Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm On Fire.

I was meaning to move this blog to wordpress. But I didn't know its templates were not free-user-friendly until I set foot in wordpress. AND just when I was deeply in desperation and anguish(exaggeration alert!), I surprisingly found that Blogger released this Blogger Template Designer which perfectly meets my satisfaction. So I'm staying here at Blogger.^^ Speaking of free-user-friendliness, is it me or every Chinese would look for another way to do it if it's not free.

Google's Withdrawal is beyond my expectation but I'm not surprised. I suppose that it's the high time Beijing brought shame on Google though. Yet if we look on the bright side, Google didn't leave. It just moved to somewhere closed enough to be seen from Shenzhen. Not that I'm talking you into relocating to Hong Kong. But as long as you're not reconciled to be deprived of  basic civil rights, you'd find a way to the real Internet, even to the real world.

Since the GFW did its duty, many Chinese netizens can't access to many services online. If you're an old member on friendfeed, you'd feel the desolation there. Good thing that there are still some friendfeed addicts holding their ground and I'm one of them. So there me and other friendfeeders living in China commenced on this Chinese friendfeed Swaps thing. Below is my mock-up of friendfeed logo.^^

Chinese friendfeed Swaps

Luckily I was the first one to receive the swap box from K.D. which was the first one to send out this box in Shanghai. We chose ff-boy and Cao Ni Ma as the "Daevas" of this event.^^

Chinese friendfeed Swaps

Fowllowing is what K.D. put in the box. I like the twitter bookmarks!

Chinese friendfeed Swaps

Here's little gifts from me: little Maggie and chocolates.

Chinese friendfeed Swaps

Now I'm gonna ship it to Paul. Well, Paul is in Guangzhou. I don't need to ship it.^^

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Expats Don't Understand about Shenzhen?

I read this interesting report on Southern Metropolis Daily(2009-11-7). It covered 10 foreigners who already stayed in Shenzhen for some time. They encountered quite a few incomprehensible circumstances here and finally they couldn't help but bringing up many questions which even confused me. I picked out some questions and translated them into English.

Some of those questions somewhat show that they are lacking of common sense for living in China. Yet I have to admit that I feel confused in my city too. By Shenzhen, I reckon they actually mean China, because all these issues don't happen merely in Shenzhen but the whole country. People from outside of Shenzhen share the same characteristics, not to mention that most residents here are not native.

Sorry if this translation is rough, I did it within an hour.^^

Brad, American, 40, designer, here for 9 years
1. He doesn't understand why people drive without licences but with perfect assurance.

2. He doesn't understand why young people still throw plastic lunch boxes out of their car windows while there are so many environment-friendly texts in books.

3. He doesn't understand why he was asked about age, job and relationship status by total strangers even when he was on a bus.

4. He doesn't understand why people bought apartments and waited them to be revalued instead of moving in there.

5. He doesn't understand why students study hard in high school but totally unwind in college. Things are just opposite in America.

6. He doesn't understand why people are so clamorous in public. Europeans think Americans are loud, but comparing to people in Shenzhen, we're fairly quiet.

7. He doesn't understand why people often whine about the air condition in Shenzhen. It's much better than it in Hong Kong.

8. He doesn't understand why people are fond of getting some weird English names. Those names sound more like pizza shops or bistros.

Christian Buggelsheim, Austrian, 36, Hotel Manager, here for 3 years
1. He doesn't understand why business partners always drink Baijiu, nay, they tank it.

2. He doesn't understand why people fancy eating animals' organs. Everytime they ordered those spooky chicken paws, I got goose bumps.

3. He doesn't understand why Chinese can't understand his Mandarin. When he attended some social events with his girlfriend, he felt like an invisible person. They speaks too fast for me to catch up. Shenzhen is supposed to be international, but why I only found a few people here spoke fluent English.

4. He doesn't understand why there are few people in Shenzhen riding bikes. Isn't China a kingdom of bikes?

5. He doesn't understand why people in Shenzhen want to travel in Europe or America because Shenzhen seems perfect to him. This city becomes empty at holidays.

Frederic, French, 35, Executive Chef, here for 3 years
1. He doesn't understand why people can just drink or roll bones in a bar for hours.

2. He doesn't understand why there're so many bars in Shenzhen but only a few of them are worth going. Bars are full around 10 p.m.but get empty around 2 a.m..

3. He doesn't understand why people complain that "I paid that much but only got this little French food." Quantity plays a more important role here.

4. He doesn't understand why people go to a French restaurant but order American salad. They don't know "Bon Appetit" is French, do they?

5. He doesn't understand why chefs don't get enough respect in China. In Europe, chefs are appreciated as movie stars.

Daniel, American, 42, Electronic Industry, here for 2 years
1. He doesn't understand why people cough without covering their mounths and spit all the time.

2. He doesn't understand why women in Shenzhen are so realistic that they love you after knowing whether you own an apartment or a car.

3. He doesn't understand why some electric appliance are so expensive here. A toast machine costs you 9.9 dollars in America but costs 400 RMB here.

4. He doesn't understand why house price is so high here while rent so cheap.

5. He doesn't understand why can't he get clothes of his size, even when he choose the XXXL ones.

Mark, American, 59, Singer and English teacher, here for 10 years
1. He doesn't understand why foreigners in Shenzhen barely know Chinese culture or Chinese people.

2. He doesn't understand why some Chinese people say they don't love China.

3. He doesn't understand why "pig ears" can be food because he thinks they're nasty.

4. He doesn't understand why China changes so fast and is not easy to catch up with.

5. He doesn't understand why Chinese people put their family at the first place but he likes this value.

Karl, American, 40, professor, here for 3 months
1. He doesn't understand why the cable and the TV remotes ares so complicated.

2. He doesn't understand those English in textbooks is confusing and is like translated by machine.
3 He doesn't understand why children live with their parents and parents have to look after children's children.

Sun Seungkai, Korean, 32, Manager, here for 4 years
1. He doesn't understand why girls cover their beautiful legs with tights, even in Summer.

2. He doesn't understand why people don't like wearing hats, even if their hair is a mess, even they're bold. In Korea, almost everyone wear hats.

3. He doesn't understand why taxi drivers always argue with passengers.

Sakura Takumi, Japanese, 42, board chairman, here for 9 months
1. He doesn't understand why people randomly spit and litter.
2. He doesn't understand why people jump the red light and jump the queue

3. He doesn't understand why people are constantly late for anything and what's worse is, they tell you "I'll be there soon" but it still needs half an hour.

4. He doesn't understandwhy Shenzhe is near the sea but people are more fond of going to mountains.

5. He doesn't understand why people are socasual in public. "Everytime I went back to Japan, I felt stressed out because I was not allow to take phone calls on subway or bus, even with your earphone. But in Shenzhen, people talk on the phone even on formal occasions.

In addition, the following cartoon is from a Canadian. Let's see what he's trying to tell us.

1. There're many disabled people kotowing on the streets of downtown.

2. But they're just faking it.Their heads don't reach the ground. Their hair is long so it's hard to tell. And in fact, even they reach the ground, you can't hear anything either.

3. The main activity you can do is shopping, but what's odd is that there're only expensive name brands and high-class products. It's easy to get a 'Rolex' but it's very hard to get ordinary stuff.

4. It took me 3 days to find a knife in a supermarket.

Ringing a bell now?^^ hehe, It reminds me of another translation I post some time ago, "Chinese people? Incomprehensible!".  If you're also an expat in Shenzhen or in China, I'd like to know what do you find incomprehensible.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

just another post

My German friend came back with her kids for a week. I was so delighted to get to see them after six months. I guess I like her a lot because she knew much about Chinese conventions and somehow could read my Chinese mind. I don't know many Germans but I suppose Germans are meant to be travellers because al my German friends told me they didn't miss their country that much and enjoyed their current lives. Well, things could change a lot just within six months - the kids became distant to me because they spoke only German while my German was absolutely rookie. I felt so terrible that I couldn't make myself understood to them.

She was nice to bring me a gift from Germany. Well, other than that, she was meaning to be a matchmaker and tried to hook me up with this guy who used to be her doctor. See? She was half-Chinese. She brought this up for several times but I was not interested.

(That beautiful gift as I mentioned. It was said to be a beer mug.^^)
Gifts from Germany

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Feel Like Crying

I spent 10 days in last Summer holidays. It was the second time I visited there. I stayed at a couple's apartment and the guy's mother cooked for me. This lady had a very mild personality and I liked her a lot. Thanks to her, I didn't get serious homesick when I was in Beijing because she felt like a mom. She became a widow many years ago and raised up her son by her own. Her life was not easy. But her daughter-in-law was about to have a baby.

But very sadly, today I was told she had cancer and it was advanced. Her son just went back to their hometown to pick a cemetery with good Feng Shui. WHAT HAPPENED? My memory is still vivid, but things have already changed into the worst only half a year later? Just when her tear and sweat is about to pay off, she is leaving? NO WAY! The last thing in this world that I could handle is my beloved relatives or friends passing away. It'd tear me up. I don't know whether I should call her or what am I gonna say to her. I feel so devastated.

One month ago, I gave it a lot of thought and decided to abort my study-in-Germany plan. It was sad to quit but it was for the best. Shame that I'm not as cool as those people who chase their dream bravely. I'd keep on learning German but I'd stay, stay in my city. I should face the reality and be responsible to my mom. I can't just ask her for a great deal of money and leave here alone. My friends said I would come back anyway but who knows what's gonna happen during my absence. There's a Chinese proverb, saying "A tree desires to stand still, but wind does not stop. A son desires to serve his/her parents, but they have gone."

I love you Mom! I love you all, my friends.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Still On Holiday

My friends says I live like an elderly man on holidays - getting acupuncture or cupping and working out on that hill near my home. Yes, I have to admit that it sounds a little elderly but what is a young lifestyle, hanging out in the bars and getting tanked? I hardly think so.

But well, I also overspent on food, say Korean BBQ. The plate with meat looked good and costly. Friends told me meat was expensive in Korea. Maybe it's true but why were we having this overrated food instead of our local and more delicious one. hmm...I feel guilty.

Han Na Shan Korean BBQ

Han Na Shan Korean BBQ

I'm still on my summer-like Winter vacation, although the Lunar New Year was over a few days ago. We Chinese take the Lantern Festival as the end of the Lunar New Year. Except having Tang Yuan and shooting off fireworks, I got some paper lanterns which was a more authentic symbol of this festival. Happy belated Lantern Festival! And I'm very looking forward to the new semester.

Lantern Festival of 2010