2004.02.29 Beijing, China

Bad news: I can't study in Kashgar this term. I received a short note from the director of foreign admissions at the college there. It simply stated that my application "failed" and I might re-submit another by June should I wish to consider studying in September. He'd previously said that it wouldn't be a problem to register for this semester, though starting late, in mid-March. Now I really don't know what to expect. For what it's worth, I've heard that the application of another student from my summer Uighur course was also rejected.

My back-up--which isn't so bad--will be to study at Xinjiang University in Urumqi. Initially, I didn't want to study there as Urumqi doesn't have the history Kashgar has. However, X.U. is a much larger institution than Kashgar Teachers' College and will be better for the subjects I want to study. I can also live off-campus and get my own flat. So, it won't be bad to start out in Urumqi and--hopefully--transfer to Kashgar for the autumn term.

So, I fly on Wednesday to Urumqi. I'll miss some of the comforts of Beijing, though Urumqi seemed not nearly as dreary this past November as when I visited in previous years. May be even less so now. A branch of Carrefour just opened last week. That's the only place I've managed to find oregano so far in Beijing.

Last week I bought the wrong bottle of pop. What I thought I was buying was 健力宝 Jian Li Bao, an orange-honey beverage made in Guangdong. The drink I actually bought was The Fifth Season, made by the same company. No yummy honey taste. However, I thought the multi-lingual exultations of oranges on the label made it worthwhile:

We're big fans of the orange. We love the orange.
como nos gusta la naranja. somos los fans de la naranja