Maria Holland

Fake Tuesday

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm

I tried to turn off my lights twice last night before going to bed, but it turned out the light streaming in was coming from the rising sun.  Oops.  How irresponsible of me – that sort of stuff may fly on any other Saturday night, but it was fake-Monday and I had class today, fake-Tuesday. 

I nearly canceled lunch plans with XuLei but managed to get out of bed by 11 so we could get delicious malatang soup.  Then I had listening class – and oral class, but I skipped because I can’t be a real good student on fake Tuesday.  Listening class was worth going to, though, because we watched a cartoon about the origins of the Dragon Boat Festival, the holiday that is messing up our weekend. 

In a nutshell: There was a lazy/corrupt king and a wise man who advised him to join with another kingdom in order to avoid being conquered.  After the king sent him into exile, the wise man saw how difficult things were for the common people and, overwhelmed by his inability to do anything about it, jumped off a cliff into the ocean.  The common people were moved by his suicide, rowed boats out to the site where he went under and threw food into the water to feed him and to keep the fish from eating his body.  Later, he appeared to a man in a dream.  The man noticed that he was very thin, and asked if they weren’t throwing in enough food.  The wise man told him that the fish were eating the food before he could get to it, so they decided to wrap it up in bamboo leaves before throwing it into the ocean.  Thus the holiday began, with 粽子 and boat races as it’s distinctive marks, began.

Interesting no?  I don’t think such a holiday, based as it is on a suicide, would fly in America.  We have all sorts of honors reserved for those who are killed in pursuit of the greater good (from war to self defense to assassinations), but the line pretty much stops before suicide.  I can’t see his death as anything but a meaningless cop-out, both an admission of defeat to the trials of everyday life and an ineffective protest to failed to effect change and didn’t even really attempt to do so.  Also, it just seems to add insult to injury that his death, brought about by his sadness over the conditions of the working people, probably made their lives worse when they started throwing food into the ocean.  Way to go, dude. 


Instead of going to oral class, I went to the movies with Aleid and a visiting friend of hers.  We watched Prince of Persia and followed that up with Arabic food from the Uighur men.  There are a bunch of movies out or coming out that I want to see, which is good because I have basically no plans for the fake three-day weekend that starts tomorrow. 

The movie was good, but I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t had a killer headache.  I’ve had a headache continually for the last several days, probably because of the weather.  It’s not hot, but it’s been rainy off and on and the humidity hasn’t dropped below 90% in days.  This makes it hard to tell if I’m sweating, getting rained on, or if water vapor is spontaneously condensing on my skin.  I waver between hot and cold every four minutes; it’s uncomfortable to the point that I’ve had trouble sleeping! 


I didn’t watch a soccer game tonight, although I did do a bit of trash-talking with Kristina ahead of the US-Slovenia game on Friday.  I also heard that there are actual concerns about the health of our goalkeeper, Tim Howard – as in, there’s talk of broken ribs.  I feel kind of bad now, because I was telling my dad last night how silly footballers are when they’re dramatic about injuries.  It’s just that most of them cry wolf, and it causes me to doubt them all.  I wonder if this is one reason why soccer isn’t popular in America – an athlete with the ability to feel pain is about as well-loved as someone who kills himself.

  1. Yea – I think you laid it on a little thick about the fake injuries — especially for a girl who biggest athletic achievement is running in a sack race! But Tim forgives you…I just talked to him from his hospital bed and he sends you his best. Beat Slovenia!

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