March 11, 2008

Tidbits

  • Looks like I'll have a chance to see baseball in three countries. The China Baseball League just announced their 2008 schedule. I plan to attend a game in Shanghai on April 19th :-)
  • Until yesterday, my feet were killing me after every long walk I took. I could really feel the pavement on the balls of my feet after each step. So this past weekend, I went shoe-hunting, only to get laughed out of two stores at the Thumb for having gigantic lao wai feet. However, I was tuned into this place called Decathlon, a sports/outdoors store, and so yesterday I visited and picked up a rather decent pair of light hiking shoes for just 250 RMB. They are Quechua brand, which I assume is Chinese for "of outstanding quality." (And not, as some might believe, an ancient South American language.) So far they are really nice and my feet feel tons better after a long walking trip.
  • The Decathlon also had rollerblades in size 47, which is one size below what I need. That makes me think that somewhere in this city I might be able to buy a pair of rollerblades and go skating around Century Park or the Shanghai S&T Mueseum metro plaza. The hunt is on!!
  • I discovered the Chinese word for "Jewish" is youtai. Not sure what, if anything, that translates to. (My guess: "Super Awesome".) So now I can say Wo shi Youtairen! There's even a book about us -- unfortunately it's in Chinese. I still should try and find a copy, though.
  • Speaking of Judaism, one of the Chabads over here recently moved to within a 10-minute walk of my apartment. That should make it more likely that I'll go and visit them :-)
  • Last Friday, I attended a technical presentation given by a group manager at work. He gave most of it in English, although there were points where he had to continue in Chinese because he didn't know how to describe the relevant terms in English. And actually, it was the basic stuff that he had trouble with in English. Like correlating a sine wave to the rotation of a coil when wrapped around a wire caught between two opposing magnets. He couldn't find the words in English for that. I thought that was pretty interesting. I can't really explain why I think that. Just -- I dunno. An example of how important language is, I suppose. And how extremely difficult it can be to learn one as your second language. As if I didn't know this already :-)
  • Along these same lines, I was talking to another co-worker today about his English name. It is nothing like his Chinese name, which is Xiangjie. He picked his English name in college. We talked a little bit about whether it felt weird to be called by his English name all the time, at work and such. He said not really, because he was used to it. There are even some people at work that don't have English names - we theorized this might be because some people don't like picking one, but in some cases it might be because their Chinese name is really easy for us foreigners to pronounce. I said it was weird being introduced to a Chinese person and having them say "Hi, I'm Scott" or "Hi, I'm Wendy." Because I immediately want to be like, "Liar!" Hahaha. But I guess not really - because they decide what they call themselves, so it's not like they're lying. I guess I just want them to trust in my ability to remember and pronounce their Chinese name. But of course that will not be the case for all Westerners.
  • I'm sort of in the middle of getting my own Chinese name. The first name is set, and I think it's Rui an. Amazingly enough when you plug the Chinese characters into Google Translate, it spits out "Ryan". Haha. So I think this was pre determined by someone other than myself :-) I don't have a last name yet, but since most Chinese prefer names that have a total of 2 or 3 characters, I'll have to pick a one-character last name. I was thinking gao for tall, so that might be it :-)
  • I was totally going to go to the gym tonight but I unwisely sat down in front of the computer to update my blog first. Now all my motivation's gone -- boo -- and I just feel like making some jiaozi for dinner :-)
  • I got another power bill today ... (dun dun dun ....)

1 comment:

shambhala said...

Quechua is still spoken by a lot of people!