Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lunch!, T-minus Five Days, Conversation Topics, Three-Way Sex, and SCOTUS vs. Diversity

I met some friends for lunch at Jade Garden, it was delicious! It's the reigning champ of dimsum in Seattle. No, I've never been to O'Asian, but look at the name, children, it's a non starter. They might as well call it No Asian. (I've never been, so who knows. Maybe it's full of Chinese people. The critics like it... but the critics also like Seven Stars Pepper over 老四川 Sichuanese cuisine... in a pinch, follow the Chinese people...)

I bought me a cheap, new microphone that works well, so expect to see some more videoblogs over at my travel blog: jp goes to china (dot) blogspot (dot) com. Yesterday I posted a my first videoblog, but I think I fell short of fullfilling the spirit of the assignment: I only stuck to very basic Lesson 1 items that I know I can do well. Maybe tomorrow I will try to talk about something more substantial, so you can *really* see how much work I have to do on my Mandarin.

So the RD of the program in Hangzhou has been sending us emails, what/what not to bring, what to expect from the language pledge, etc. One of his recommendations was to equip yourself with a PDA and PlecoDict, which IS SO COOL. It's two dictionaries on your PDA, and it breezes between listing and recognizing your English, your pinyin, or your hanzi! All students of Mandarin should equip themselves with this tool. All.

So right now I'm brainstorming some vocabulary for conversations that I know I'll have. Some topics I thought of are:

  1. I have diabetes. (vocab: diabetes, blood sugar, blood test, sharps container, carbohydrates, walking...)

  2. Leave Asian Americans alone! (vocab: cultural blindspot, not intuitive, ignorant ethnic majority, lack of compassion, refusing to assimilate, children of immigrants...)

  3. Bush is a moron! (vocab: I did not vote for him, blue state, dishonest, un-constitutional, un-American, totally incompetent, liar, shameless, dumb cowboy...)

  4. I'm not White people! (vocab: Filipino, fighting over milk, removing shoes at the door, fear of Spam, crimes against rice, stand-around-holding-a-beer parties, I'm not responsible for your stereotype...)

If you can think of any other topics, or any other vocab that I should prepare for the topics listed above, please let me know.

On another note, there is a Kia ad, both in radio and on tv, where a couple talks nervously about finding a Kia as if it were THREE-WAY SEX. Yes! Why am I the only one getting bruised by the subtext hitting me over the head? Look at the way they are talking about the Kia, for pete's sake! Am I the only one that thinks this? Obviously, OBVIOUSLY this is intentional.

And, finally, if you want to read about the bullshit SCOTUS decision that diversity is not an academic and social advantage, read what Dr. B has to say. I don't even want to think about it.

To think, I once had faith in this country.


Chadwick said...

I know Japanese folks remove their shoes at the door. Who else does, culturally?

jp 吉平 said...

Most Asian cultures remove shoes at the door, from Iran to Hawaii. A lot of white people do it to, now, don't they? It's actually confusing around here now; some people say "I'm not going to force my friends to take off their shoes" but others use it as a form of welcome, i.e., "have a seat, kick off your shoes."

For those of you who are NOT in a shoe removing culture, but find yourself in that situation, know this: it is usually a BIG faux pas to remove your socks. We will gossip about it after you leave, guaranteed.

bitchphd said...

I always feel bad when we invite folks over and the Asians remove their shoes and then realize that no one else is and sort of surreptitiously return to the entry and slip their shoes back on. Because in fact I don't wear shoes in my own house *except* when we have people over either to a formal do or else to a bbq where I'm going to be running in and out all the time and slipping shoes on and off is just going to be a pain in the ass.

Also, thanks for the SCOTUS link.

Chadwick said...

I've noticed shoe removing to be house specific first and formality linked second. Some folks REALLY want to protect their floors. This also seems more common in homes with children. I guess it's easier to train kids to take their shoes off every time than to wipe their feet.

Then, from my experience, it runs into the form of welcome, especially in casual settings. I'm physically more comfortable without my shoes on, generally.

For more formal occasions, except when the floor consideration is in affect, shoes stay on. Some people, women especially, wear nice shoes that are part of their outfits.

Like bitchphd, I only wear shoes in my own house when having friends over in a vaguely more formal 'party' gathering (which usually leads to people standing in circles, holding their drinks).