August 10, 2004

Characters and Packing

Dark lacquered wood.

I've studied about 200 Chinese characters. I think I have memorized about 90-100 now. The thing is, out of all these characters, I didn't already know the meaning of about 20. Hopefully this is the typical rate of not-knowing. I would like to have 500 hundred memorized by September.

I realized I should also start packing. I don't know what I am willing to leave behind. Being in Shanghai will really be a transplant: a wholly new setting, my cousin's furniture, and different scents. (I was sheet shopping with my mom this morning, and I was already starting to feel nostalgic for my sheets. I will miss my bed when I'm in China.) I was thinking about which shoes to bring. Honestly, how am I going to chose a few good shoes out of ... I'm not willing to give the number ... it's like picking children. I feel the same kind of affection towards my clothing. And perfumes. And I always want to bring all of the really heavy stuff, like my coats. I must be resigned to the fact I will have to buy clothes in China.

But, even more so towards my books. SIGH. Luckily, the sheer weight of books forces me to cut myself off from attachments. It's interesting to start seeing your books' value as a ratio of (content+function)/weight. (This formula rules out almost ALL art books, and anything by Koolhaas ... ie Project on the City 2 and SMLXL ... utterly). Also, NO novels, magazines, or comic books.

I've a tentative list of books to bring and their purpose:

Building Construction (Ching, Adams) - practicality
Fundamentals of Building Construction (Allen) - practicality
GA Houses #64 and #71 - familiarity
The Little Prince (Saint-Exupery) - philosophy
Writing: Urban Calligraphy (Die Gestalten Verlag) - aesthetic study
The Photo Book (Taschen) - aesthetic study
Elements of Style (Strunk and White) - writing
The Onion: Our Dumb Century - all-purpose humor

Should I add, should I cut?

1 comment:

bruce said...

cut out the little prince, you should know that by heart.