Monday, May 30, 2005

Shifafa has a valid RSS feed.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

From Port of Call (Ingmar Bergman, 1948):

- What are you reading?
- A book.
- I can see that... but who wrote it?
- A sailor—Martinson.
- Do you really read this stuff?
- You're not interested in books?
- I used to be. My old man was a schoolmaster. He had lots of books. And at your age, you feel lonely. You're at sea, you see a lot of things. But you feel you're missing out on most of it. [Pause] I stopped. I started drinking instead. Books only make things worse. [Turns] Keep reading. [Puts on hat] Bye!

From The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Dorothy Sayers, 1928):

Of course," explained Parker, as he ushered Wimsey into the studio, "we've taken away all the chemicals and things. There's not much to look at, really."

"Well, you can deal best with all that. It's the books and paintings I want to look at. H'm! Books, you know, Charles, are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with 'em, then we grow out of 'em and leave 'em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development."

I'll match that:

With a picture of my own ramen school advertisement.

I took the above sticker off a wall down in the outer suburbs of Shanghai, near Jinjiang Park. It says:

Specialized Training: ramen, snacks, malatang, liangpi, cured veggies, and make-up and hair-styling. Cell: 13482645381

Malatang is a kind of, to quote John, poor man's hot pot, named after the copious amounts of spicy pepper and sesame oil added to the broth; liangpi is a kind of cold wheat noodle topped with pickled veggies, spices and hot pepper.

If I wasn't so busy, I would love call the number and sign up.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Ah, how slowly the character of a city changes.


华灯起 车声响 歌舞升平
只见她 笑脸迎 谁知她内心苦闷
夜生活 都为了 衣食住行
酒不醉人 人自醉
胡天胡地 蹉跎了青春
晓色朦胧 转眼醒
大家归去 心灵儿随着转动的车轮
换一换 新天地 别有一个新环境
回味着 夜生活 如梦初醒

Download from the media folder (Zhou Xuan - Shanghai Night.mp3).

Patterns and useful phrases jotted down as I watched 中国式离婚 ("China-style Divorce") last night:

Means "I almost forgot". I used to say 几乎 a lot; this might be a more earthy alternative.
Talking on the telephone is still nerve-wracking. This is a good way of saying Goodbye; literally, "I'm hanging up, eh."

Another language note. At the amusement park last weekend, I took a picture of Ice while she was walking across a rope bridge, and she thought she looked really bad in it. Jodi just laughed and told her that she writes very standard characters: "你字写得很标准!"

At that point I cracked up, and had to explain that the phrase she had just said had been the last sentence in Chris' book, Making-Out In Chinese, and that I hadn't believed that people would actually say such a corny thing. It's basically the Chinese way of saying "she has a great personality", as in "but she's lacking in the looks department."

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Angry Asian Man RSS feed finally validates.

I had assumed it was iso-8859-1 instead of windows-1252.

If I wasn't going to spend tonight reading and watching 中国式离婚, I'd work on some of the unfinished and non-validating feeds in my scraped feeds folder.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

And I quote...

On 5/26/05, John Pasden wrote:

What happened to your feet??

Ever since right before I left for Tianjin (summer 2001, wow has it been that long?), I've had a couple of ingrown toenails on my big toes that have been pretty painful to walk on all these years. I had them cut back seriously twice, once in Tianjin ("here, bite on this") and once in California ("numb yet? here's another shot. numb yet? here's another shot. numb yet? here's another shot..."). But they've always grown back. When Katie was here, she encouraged me to go give it another shot, so I made an appointment with a pretty cool doctor at Huashan Hospital and had them done yesterday.

It seems like he did a pretty good job. It took just two shots in each toe to deaden them, and I didn't feel a thing. That is, until an hour after surgery when the shots wore off and I just about died.

I go in to change the dressing tomorrow. I'm taking a couple days off of work, so I won't be in tomorrow either.

If they turn out OK this time, I'm going to do a tour of Shanghai's bathhouses later this year.

Micah Sittig | Shanghai, China | |

The church of the Bible study I'm going to right now has put forward a final draft of its charter.

Since I was born the son of an ordained reverend, I'm inclined to be interested in this stuff. And since I've been hanging out with John long enough, I tend to look up things that are new to me in the Wikipedia.

So when I read that the charter's Statement of Faith started off with:

Section 1. Shanghai Community Church accepts the Bible as the revealed Word of God, and the Apostles Creed and the Lausanne Covenant as its statements of faith. first reaction was to Google up a copy of both the Apostle's Creed and the Lausanne Covenant, and then turn to Wikipedia for a little background and analysis.

Then I wandered off into Wikipedia's Christian Confessions, Creeds and Statements category, which lead to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and the general article on Biblical inerrancy (I find myself agreeing with the Methodists, "[believeing] strongly in the authority of scripture while rejecting the necessity of inerrancy").

All this to say that I think there should be a clash between the text of the introduction:

Believing it to be the will of God that the followers of Jesus Christ associate themselves in fellowship for mutual encouragement, for public worship, for active service, and for effective outreach, Shanghai Community Church provides an English-speaking church and ministries for adherents of various denominations from all parts of the world. We are committed to respect the laws of the People's Republic of China, to work cooperatively with the Three Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches of China, and to relate with other international churches in China and the region as we are able.

...(emphasis mine) and certain sections of the Lausanne Covenant, specifically Section 5 (Christian Social Responsibility, socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty) and Section 13 (Freedom and Persecution, wherein governments are called to allow [preaching of] the gospel without interference). If this doesn't come up, or gets glossed over, I'll be disappointed.

Also, that last phrase as we are able; what does that mean? Was that written in respect to respecting the Chinese law, or to cooperating with other international churches?

Sometimes, I even come across to myself as way more hard-core than I should be, given my current level of tepidness.

Other interesting link that came out of this research: Wikipedia on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and copies of the document in English and in Chinese.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

New item on ThingsImWondering:

How to write the sound that scissors make in Chinese (something like "cuts cuts") in Chinese characters.

Vocab word for the week: 伺候, which means something like "to wait on; to serve" but when used as an adjective can be used to describe somebody who does nice things for other people (I think).

UPDATE: Somebody can be called 难伺候 if they are fastidious about, or set rigorous standards for, things done for them.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Lots of new pics:

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Saw this ad on a bus last night:


This is a play on the saying 不到长城非好汉.

(Mouse-over Chinese phrases to see a translation.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

John wrote on his Chinese weblog about a conversation we had the other day over SMS on our cellphones. It went like this:

John: Are you coming back for lunch today? (in Chinese)

Micah: 耶斯 (pronounced "ye si")

John: 古瑞特! (pronounced "gu rui te")

"Ye si" was supposed to sounds something like "Yes", and "gu rui te" sounds something like "Great". To tell the truth, messaging in "Chinese" like this is not entirely an original idea. A few months ago co-worker Lisa messaged me something like "Good morning" written phonetically in Chinese characters. And I'm not surprised that the people who commented on John's entry mentioned that they used to do this in junior high. In high school I used to write "English" messages phonetically in katakana characters when I was learning the Japanese alphabets.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

This may only be interesting to myself, but... these are my URL ABCs:

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Coolness: Richard posts about people writing messages on metro cards with magic markers, and then taping them onto newspaper boxes and telephone poles.

Would this be cool to do in Shanghai? Here, metro tickets get sucked back into the machine when you exit the destination stop. Is there some kind of inspection before the tickets go back into the machines to be reused? Could I write subversive messages (or Douglas Coupland Generation X-isms) on the tickets with my trusty-rusty Sharpy, and then find them again someday in circulation?

This might be enough to get me to give up my stored-value card...

(PS, I was excited that there was finally going to be a weblog about the Shanghai metro; now it's pretty much dead. What happened?)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

"Beetle" sounds like "鼻头".

Monday, May 02, 2005

Guess who's here?

Katie Beth flew into Shanghai last night.

I'm happy to see her.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

[msittig] women keyi wan de hen kaishin [msittig] oops, kaixin [sjhs] ;) [sjhs] ni xihuan shanghai haishi nanjing? [sjhs] haishi beijing? [msittig] mei quguo nanjing [moose] ju zhu tou [msittig] haha, moose :) [sjhs] ic [sjhs] wo gen ni yiyang [roint] it's weird seeing just the english parts of the conversation :) <zaylea wonders what msittig is saying about women> [sjhs] hehe [msittig] lol

Gaijin Smash, edited for locale:

Maybe they also expect me to control the weather too, which would explain why they're always saying "你不冷吗?" in the winter ("aren't you cold?") and "今天好热!" in the summer ("it's so hot today!"). I guess I'm supposed to fly up, tilt my head, and say something like "Gods of the weather skies! Expel this cold front and give us good weather for flying kites!" I will draw the line however if they ask me to use my adamantium claws to slice their 重庆冷菜.