Friday, August 31, 2007
I remember watching the Abbott & Costello show reruns when I was a kid and even now, over 50 years after they originally aired, these shows are still hysterical. For those of you too young to remember, Abbott & Costello were a comedy duo who appeared first in live theater performances, then radio, film and television. Their famous Who's on 1st? routine involves Bud Abbott (the straight man) telling Lou Costello who the players in a baseball team are. The only problem is that each players name is easily misinterpreted (e.g., first baseman "Who").
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Although Miss Teen South Carolina has received a lot of negative attention as a result of her response, not everyone thinks she's that ignorant. In fact, she received a call from President Bush, who told her that he understood her response perfectly and offered her a job such as like Attorney General of the U.S. Americans.
For those of you that still don't understand Miss Teen SC's answer, here's a map that sums it up succintly.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Romantic blockbuster The Knot (Yun Shui Yao) was the big winner with awards for Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Playwright, and Best Film Technology. It is also the first joint blockbuster film production between Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. There were co-winners for best actor and best actress - Chen Kun (The Knot) and Fu Dalong (The Forest Ranger) for Best Actor & Li Bingbing (The Knot) (shown in photo) and Ding Jiali (The Lane Premier) for Best Actress.
Monday, August 27, 2007
In China, the era when overseas executives could rely on translators is ending. Authorities now require top executives at securities firms to pass written and oral exams in Mandarin, the national tongue, and Chinese managers expect meetings to be conducted in their own language."An executive can probably get by without speaking Mandarin, but the one who does will have a much better chance of succeeding," says Helen Cheung, a director at Executive Mandarin, the language school where Image studies. "It makes you seem more intelligent, more involved than the foreigner who just sits
there and smiles."
Congratulations on getting rich
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I'm sitting here listening to the news in Chinese. I don't understand much of it, but I can pick out a few words and phrases at least due to my taking 2 semesters of Chinese back at Belmont University. You might think that living in Hong Kong would help me learn Chinese, but its not as simple as that. Most of the Chinese people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese (common in southern China) rather than Mandarin which is the official language and common in northern China. Although the written language is the same, they sound very different. Plus the written Chinese language consists of characters and you have to memorize about 5000 of them to be fairly literate from what I've been told. At this point, it seems like I'll need a lot of luck (the characters above) to become anywhere close to literate.
I need to find a tutor (maybe a Mandarin-fluent Lingnan student) to work with while I'm here in Hong Kong or I think I'll forget most of the little I've already learned.
Zaijian (Goodbye) for now!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Of course, none of this means you can't find most of the banned movies, CDs, etc. in China - its just that you can't find legal versions. These regulations have the indirect effect of giving pirates a huge advantage over companies that want to sell their products legally in China. For example, a website illegally offering music downloads isn't going to bother with getting approval just as the vendoes of pirated CDs and DVDs all over China aren't concerned with which titles have been censored by the Chinese government (some of them are probably their best sellers). The article states that censors cut scenes from "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," claiming the portrayal of Chow Yun-fat as a "bald, scarred pirate" insulted Chinese people. However, I'm sure many Chinese people purchased pirate DVD copies of the film which were probably available even before the film's offical release.
China certainly has the right to implement its own laws & regulations, even if they differ from Western legal norms. However, these censorship and market-access restrictions operate as a huge barrier to companies wanting to do business in China legitimately while giving pirating operations a big advantage and making pirate copies the only purchase option for Chinese consumers. Maybe if enough well-known Chinese actors such as Jet Li as well as popular musicians, etc. voice their concern, some type of compromise can be figured out.
I hope to do some sightseeing soon, but the weather is a bit of disincentive. Its been raining a lot since I got here (remnants of the typhoon that's been hitting southeast Asia) and its extremely hot & humid. Hopefully, it'll start to cool off a bit before too long and be a bit more comfortable for exploring. There's a bunch of places I want to visit, but one that wasn't on my to-do list until someone here suggested it to me today was MongKok - known, among other things, for having the highest population density in the world. I'm not a big fan of crowds, but I guess its worth cehcking out just for the spectacle.
After putting away groceries, I headed over to the business college building. Being an Asia veteran, I’ve learned to take an umbrella whenever I go out in the summer and my training proved valuable as rain began almost immediately after I left the apartment. The business college here is in the Ho Sin Hang Building. I’m guessing Mr. Ho put up some money (the Jack Massey or Mike Curb of Lingnan?). Since classes don't start til 9/3, Mr. Ho’s building & the rest of campus is fairly deserted right now. Wandered around campus a bit in the rain (thank God for that umbrella) then went back to apartment.
So now I sit here writing this while sipping my tea. I wonder if putting honey in premium Oolong tea makes me a foreign devil in Chinese eyes, but regardless it does help my throat a bit. Besides, in some Hong Kong restaurants, when you order hot tea, you get tea with milk in it & a Lipton bag. I wonder if this is one of the imports resulting from British colonialization? Opium and Lipton tea with milk -what a proud legacy. OK, I'm sure I'll find some more positive British influences as well.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I took a taxi from the airport to Lingnan University rather than try to navigate the buses since I had 2 large pieces of luggage. I had no problem finding a taxi, but the driver only spoke Cantonese (fortunately I had written out the Chinese characters for Lingnan University & Tuen Mun where Lingnan is located). No problem getting to Lingnan although since I couldn’t communicate with the taxi driver, the best I could do was have him drop me off at the university entrance. I said xiexie (thanks) and he responded with a look of surprise & a litany of what I assume were Cantonese words. I said "Wo bu dong, wo hui shua yidiar Putonghua (I don’t understand, I speak a little Mandarin). He seemed pleased with this and grinned so I uttered another xiexie & ventured off to the Security office & got the access code for the building & apartment I'm staying in.
The apartment ("flat" as its referred to here) is pretty nice - living room, small dining area, small kitchen, 2 bathrooms, one main bedroom with a small adjoining room with desk & huge closet room & 2 small bedrooms (probably for visitors with kids). The apartment has wireless Internet, but I’m not able to connect since I don’t have a password from Lingnan yet (will check on this tomorrow). TV gets 4 channels, but 3 are in Chinese (too bad I don’t know enough to understand much of it yet). Went to bed early (around 10) since tired and still a bit sick (sore throat a cough) from typhoon weather in Philippines.