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September 22nd, 2006

1906 >> 2006

Racing Club de Strasbourg is currently sitting in fourth place within the French Ligue 2 and are only four points behind neighbors and league leaders Metz. Not bad for a club of limited means that lost almost all of their main players over the summer transfer window. With the club celebrating its centenary year it's everyone's hope - apart from a few sore losers in Sochaux and Nancy - that the main name of Alsatian football returns to the French elite after just a single season in 'purgatory'. The new maillot for this season looks very classy, but a price tag of 60 euros plus shipping may keep me from purchasing one for myself. Maybe it can be a present to myself if I finish the semester with high marks?

In other footballing news, playing twice a week with veterinary doctors is turning out to be a very painful experience. In the past month I've had someone stomp on my ankle wearing cleats, the ball has been kicked in my face with enough force to cut open the inside of my mouth and leave me bleeding for an hour straight, and I've been elbowed in the head so hard that my glasses were knocked off and bent out at a 45' angle. Fortunately they were my old pair and not the glasses Mimi bought for me in Daegu. If this keeps going I may lose an arm or leg before too long. But hey, at least I'm surrounded by doctors and vet students, right?

... click to enlarge ↓
centenaire blanc 070 yf

nî bù shì nánháizi ma?

For those of you wondering how Lorenzo has been since my last update the answer is - the same as always. As I walked into our classroom on Tuesday I saw a picture drawn on the whiteboard with German text underneath and heard a classmate talking about how dumb he feels from only speaking English and the limited Chinese that we've learned in class so far. Lorenzo's reply was that the only people who could understand more than one language were the international students in our class. Oh really? This ignores the fact that one girl spent a year taking intensive Korean language courses in Seoul and another girl is a graduate student in the Spanish department. The original speaker brought these examples up, but Lorenzo used his now-standard response to anything that might suggest he has no idea what he's talking about and uttered a "yeah, whatever" in return. Hmm. Where have I heard that one before?

In the past week he's also adamantly denied being male - a mistake in our conversation class that brought forth a few wry smiles - and tried to argue with Ms. Luo over the use of 24-hour time in China. Let's see ... a student who spent five weeks studying introductory Mandarin versus a teacher who is a native speaker of Chinese, has lived there for a large part of her life, and makes trips back on a regular basis. Who do you think is right? Apparently there's never a dull moment with Lorenzo around - even though it does make him an annoying nuisance.

sing, sing, sing with a swing (or salsa)

Another day and still no internet. Rumor has it that they're working on the problem, but unless the whole system suffered a critical meltdown I'm a little bemused at the length of this delay. As much as I love waking up one or two hours earlier than usual to do my online homework at the university it might be a little more convenient from the comfort of my own apartment.

Wendy is gone for the weekend and Min is out having dinner with her fellowship group, which leaves the apartment feeling more than a little empty. During the second week of classes Min persuaded me to join her for an American Social Dance class, and now our trips to the Moscow Social Club on Thursday nights are one of the highlights of my week. We've covered east coast swing and salsa in class, but also picked up the basics for lindy during yesterday's free lesson at the social club. Min is by far my favorite dance partner, although my inability to finish a 'yoke' with her might give her a different opinion about me (which she'll probably refute when she reads this).

She was asked to dance by a number of guys last night, but having her ask me for the lone salsa and our last dance of the evening - as well as my asking for a few dances in between - was enough to keep me smiling for the rest of the night. Which, in this case, lasted until three o'clock in the morning due to my editing a paper for Yuko and working on my own homework.

Last week a guy came to the social club wearing an Italian National Team shirt, leading me to whisper a comment to Min about how that was grounds for me to challenge him to a fight outside. Min said she'd cover my back, but nothing ever came of our scheme - although the guy did kick me later in the night while we were out on the dance floor with our partners. I'm sure he didn't mean it ... otherwise I'd have to send Patrick Vieira and Zinedine Zidane over to his house to share a few words. And maybe even Mr. T for good measure.