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Share A Day in the Life Of...
2015-4-19 10:26
6:30AM: whether a day I have to get up early or not I am awakened by the women from the community next door who come on campus and into the housing area to clean it up. They chatter like magpies as they unlock their metal carts, chains clanking hollowly, and disperse to their individual areas of responsibility. My neighbors are getting ready for and then leaving for work. Just outside my bedroom window, in the parking lot a man coughs up the effects of last night’s cigarettes, expelling ...
1423 views|0 comments Popularity 12
Share Old Wives' Tales?
2015-4-16 14:04
To rid oneself of a kidney stone, one must stand upside down – on head or hands, whichever is most comfortable. Retinas can become detached due to overuse, especially in older people. Type II diabetes can be brought on by a heart condition. One incurs thyroid disease by not eating fish or seafood. Failing to eat breakfast will cause your gallbladder to become inflamed, thus necessitating removal. Old wive's ta ...
1369 views|0 comments Popularity 11
Share Essentially Chinese
2015-4-14 15:39
Essentially Chinese
Everywhere I look, in China, I see Americana – as Edith Wharton puts it. Americana is anything that pertains to American culture, for those of you who are not fans of Edith Wharton. Food, music, clothing, dancing, sports, pastimes, books, mannerisms, movies – these are all Americana. McDonald’s, KFC, Papa John’s and more prominently, Pizza Hut flourish in China. Dairy Queen and Starbucks… all of these American brand restaurants are well patronized by Chinese people wearing ...
1282 views|0 comments Popularity 13
Share The Rights of the Many
2015-4-12 11:24
Let me preface this entry with a status update: I am still on crutches, and most likely will be for another 2 to 3 months. I had anticipated being freely mobile by this time and am slightly greatly disturbed by the news that I won't be for the foreseeable future. Being restricted in movement I resort to commentary on news items. This one is going to be good. Misbehaving Tourists will be Blacklisted As I've often said: it is not only Chinese tourists who behav ...
976 views|0 comments Popularity 9
Share Poor Funeral Directors!
2015-4-5 12:22
Poor Funeral Directors!
In a recently released report is disclosed that funeral workers in China are among the most psychologically distressed groups, with nearly half the workers suffering some form of depression. This report, generated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs concludes that 21.3 percent suffer from severe psychological problems. Rewind!!! I always believed that death was an incontrovertible part of life in China. That, for momentous occasions such as the birth of a child, a ...
4411 views|24 comments Popularity 31
Share My New Student
2015-4-2 19:01
So there I was, actually teaching something for a change, instead of lecturing or playing games that induce my students to speak. We were on the second half of our 90 minute class, after the prescribed 5 minute break when students can visit the restroom, stretch, get some water or check their phones. This being a spectacular day – sunshine and 70s, many simply wandered out of the still chilly classroom to catch some rays. After the 5 minute break, all but 2 returned. Most of my student ...
1632 views|39 comments Popularity 17
Share Gotcha!
2015-4-1 11:04
Today is April Fools’ Day. In China and in America, the gags roll on. Fortunately I had my students to remind me of this momentous occasion; otherwise I might have let a day of legal pranking go by unobserved! I love a good joke, don’t you? Even if it is at my expense: there is nothing richer than the laughter you can direct at yourself. Well... except for maybe a full cream finger cake. Sadly, no one is sure of the genesis of this great, fun day. Some say ...
872 views|13 comments Popularity 7
Share Germanwings Airbus
2015-3-25 08:31
How should the day define itself with sunshine pouring in through the windows, whilst in the news, a Germanwings Airbus crashing in the mountains takes the headlines? There is not a lot of information. 1. Not a terrorist attack. 2. 150 fatalities; 16 of them school children. 3. The plane sent out no distress signal. However, its flight path being tracked on radar and found to be dangerous, Aviation Control issued a distress warning. The black box has be ...
1006 views|10 comments Popularity 5
Share The Culture of Sorry
2015-3-19 13:04
The Culture of Sorry
While visiting around America I couldn't help but notice how often the phrase “I'm sorry” was bandied about. People were sorry for burping and for misspeaking. On the bus they were sorry for walking down the aisle. My dear Marjorie was sorry for just about everything from the cold weather to having to work while I visited, and my friends George and Chris were sorry I broke my leg and sorry for the resultant pain and inconvenience. What a regretful people they seem to be, ...
4381 views|26 comments Popularity 13
Share Misunderstandings
2015-3-9 11:31
One time I took funny to the name 'David Beckham' while conversing with a sports enthusiast. The way he said it, quickly and slightly slurred made the name sound like 'deli-baked ham'. At least, that is what I understood. That great footballer might not take kindly to this mistake on my part but, to this day, when I hear 'David Beckham' I think of a lucious, juicy shank of deli-baked ham. Such misunderstandings can result in hilarity and I am often prone to hearing what I want to ...
877 views|0 comments Popularity 10
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Recent comments
  • The 'Face' Effect 2017-3-6 06:09

    Newtown: So which one is that 'one true god' ? What is his /her /its name ?

  • The 'Face' Effect 2017-3-6 05:31

    teamkrejados: In Zhang Yimou's movie 活着 - To Live, Gong Li gives what I believe is the classic example of Chinese 'face': the man who murdered her son turns up on ...
    The difference is that a Chinese person - like many from other Asian countries such as India - will seek to maintain 'face' in the face (!) of all evidence against what that person has said or done. For example, it a person stole a sum of money they would argue to the ends of the earth that this was not the case, no matter what objective proof was but before them. If eventually they did admit to their fault then they would say that you should not remind them of this act because that would be akin to 'beating them over the head with a stick' - i.e making them lose face once more.

    In such situations these people do not want to take responsibility for their actions. If you asked them 'why?' they did or did not do this - such as in the case of the employer you describe - they would reply 'no why'.

    A western person would more readily admit their responsibility, account for what has happened, and seek to move on in the light of their admissions. e.g. learn from one's mistakes instead of repeating or ignoring them.

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