There are certain things that I have learned lately. Some of these things I knew and they were just made more real for me, and others are things I just flat out couldn't even imagine. First of all, I now know the immense benefit that can come from using an iPod in China. I've spent a year and a half in China, and never before have I had the pleasure of walking around with music playing straight into my ears, effectively neutralizing most of the sounds around me. I've seen others with mp3 players and iPods and whatnot, but I've gotten along fine up to this point without one. Well, now that I've acquired my own, I think that the percentage of time spent in town that I find enjoyable will greatly increase. It's amazing the difference some music can make in your life. Amazing.
The other thing that I've learned is something that I still don't understand. I don't understand, Derek and Angelyn don't understand it, and Chinese people don't even understand it. I'm talking about the corrective lenses industry here in China. Not so much the production of the lens itself, as the testing for and purchase of the lens at the store. You see, Angelyn went to buy new glasses the other day. While being tested for her prescription, she was asked a very key question. It basically came down to this: "When you look at things, do you want them to be clear, a little fuzzy, or do you just want to know that something is there?" Apparently there are different levels of clarity here in China. If you want to drive, you need the first or second clarity. But the third level of fuzziness... I mean clarity... is sufficient for daily life. That's why most Chinese people go with the third. When asked which level she has, our Chinese friend Janis told us that she has the third. Why didn't Janis get lenses that make things clearer? Does it cost more? No. Does it take longer to make the glasses? No. Is it made from lower quality material? No. Is it bad for your eyes? Who knows? Will your glasses self destruct after one month of wear? No. Then why not the clearest choice? Because "I don't drive, I don't need it." Yes, that's a real answer. Why, Janis?!? Why?!? I don't understand! She assured me that she doesn't understand it, either. According to our sources, most Chinese people can't see as clearly as they could, because they "don't need to." For the same price, same quality material, no danger to health or well being. I don't understand. But that's something I've learned about China this week. That I don't understand it. Luckily, neither do most Chinese people, so I'm not too worried.