like a dog

There are lots of dogs that hang out on campus at Zhengda. They are a scruffy bunch of mostly yellow-haired mongrels, and they tend to congregate on the steps in front of the library, where they can soak up the sun. One of my favourite sights is that of a particularly smiley dog which tends to lay on its back with its paws drawn up, looking so adorable one wonders how he ever came to be homeless.

This evening it was dark and wet and the dogs were nowhere to be seen — except for this puppy. He stood just in front of the doors of the library, nose keenly pointing and eyes attentively watching the bright, dry lobby. I couldn’t resist him and had to give him a quick pat and touch his wet nose as I walked by…

He obviously knows better than to try and go inside any of the campus buildings. There are signs everywhere saying that stray dogs will be expelled but it seems they are tolerated as long as they know their place. There are also signs saying not to feed the dogs, cats or pigeons (which reminds me, there is an adorable ginger cat who I see at school most mornings, the kind with a really wide nose which gives him a bit of a "dude!" look — must take a picture of him one day!). It was in fact right below one of those signs that I stood one night, in the company of a couple of Taiwanese students, as we watched a yellow dog wearing a tatty bandana climb onto a bench, reach into the bin with one paw, pull out a discarded bento lunch, and rip the cardboard open before gulping down the leftover food. Watching a dog help itself to food is different from feeding a dog, right?

I am lei xiang gou yi yang (累像狗一樣 ﹣ tired as a dog) after a long day of studying, karaoke class, class-class, study, study, study, pompous email from James, study, yoga and then studying again until 11pm — I have discovered the 24 hour reading room and my student life will never be the same.

I am really getting quite fond of the Tuesday yoga teacher (the one who I loathed so much originally). In fact even outside of class, I think I am getting better at taking a breath and opening my mind to accepting people despite my initial prejudices… progress indeed.


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