Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bureaucracy, Bullshit, Bonding

So, I haven't been making myself known in real-time for a while. Sorry about that, there's been a lot going on with school starting and all.

I have been going through some really awful bureaucratic/psychologically murderous stuff over these past few days. That is part of the reason I haven't been updating. Because everyone on the internet has a perfect life and I intend to uphold that facade. Nah, but I don't want this blog to turn into whining central (all my poor friends and family will have to bear with that part, sorry you guys!), so I'll talk about rough patches only once they've been cleared. Basically, just think a million forms, rude people, residual jetlag with a spoonful of loneliness and you're getting the picture.

For example, my form from the Swedish board for students' financial support is supposed to be filled in by the school. The people at the school told me to fill it in myself because they "didn't have time". (Me: ???????? >:(((((( ) I refused to leave and told them I didn't have all the required information, they should because they're the school, and guess who made some time? Persistence, grasshopper.

I was really, really upset the night everything seemed to be going wrong, but that rage gave me the steely motivation to get shit done the next day, and to some degree I actually managed. My advice to you all basically boils down to this:

Listen to Captain Shang, guys.

Later the same day I went questing for a stationery store on the lovely street Fuzhou Lu. The Foreign Language Bookstore is also located here, along with a gazillion shops selling paintings and calligraphy tools. I goggled like a fascinated tourist (who am I kidding?) as savvy Shanghainese hurried by.

Suddenly a Chinese girl came up to me and asked me where I was going, and if she could walk with me. Since I'm now slightly less stupid than before, I was wary of a scam, but if this girl is pulling a con on me, it's a real long one. We ended up walking together for a long time, talking in mixed English and Chinese about what it's like to be a student who's come alone to a new place with no family or friends -- she came to Shanghai a month ago from Dalian. Turns out we both like culture and reading (I guess those are the kind of people you get on Fuzhou Lu), and she showed me the location of Shanghai Grand Theatre. We exchanged phone numbers and decided we are going to go see a performance there at some point. 

How cool is that???

I consider myself a pretty introverted person. I'm not shy, but very careful about the people I choose to approach or deepen my relationships with. And all of a sudden I spontaneously made a friend.

Oh, and she went with me back to the stationery store so I could do my shopping. (Shout-out to Nico who wanted to see!)


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