Have I really been here this long?
Sunday July 13. We do the final packing up an Simon comes at 11. Katie is surprisingly emotional, saying goodbye to each room in the apartment and kissing her favorite pink, plastic chopsticks goodbye. I am really surprised she is feeling so sad. I guess this adventure made a deeper impression on me than I gave her credit for. Stephen and Simon fit in his car with all the luggage. Katie and I take a cab, and we meet at
Monday I work all day cutting up Kashgar audio for a geo quiz for the World. The
Tuesday do a final clean out of the apartment. Sue and Dave help me get my stuff out the front door and then I walk to the West Gate for the final time. I am not shedding a tear. I am sorry this university relationship was less than ideal. I really wished I had had better luck getting involved. As a final postscript, I had asked about a month ago to meet the Dean of Journalism before I left. On Saturday, I get a phone text message from Mercy- I can’t meet the Dean but another professor is happy to meet me Sunday at , precisely when I am downtown sending Stephen off to the airport. Way too little, way too late.
I arrive at
Weds go to NBC and I am the first person there. No one seems to show up until or later. I help log some tapes and Adrienne, the senior bureau producer, shows me how to capture segments of tape to feed to
Thurs I go into NBC, and the feeding system that I mastered yesterday is not working today. The tape freezes and cannot be sent to
Friday, I wake up to make sure all the tape was sent, and instead there is an email from Joyce saying “take a deep breath”, but the story I spend a kazillion hours recording, logging, writing, and feeding is DEAD. They already had a similar story in house. I am about ready to pass out. So I go back to bed, and an hour later, fuming, send an angry email to Joyce. She assures me I will be paid in full, that it was a communication breakdown and she is very sorry. I calm down a tad, and move on with my day. But I am so sorry my Kashgar tape will not be heard.
Go to NBC and happily log some tape and work with producer on her story on pollution and health effects. I finish two weeks of the blog and head to bed, missing a party that
Saturday, I head out in the morning to gather more for the Sounds of Beijing, story for Only a Game. I head to the Ghost/ Dirt market at Panjujian that I have heard so much about. I wish I had gone there earlier, a really interesting collection of junk not found at the other markets. From there I head to a construction site to get some tape. At , Elizabeth has invited me to the premier of her friend’s film, “My Beijing Movie”, a film about a New Yorker who came to Beijing 12 years ago to learn Chinese comedy, Xiangsheng, or cross-talk (kind of like ‘whose on first’ routines). He took he comedy class with little kids, and now twelve years later comes back to see what they are up to. It is a great little film. See it if it gets released in the
I am feeling better about the decision to stay on. It has been productive and interesting.