Sunday, October 19, 2008


Jodi and I made a trip into Puxi today to see her grandparents off on their trip back home. From now on it's just us too (and a 9-4 ayi). The point of this post is to report on interesting things we saw on our trip:

  • Hu'nan: on the drive from Puxi, we crossed an intersection involving 沪南路 and the pinyin read "Hu'nan Lu". It surprised me because I've never seen the pinyin for Hunan (沪南 or 湖南) spelled with an apostrophe before. Thinking about it, it makes sense because technically you could have a word like 昏暗 with the same pinyin but different syllables. Still, it struck me as strange.
  • Anti-Maglev: nearing the South Railway Station on the Humin Elevated Road, we zoomed past a car with what I'm pretty sure was an anti-Maglev bumper sticker on the back bumper. It was small, square and white. It was the first time I've seen one of these.
  • Subway spat: at the Southern Railway Station subway Line 3 station, between a couple of Shanghainese girls and a non-Shanghainese couple, over a seat on the subway car. The Shanghainese girl put down her bag on the seat to save it for her friend, and the other couple ignored it and sat down on the seat anyway. Of course the Shanghainese girls brought 外地人, "out-of-towner", into the conversation and started yelling in Shanghainese at the couple. They were both at fault, maybe the out-of-town couple a little more, but that isn't the point.
  • Ikea redesign: Ikea redid their cafeteria to a more classy, updated design. The meatballs came with mashed potatoes instead of French Fries (boo) and the seats along the window with a great view of the Line 3 "rainbow bridge" have been turned into couches and low tables perfect for an afternoon snack or coffee (good).
  • Polite people: seems to be a lot more people giving up their seats on the subway for older passengers and people carrying small kids.

Work tomorrow. Definitely too soon.


At Oct 29, 2008, 9:59:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said:

One of the best explanations of when to use apostrophes in Pinyin is at

At Oct 29, 2008, 10:07:00 AM, Blogger Micah Sittig said:

You're right, I had been making the exact wrong assumptions ("ambiguity") mentioned on that page. Makes a lot of sense, and it means the sign was wrong.

At Nov 3, 2008, 3:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said:

anti-maglev: did you know that lots of people in shanghai who lived along the foreseen shanghai-hangzhou maglev line actually went on protest against the government in January this year.

they started off on renming guang chang, since it was sealed by the police, they then went on nanjing dong lu pedestrian street,
and whenever the cops showed up to try to catch any of the protesters the latter group systematically dispersed itself by going into the differents stores around.
this is the news i found on google:

At Nov 3, 2008, 3:58:00 PM, Blogger Micah Sittig said:

I saw that news, didn't hear about the dispersing bit though. What surprised me most about the anti-maglev sticker (and maybe this didn't come across in the post) was the tangible evidence of anti-maglev sentiment. So far all protest has been very non-permanent: protests that break up after they reach their destination, banners hung from balconies that get taken down eventually, words spoken that fade into the wind... All unlike the lowly bumper sticker that has staying power, permanence, and would take a good scrub-brush and some elbow grease to erase the evidence of.


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