Apr 29, 2011

Chinese characters favored by yokels

I saw these characters, "柔術", on the back window of an import pickup truck in California. I was trying to parse these mentally. I was thinking, ok, so 柔 (róu) is "tender" or "soft", then 術 (shù) is like "technique" or "skill". What exactly is "tender skill"? What's this Toyota pickup driving yokel trying to say exactly? I seemed at first like it must be something kind of pervy.

It turns out, though, that "tender skill" is how the Japanese write "jujutsu", which is like a type of karate. How cute is that? I think he needs a Hello Kitty to go next to the 柔術 characters. Tender kitty, tender skill.

The Toyota brand should have tipped me off that the characters should be parsed using Japanese and not Chinese.

Apr 27, 2011

Don't leave mass right after communion

Having observed the tight religious restrictions in China, you come to appreciate some of the basic things that we take for granted, or even sometimes complain about in America.

This article, "China Detains Church Members at Easter Services", caught my interest:
The authorities stepped up a three-week campaign against an underground Christian church on Sunday, detaining hundreds of congregants in their homes and taking at least 36 others into custody after they tried to hold Easter services in a public square, church members and officials said.
It makes me downright embarrassed when I think of pretty much any mass I've ever been to in the US, including this past Sunday, where numerous folks up and scurried out of church right after they get their Communion.

These unfortunate Chinese Christians are getting persecuted and arrested for their beliefs, and we take it for granted that we have the ability to do whatever we want here in America.

The Chinese Catholics I've seen (in China, at least) are really into their religion. If the church is over packed and they have to listen to mass out in the courtyard with no kneelers, they'll spread out newspapers on the ground and kneel right on there.

I've seen too many spoiled Californians and other Americans who got it so good these days with their Hummer H2s and BMWs that they don't feel like they have to kneel during mass. I even saw one grown man going to Easter mass wearing flip flips into church. This man had young kids, nonetheless. I hope he scheduled a confession for later in the week.

Apr 25, 2011

Shanghai food — barf!

I could never live in Shanghai. The food is just terrible. Terrible beyond belief. Add that to the fact that they speak a strange dialect that sounds more like Japanese people imitating angry chickens, and you have a city that's very hard to tolerate.

Let me give you a little overview of the food offerings of Shanghai, which I was able to learn about through Safeway, purveyor of authentic gourmet foods:

Below: A Shanghai dinner for two, at a great price. Sounds like a good deal.

Below: What is this Shanghainese swill they're serving up here? Looks like something I saw in a latrine when I was in Henan province.

Below: No wonder Shanghainese people are so darn skinny, this food would give anyone the runs!

Apr 20, 2011

College girl conversation snippet

After eating some fish tacos at a California strip mall, I walked past an outdoor table where three college-age girls were talking loudly. As I passed by, I heard this this snippet of their conversation. It was so unique that I can recall it exactly word for word:

"...It's like she was trying to suck my entire face inside of her mouth. It's so gross..."

I didn't get to catch what came before or after this sentence, but I'm very curious.

Must be something like this:

Apr 1, 2011

Article: "Shunyi to Be World's Largest Gated Community"

Check out this article:
A Shunyi residents' association has put forward proposals that would see the outlying suburb become the world's largest gated community. On Tuesday, March 29, the Shunyi Neighborhood Development Council published its plans to have a 100km perimeter fence erected around the district's central urban area, which accounts for 19sqkm of the district's total 1,000sqkm area.

Under the proposals, the fence would be 5m high, constructed of heavy duty steel railings topped by spikes, with a lattice structure ensuring the barrier's efficacy. Gates and checkpoints will be set up at various points to ensure residents can easily come and go without compromising safety. The Shunyi plans have been modeled on security arrangements at the Interlomas complex on the outskirts of Mexico City, currently the world's largest gated community.