelain bowl for ink, and a bottle of water to use on my desk.

1:00 PM – After class I go to the office to pay for my tuition [8,840 RMB] and for the dorm room [3,600 RMB], altogether $1,972.56. I’ve been carrying this amount of cash around with me in my fanny pack so I’m glad to be relieved of it.

2:00 PM – The college registration fee was $95.13, to be paid in advance. Rather than try to find a way to transfer the money from Portland, Wang Gongyi suggested that her friend and former student Tian Long, who works at an art gallery in Hangzhou pay it for me. So today I take a taxi ($1.72 for 2.3 km) to the outskirts of town and the Kogo Art Space gallery to repay him. He speaks good English and shows me around the gallery, which has an exhibition of contemporary artists in a somewhat rundown space. After I reimburse him he insists on taking the bus with me back from the gallery to the college. He points out that it is cheaper and easier than a taxi and, since I haven’t been on a bus yet, I accept. He tells his co-worker that he will be back soon and we walk out to the bus stop where we chat for a few minutes while we wait for the bus. The fare is fifteen cents and the bus is nearly empty when we get on. We both get off the bus right in front of the college and we say goodby as he heads back to the bus stop across the street for his return to the gallery.

[After I get back to my room I walk to the nearby Meishujiahualang art supply store to buy a large and small round tamping brush for use in seal rubbings, ink for calligraphy, a small brush for seals, a brush washing bowl, a wide wash brush for painting, and a tamping brush for mounting ($25.68). Across the street is another Muslim restaurant which someone had told me is better than the other one I regretted going into previously so I decide to give it another try and order a plate of round noodles with mutton and onions and a bowl of soup ($2.85). The food is very good and the small restaurant is full of Muslim men. After taking the art supplies back to my room I set out again to explore and find a small art store further down Nanshan Road and buy a full set of cheap seal carving knives in a box for $6.97.]

I walk to the Wushanhuaniao[c]hen Bird and Flower Market with Stone Market, 198 Kaixuan Road, Wushan Square, near Hefang Street. Right off the escalator is the Jiangshi Yuan, a seal stone shop recommended to me by one of the other students.

In the evening I go to Ming Town Cafe to use their wifi and order fruit tea (black tea with chunks of apple, orange, and other fruit) and some very good cheese toast ($7.92). A few feet away a couple of American guys are drinking beer out of the bottle and playing pool. American Jazz music is playing in the background. I suppose this is modern China.