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Archive for April, 2010

When Being Strict Is Good Posted by on Apr 30, 2010

If someone in China asks you 老师严不严? (lao3shi1 yan2bu4yan2 – is the teacher strict?), what kind of answer answer is the “good” or “better” answer?  If you answer that the teacher is not strict, you might think you’re emphasizing that the teacher is very down to earth and doesn’t use authority to assert control.  In…

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A Glimpse of Shenzhen Nightlife Posted by on Apr 30, 2010

Earlier I went to 乐巢 (le4chao2 – [lit. happy nest]) – a club in Shenzhen – after the 装修 (zhuang1xiu1 – renovation) which lasted for about a month.  It reopened today before 劳动节 (lao2dong4jie2 – Labor Day).  There were 跳舞表演 (tiao4wu3biao2(3)yan3 – dance performances) where Chinese dancers as well as dancers possibly from 东欧 (dong1ou1…

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Fate Posted by on Apr 30, 2010

In the States, it’s rare to bring up the topics of “fate” or “destiny” when first meeting people, but you may find that this is not the case in China.  Don’t be surprised to hear any of the following when you meet someone: 我们认识了就是缘分 wo3men2 ren4shi4le jiu4shi4 yuan2fen4 – Our meeting was fate/destiny. 我们认识就是个偶遇 wo3men2ren4shi4le…

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Great Wall Follies Posted by on Apr 29, 2010

At different times, I have been to different parts of the Great Wall with my landlord, a national rowing team, my friends, and my parents.  The Jiankou 箭扣 (jian1kou4 – arrow nook) section of the great wall is unrestored, and the only hint that it is still accessible lies in the careful placement of 梯子…

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Entertainment and Nightlife Posted by on Apr 27, 2010

I’ve never been to a bar in the states that didn’t have a deck of cards on hand, and I’ve only once been to a bar in China that didn’t have a few cups for playing dice games.  This is, of course, to participate in one of the numerous 酒令 (jiu3ling4 – drinking games) in…

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“Welcome to take Beijing Taxi”, pt 2: Directions Posted by on Apr 26, 2010

Once you get past simply telling the cabbie the name of the location, you can now move onto basic directions and driving commands. Not only does it help you get a feel for the city, but it keeps you practicing Chinese and will often lead to further discussion with your 司机 (driver). For Example: 一直走。西三环路出口以后,右拐。去到第一个路口,左转。往到北四环路,掉头。我的房屋在饭馆在小路的后面。再这儿,停车。…

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“Welcome to take Beijing Taxi” pt. 1 Posted by on Apr 25, 2010

Until private automobiles in major Chinese metropolises all but choke traffic to standstill, the use of taxi cabs (出租车 chū zū chē)will be a mainstay of how you get around cities. Notice how I say “until” here, because traffic congestion in cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing has grown into a major fiasco. That being…

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