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Category: China

Travel throughout China

China and America are One and the Same

China and America are One and the Same

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The Diagram

“Hey Mary-san,”  Takada-san pokes me in the shoulder.  “Look at this, it’s pretty funny.”

Takada-san is reading a 190 page JETRO report about how to deal with the “China risk” crisis happening with Japanese companies investing, and failing, in the Chinese market.  First I think: Holy god that’s a long report.  Secondly, I take a long glance at the chart to see what exactly Takada-san is giggling about (which I have translated as below): read more

Helping Those in Need: China Version

Helping Those in Need: China Version

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Reading this article (in Chinese) brought me back to one of my Chinese lessons at Tsinghua University back in 2010.

What Would You Do?

“Let’s say you’re walking down the street,” my Chinese teacher begins. “You see a child playing in the street, running around, and he suddenly falls down and hurts himself.  You see the child crying and there’s even some blood on the pavement.  What do you do?”

My Cambodian/American classmate, without hesitation, responds: “Go over there and see if the kid is ok, of course!” read more

11.22 … In other words, Couple’s Day

11.22 … In other words, Couple’s Day

So just ten days after Single’s Day in China (and pocky day in Japan/Korea), you can imagine my surprise when I listen to my daily dose of NHK news on 11.22 to hear the announcer say:

“今日は良い夫婦の日”

“Today is Couple’s Day”

While 11.11 tells us just how single we are, I guess the combination of 11 plus 22 shows how 1 can become 2 and.. .well.. that equals to “be a good couple” day.

According to NHK news, Couple’s Day is a holiday much like Valentine’s Day in the sense that, well, it was created by the industry in order to reap in profits.  Basically, Couple’s Day was designed by the apparel industry for promotional purposes and to give a boost to their quarterly saves revenue. read more

Multilingualism: Just Another Diagnosis for Split Personality Disorder?

Multilingualism: Just Another Diagnosis for Split Personality Disorder?

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Winter has descended on Shanghai.  I’m wearing four layers of pajamas, snuggled underneath two sets of comforters, and sipping on a piping hot cup of Jasmine tea.

As I burrow myself deeper underneath the covers and try to escape the force that is winter in Shanghai, I browse various articles online..  While reading the Economist I skimmed this interesting little read on Multilingualism: Do Different Languages Confer Different Personalities?

Before reading the article, I’m sure all of you bilinguals out there have “no duh” echoing through your head.  The article’s main focus is in regard to how these various personalities can be attributed to cultural differences rather than linguistic ones; and how, depending on the culture and customs of your language, you yourself also change. read more

Chinese Women Say No to Sex

Chinese Women Say No to Sex

Do Asians value sex in the same way that westerners do?

For many in the west, bad times in the bedroom can often lead to a crumbling relationship.  Many of us in the USA (and probably more so in Europe) measure the overall health of a relationship by the number of times, well, we get it on.

What about in Asia?  Is sex really that important?

I mean, we’ve all heard about how young people in Japan supposedly lost interest in having sex.  Even before that, “the herbivore man” popped up in Japan and became not only a domestic sensation, but an internationally recognized new species.  These Japanese men can’t be bothered to walk out their door, woo a woman and try to bed her–I mean, geez, that’s so much work.  What can a woman do that some good porn and your virtual date Natsumi on the Nintendo DS can’t do? read more

The Chinese Hospital Experience

The Chinese Hospital Experience

Waiting in line at the hospital is really fun. Really.

I woke up and it punched me hard in the gut: stomach pain.  I curled into the fetal position from the pain, but I knew that the show must go on.  I got out of bed, showered, clothed myself and hobbled back to bed where I cradled myself and my sore intestines.  Fifteen minutes later and with the excuse of ‘still being able to walk,’ I crawled out from my bed, grabbed my pre-made bento from the fridge and slipped on my high heels ready to strut to work.  I was ready to make my Japanese company proud and go to work completely ill. read more

Singles Day in Asia

Singles Day in Asia

泽楠

光棍节

I was browsing through advertising agency news when I stumbled upon this article concerning China’s equivalent to Black Friday in the United States.

11.11

In other words

Single’s Day

Leave it up to the Chinese to create a holiday that is, utterly, pointless.  “Single’s Day” was supposedly devised up by some really lonely college students in a dorm, and somehow the craze has spread to the national scale–with the entire country recognizing this bizarre phenomenon and celebrating it much like the Moon Festival or even New Years.  There really is no deeper meaning to the day other than the fact that 1 is a lonely number, and 4 of them lined up together makes it even lonelier—thus, ensuing commiseration. read more

I think we’re turning Chinese

I think we’re turning Chinese

So I found this list on my newsfeed about the ‘habits’ that foreigners pick up when they come to China.

I was pretty disappointed in this list.  I mean, look at #1 on the list: say bye bye?  I don’t think that’s some major aspect of Chinese culture that I’ll bring back to America and surprise everyone with.  “Hey, did you hear Mary say bye-bye?  She really changed over there in China, it’s like I don’t even know her anymore!”

And there’s one about “beer shots.”  I’ve lived in China for three years, some of my friends even longer, and we’ve yet to try one of these “beer shots.”  If this writer is talking about just downing or chugging a whole can of beer; well, I think I was chugging good brew even before I came to China, so that’s something I can’t really say was China’s fault. read more

Going to Bali Alone (and escaping China)

Going to Bali Alone (and escaping China)

I’m running away from China and going here:

Bali… here I come

I really need to escape China.  Badly.  And I think anyone that’s lived here longer than a year can 100% agree with me.
Beaches.  Rice Terraces.  No masses of people.  No spitting.  No people shoving me every corner I turn.  Sunshine.  Clean air.  Clean water.  Food without fake meat (aka no fox meat substituted for beef).

Oh yes.  Please.

Getting Out of China First

As I type this I’m in the Hangzhou airport.  Since it’s National Holiday Here (国庆节) I decided to take the safe route and come early.  During National Holiday, the roads are usually plugged up with traffic and the wait to purchase a train ticket can take a few hours.  Although my flight leaves for Bali at 11:00 PM, I decided to get my ass out of Shanghai at 2:30 PM and come to the Hangzhou airport early. read more

Singing the Same Melody

Singing the Same Melody

Courtesy of  Strait Times
Courtesy of Strait Times

What the Chinese think of my Job

I was on a flight to Beijing to attend a big-wig meeting for ad executives and be the live-interpreter for my CEO.  The flight was early, my eyelids were heavy and all I really wanted to do on that flight was nod off my head to sleep.

But Chinese people tend to be quite chatty on planes, especially with foreigners, and the young man next to me was no exception.  He introduced himself as Chang, we’ll call him, and said that he was a lawyer and represented the online video goliaths youku and tudou.  Wow, I said, and gave him a firm handshake—it’s great to meet you. read more