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Day 15

Another slow day.  My boss was in a meeting for the morning, so I just sort of hung around, not doing much again. I was really frustrated so I sent her an email letter her know I was feeling useless with nothing to do. Around noon, one of the other ladies in the office (I forgot her name, but she was the one that showed me where to get lunch on my first day at the office) was like “Kate! Come! We eat!” and I had no idea what she was talking about. Turns out there was a staff lunch at a restaurant down the street, a welcome/farewell thing they do each month for the people that join and/or leave the office. It was a Yunnan restaurant, which is one of the areas in China known for spicy food. We went into a room with a big table with a giant lazy susan sort of thing, with about a dozen dishes of food on it. No one else was in there, so we sat down and dug in. She explained what everything was, and even tried to convince me to eat the fish heads, which are apparently “the best part.” She asked what we did with the heads in the US (I think knowing what my answer would be) and I said we hardly ever eat fish whole like this, and that the chefs normally nicely filet and it and take all the bones out for us. She laughed, and helped me get a piece, not from the head. Some of the dishes were really good, like these cucumbers in some kind of sauce with peanuts, green beans with garlic, potatoes in a sauce, and some chopped up veggies that looked like cilantro or something. Needless to say, eating is still an adventure, and I really never know what I’m getting. One of the reasons i’m avoid meat, that plus all the crazy things they do to meat (passing off rat as mutton, pumping the meat full of chemicals, etc).

After lunch, I went back to the office and was able to sit down with my boss. She apologized for being so busy the last two weeks, and said she will look over the things I’ve turned in to her and we will sit down and go over them all next week. She seems disappointed that I don’t know how to do all the things the last intern did, but in my defense, I am a 2L and the last intern was an LLM with previous experience as a lawyer, so I’m not sure what my boss was expecting. Its a little disappointing to have her say she feels frustrated that she has to take time to teach me how to do things, things which I’m pretty sure most people don’t learn in law school. Theres obviously not much I can do to change that, but hopefully next week will be better. She also told me she is leaving for a three week business trip next month, so it will be even more interesting to be entirely on my own for three weeks while she’s gone. Again, this is definitely not how I expected to be spending my summer, but I’m a little far in now to ask for a do-over.

I spent the rest of the afternoon doing more of the same: nothing. I read up a little on the various Greenpeace campaigns and their publications and stuff (most of which I have already looked over), then dove into the new Five Year Plan for China. While I do have a background in international law, I have to admit, I know nothing about Chinese law. I was totally shocked (I’m not sure why really) when I found out that every 10 years, the government makes a big announcement and tells the people who their new President and government will be. Blame it on growing up in a democracy, but I just figured people would at least have some input into deciding who would be making decisions that effect their life. Anyway, the Five Year Plan I guess is basically just a outline of what the government plans to accomplish in the next five years (hence the name). I think it was partially a poor translation, but it was full of all kinds of contradictory statements and things that just don’t make any sense. I only got about half way through it, but I had to stop a few times to do a little more research about what exactly it was, because it was super confusing. At least with all this free time, maybe I can learn a little more about Chinese Law… and find a good apartment in St. Pete (FL, not Russia, like google wants) while I’m at it too.

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