Saturday, March 20, 2010

Random Stuff

Hard Work
I've been very busy, and will continue to be very busy until school ends. I may try to take some time to travel if the government gives us a long Labor Day holiday, which comes May 1.
Pro Life
The park I walk through every morning has a big lake. I saw a Buddhist nun walking with a small mesh bag containing two water turtles. She was on her way to release them there.
Dog Food
On May 1 the Chinese government will ban the practice of eating dogs and cats.
Neighboring provinces, Guangxi, and Yunan are suffering a severe drought. Normally this is a very wet region, ours included. It has not been raining like it usually does. Lots of stories in China Daily.
Bus Variety
Some days my bus commute sucks, and other days it's just fine. A few mornings ago it seemed as though every other person on my packed conveyance was sick. One guy was happily hawking lugies into the waste basket by the exit door. A person behind me had some kind of death rattle. There was a cacophony of sneezing and coughing, including the snotty jerk who sat down next to me, Mr. Mucus. I turned my face to the window, breathed shallowly, and somehow escaped this plague bus unscathed.
Yesterday morning the bus had a large number of pretty young mothers with cute babies, including a very cute one year old and her mom who sat next to me and kept me entertained all the way to my stop. Not a cough in the carload.
Bad English
The English text books here are really pretty good. The English tends to be more of the British variety than the American, although most people prefer American English. One of the things I noticed teaching primary school last year was the use of the work "cock" for rooster.
We went to dinner at a friends house at the end of the New Year holiday. We had a hot pot dinner, which is a big soup pot on a burner in the middle of the table. You add various goodies to it. It had a chicken cooking in it.
Our friend is originally a village guy who has done well as a manager for the Postal Service. A village friend had given him a big rooster for New Year which is a big deal. The Chinese love them a big rooster for the stew pot.
He told us in his text book English that we were having big cock for dinner and that he really liked eating a big cock. He elaborated at length about the great qualities of eating a big cock, and it was all Brian and I could do to keep from choking on our cock. We couldn't correct him, since his wife and daughter were there. Later we had a big laugh when we explained to Yali and Tody the double entendre. A couple of weeks later we were having dinner with this friend and Yali explained to him what he had been saying. Both roared with laughter since the local Chinese are a bawdy people, and this is fast becoming a kind of local folklore. And our friend uses the word rooster now.