Sunday, February 26, 2006

Not to be trite

Not to be trite, but like most bloggers, a good hip-hop post must be followed by a post about obscure Japanese Anime.

Anyway, for the anime fans in my small portion of the blogosphere (both of you), may I recommend Yakitate. The show has the delightfully weird charm of Initial D taken to a whole new level. I downloaded like the seventh episode and have been watching them backwards.

The show is, and you will kick yourself for not coming up with it first (or if you did, not moving to Japan and producing it), about baking, yes, baking. Baking done by the young gifted Yakitate whose Solar Hands power her kneading in order to create the world's finest of breads. Yes, its true, the English, the French, and even the Germans have their bread, but Japan does not have a bread to call its own. So Yakitate is on a quest to create the real Japan (a joke that works in Japanese, as the word for bread in Japanese is pan).

Oh man it is good. I am downloading it (the source of all of my TV) and the translator is really gifted. He makes his subtitles look much prettier than most subtitles (I know it sounds weird, but if you head over to the recently sued but likely to win TorrentSpy, you will see what I mean). If you can buy it or whatever, do that. But this falls under that moral category of "It's not like I can pop over and buy the Bread Making Anime DVD at Best Buy."

Anyway, the tipping point of me wanting to blog this was they are now doing a parody of their own show about a young California boy who has "North Pole Hands" and wants to create a cooked rice dish worthy of America! But his wheat farmer father does not understand his strange "Japanese wanna-be" son (despite the father speaking shockingly fluent Japanese). Furthermore, I thought anime girls all wore comically slutty clothing. An American anime girl takes it to a whole new level.

Anyway, the show has so moved me I ate a loaf of French Bread ( a real rarity in Taiwan) for dinner tonight.

Threw my game

I will have a real post soon, but real quick:

I ran into a guy from Chicago last night, so I have ended up listening to a great deal of my dad's favorite rapper, Kanye (because he is so Chi that you thought he was bashful).

Anyway, I was amused by the end of Kanye produced Cam'Ron's song "Down and Out". After a standard list of mid-west American cities, Cam'ron raps:

"You know what it is Ohio
Columbus holla at ya boy
You know what else I do
Dayton, Youngstown, Cleveland, Cincinnati"

That's right, Dayton! 這個 what? (and if you get that joke, please leave a comment). Anyway, the only way he could have made me happier is if he made a reference to Troy (my father's family is living in that area for those of you not up on your Matt trivia).

Also of note, in Kanye's excellent "Get Em' High" features a reference by Common to Boulder, "Boulder to Denver, I ain't a Madd Rapper just a MC with a temper." Now if Longmont or Tainan gets in his canon, I can call it a day.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

My BA4 class

Going towards Chinese New Year I was growing frustrated with teaching. The problems varied. I never felt they were learning. I suddenly realized I should have been teaching harder. I wonder if I was wasting their time. It was a minor comprehensive crisis of conscious.

Coming back from Chinese New Year, I was pretty refreshed. It gave me three weeks off which was valuable. During those three weeks I could focus on my Chinese. During that time however, I still was not a hundred percent Chinese, not even close. What it did was show me that when I don't have class, I have a natural tendency to end up studying the same amount. So teaching English no longer felt like the opposite of learning Chinese. Now I am still studying up to eight hours a day and at least four, so I did not break the stride that I wanted (mind you that is nearly entirely reading and listening, so if you hear me speak對不起).

I also have changed how I teach a lot. With my main class, I have seven students. They are all smart kids in their way. Last semester I let them write on their own too much, I now feel. Almost all day they were working individually. This was easier because of the dynamic of the class. But now I am trying to teach more to the whole and have less one-on-one time. An example is that before I gave them each a book to read, and then they would one-by-one read me the book while the others practiced the book or worked on related stuff. This was good sometimes, as it helps pronunciation, but it is also a time-suck.

Now I have more genuine teaching, and I will talk about this more in my next entry. For now, here is a run down of my students:

My most problematic student is Henry. Henry has the determination of a bull-headed Apprentice candidate, and that comes with all of the same subtle social graces. Henry as your class devil is really not so bad. It could be much much worse. His biggest problem is he is just so loud. He yells constantly, and so I am always trying to get him to be more quiet. I know I was a loud kid [sic: am a loud adult], but I don't think I was so insulting and loud. But he is a smart kid. If I teach it, he learns it. He does not excel at anything that is not taught (natural talent if you will), but if it is a spelling word, he knows it.

Summer is naughty to a T and loves my class because she can disappear from my view and get away with more. Her English is not fantastic, but she does her work. Anytime I deal with another student though, she is trying to do something else. Before she was dependent on Candy, and at least that is changing.

Candy is incredibly bright, and could likely read much of this blog out loud (understanding none of it, but being able to pronounce most of the words). She is shockingly moody sometimes, but she has great capabilities. She has lots of natural talent but is hard to teach. Sometimes I will explain really basic stuff that everyone will understand but her. This typically puts her in a bad mood so pronounced she won't learn anything.

Daniel is one of the brightest and works so fast I have to keep extra assignments in stock for him. I like him because he seems to be on a constant hunt for BS. He will ask why to virtually any statement. Candy does this to be cute/annoying, Daniel does this to try and "get" someone. I don't think he is used to me, who gives him straight answers and forces him to actually try and trap me logically. He is also inordinately obsessed with the fact that he was the only one of my students to successfully learn the extra credit spelling word: "antidisestablishmentarianism" (which he can spell very well, but refers to as simply "antidis"). His mom is a teacher and shockingly loves my class. She renewed for this semester almost immediately and is really flattering when I run into her. I would also note, I had a 100% of my students return from last semester, which made me happy.

Kevin is a sweet kid who seems perpetually sick. He has a cough that sounds remarkably like a scream. He is an amazing artist and a social outcast. Its easy to see why he is a social outcast, he unnecessarily tells on students nearly constantly. You should note, this is the same Kevin that I had in the summer class. They bumped him up two levels from BA1 to BA3. This means his English, although far too good for BA2 (which he now would be in) is not nearly up to BA4. This is worsened because I like to teach very obscure (but in my world useful ) words, which now most of the class is accustom to, but he has not had the time with (my boys all have words like "abstain" and "proposal" at ready use).

Allen is the most like me when I was a kid, though I think he is a bit more selfish. He is a sweet kid, but sometimes I discover a streak of selfishness or whatever that surprises me. He has amazing spoken English, but his writing is a train-wreck. It is just not pretty. His mom is amazingly sweet, and stays involved in his progress. I like that a lot. I have made Allen a lot better in spelling and writing, but he still has a tendency to drift. He needs the handwriting coach I needed [sic: need?] and that is a terrible terrible fate for someone of his age. He was a serious hugger, and before I started pushing away physical affection from kids (now i recognize the fact that I really don't want their dirty hands grabbing my arm), he constantly wanted to be touched (I think its from his very sweet mom who must hug him continuously).

Lastly, Jerry is my new student. Jerry is a great kid it seems, and the first two weeks with him have been great. He is a good stabilizing influence for Henry. When a student goes crazy in my class, I like social pressure to be my biggest weapon. Before, Daniel and the girls were the only one would would look at Henry like "what are you doing?" Allen would laugh and Kevin would continue staring at the cartoons that surround his peripheral vision. Now I have one more student, who is sitting very near Henry who can look at him like "dude, that was really weird." Jerry has spectacular spelling problems, but otherwise he is getting the class. His work is not amazing, but he is a great guy and I think he will continue improving.

So that is my main class, next time I will talk about my other classes (not student by student), and how this semester has been better.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The internet

Great stuff on the internet:

Seriously guys, there are so many Chinese/Japanese speakers in California. The budget of this movie I am sure was adequate enough to pop over to China town and just ask somebody. The best part is that was in the second book of my Chinese learning, I mean come on!

The site that I link at first (which is not kid friendly) also talks about Cosmo where they discuss a Chinese character as this mythic symbol which no one could dare decipher but the keep of the tat. The worst part was that the character was 愛 (love, which book 1 got out of the way fast). Which is used in both Japanese and Chinese and prounounced the same (at least to my ear). I know Cosmo is not exactly bought for their intellectual bravado, but between the 1.3 billion in China (does that number count the 23 million in Taiwan?), and the 125 million in Japan, plus an assortment of others around the world, its safe to say the character is not that mystic.

Lastly, I am totally in love with trip plan making do dad. It is really fun, and if these fares are real I think will let me get around the world before coming back. Who knows if I can actually reasonably get these prices.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Learning Chinese with technology

One of the things about my Chinese learning is that it has been vastly modern. Many of the complaints I have heard about learning Chinese simply don't apply to me, which depending on how you look at it is either terrible or very good.

I lean towards the side of very good as I feel I have done a better than average job in moderation. That said, I don't have to memorize lists of radicals and stroke counts (though if pressed I can usually figure out both). Looking through a character dictionary is a common complaint amongst Chinese language learners and that is simply not something I deal with much. But I can inscribe a character into my electronic translator with increasing deafness.

My flash cards are now on my computer, and plug one goes to Loopware's iFlash:

http://www.loopware.com/iflash/

This program is a Mac flash card program that is single handedly making my Chinese vastly better. It can take into account your previous knowledge of cards, it moves fast, and it works very very well. Part of the reason I never liked real flash cards is I make them and then I have this whole mess of flash cards. I might look them over, but most of them I know pretty quickly, and it just seems like a big waste.

With this program I just copy and paste words into the program. I then usually review my words once before bed, and then first thing when I get up (and often choose just to review the words I will need for whatever news articles I have as homework). Anyway, if news is getting repetitive (best example: 廢統論) I can learn basically all of the vocab I need for a week in about two days.

The next plug is:

http://www.chinesepod.com/

This is not exactly original of me because it sounds like these guys are pushing serious numbers these days. However I do highly recommend their program. It is broadcast out of Shanghai China and it is for beginner to intermediate. The intermediate lessons are typically very good. I find that even if I really don't care about the topic, there is at least a few things I find interesting in the lesson.

What I like is that it is also so very modern. Podcasting is a great way to learn in general. I recommend any of you rabid self-improvers to give Chinese pod a go to learn something interesting (Miranda, you have an iPod now...)

Lastly one more podcast:

http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/

This is a news program ala NPR but broadcast out of Asia. If you just go to www.rfa.org, you can get an English version. This is only for readers with serious Chinese, as most of the broadcast I don't understand (of note, my Chinese is most definitely not "serious" per se). However, because I have listened to the program for months now, I understand more and more. I hope when I leave that I can listen to it casually and understand most of it (I now can understand if I go over odd vocabulary of a given show before hand).

I don't know if I have any readers who really know Chinese, but I am desperatly looking for a Taiwanese news podcast (I can find plenty of audio files, but not actual pod casts). Anyone who can help?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The cartoon thing

This is a long unedited post mostly to talk about some of the stuff bothering me. This cartoon as news thing really is bothering me, and I just wanted to talk about it. It is probably overly tangential by a great deal, but the issue is obviously complex, and it made me question what I consider important. It can also be easily taken out of context to destroy any political future I might have, so hopefully that does not happen.

Being an international news tracker, I have seen a lot of American flags get torn up. Most notably for this discussion, a lot of them seriously messed up by Middle Eastern protesters.

I consider being objective and empathetic to be one of the primary virtues of political analysis. This does not mean being impartial to the sense where you cannot say that a killer is wrong. It is objective in the sense that you assume the average person is doing what he is doing for a reason. A reason that he thinks is good, and that alone justifies a significant effort to answer why?

I have heard a lot of reasons why America is such a focus of hate. I look down on the racism involved, and I condemn acts of terrorism, but some of the reasons at least explain why America has become such a dirty word in circles. Foreign policy, arrogance and great deal of misunderstanding made me often look at flag burners "Well, I would never do that. In their situation, I don't think I would do that. However, I probably would not be a huge fan of America."

At the very least, I gave the opinion that the west is "evil" an open ear.

This cartoon nonsense is driving me nuts. Its crazy, its beyond reason, and it makes me look down on the entire religion. Taken out of context, that makes me a pretty significant bigot, but to be fair, I look down on a good number of religions.

I think that fanaticism made me high school a bit more interesting, and occasionally far more annoying. As such, I have very distinct opinions on some aspects of western religion. Many of these are very distinct critiques.

But this whole cartoon thing is just beyond all reason. I already knew my empathy had bounds because of the basic outliers, the clearest answer being a complete lack of empathy towards the Nazi movement. I think its insanity is so beyond approach that it is not worth criticizing. But during my time, I never felt such a true void of empathy for a group. Typically I could rack things up to "they got a bad lot."

But people are dyeing over a doodle, and when that happens, I start wondering "are the people who on the streets still truly human?" First of all, this is not a condemnation against, say, Pakistanis. I have no plans to ill treat Pakistanis in the future. That said, if met one of the guys burning Danish flags and talking real talk about terrorism and death, my only real question is, "are you for real?"

When does humanity stop? Using an extreme example, I think a truly dire serial killer loses his humanity in a philosophical sense. My direct reading of Kant is laughable for someone who considers himself Kantian [editor's note: my spell check had Kantian, but not Kant], but one of my favorite ideas of his is that what sets man apart from animals is rationality.

The idea of rationality gives me a lot of breathing room in my philosophies and lets me sleep at night. Although I love animals, I do want to pass my days by considering myself running on "another level" than my cat. And rationality seems like a pretty good jumping off point. The idea that humans can follow logic, both linguistic and nonlinguistic, makes me happy to be a human.

And that is where my empathy comes from, the idea that I can rationalize things out because I am human, and since that guy is also human, he can do the same. So returning to a serial killer, is he still human? Under my definition, he needs to show rationality to be human.

My argument gets really messy here and rather than mostly relying on real philosophers, basically exclusively relies on them. The problem is that rationality, for me, is the use of logic and the synthesis of information. Yet, that requires a starting point for information to be synthesized. The only starting point that seems logical to me is along the lines of "I think, therefore I am" or just generally self recognition.

Starting with the postulates, "I am a sentient being that exists" and the postulate "the things that I sense also exist" is required for my world view to fly. Because assuming those two postulates, I can not empathize with serial killers.

So now my argument has taken on a new light. Its not really rationality I care about. Rationality might be still involved, but really I could envision an entirely "rational" serial killer (in that he can synthesis information and logic) yet he starts with different postulates other than "I am a sentient being that exists" and the postulate "the things that I sense also exist."

I don't know if any "trained" philosophers read this blog, but what are these postulates called? I know that opposing the second postulate would be something like skepticism, but would be the acceptance of both called?

So anyway, I guess my revoking of the title of humanity from a killer would be simply not "getting" these two things. So now that I have one outlier, its clear that we have criterion worth using to discuss other people, in this case, the flag burners.

I honestly don't think that the flag burners "get" these two things. As I watched a Danish flag burn it just seemed insane to me. How in the world could they honestly believe that the entire country should be punished because of the handful people that were really involved in the publication of these cartoons?

I can think of some artists in America that I really don't want to represent me, and I would call anyone who said that "because they are American they do represent you" straight up batty.

If the United States started active aggression against Iran because of a political cartoon depicting YHWH, those protesting would be rightfully considered lunatics.

I always hated the line "how do you negotiate with mad men?" Beyond trite, it seemed like a cop out. But serious, what does the west do here? I know some things it should not do, starting with ambassadors wearing one of the stupid cartoons on a t-shirt.

The only real approach I see here is marginalizing the fanatics. Seeing no empathy in them, I think we can pretty much rack them up as a "lost cause." But America has its own lunatic fanatics, and we try to tuck them away, like Michigan, Kansas, or the White House [editors note: sorry for the low blow, but I am mad at religion right now].

The goal is for the sane Muslim community to outweigh the insane. Not in numbers, but in weight. For me to sleep a night, I have to believe that the vast majority of the Muslim community is looking at all of this going "what the heck?" I guess it depends on what you define the Muslim community, but I really just hope that I am right in saying that.

With the US, I think that the fanatics have more power than they do numbers as well, but not nearly to the same extent. I think much of America's problems come from the oversized weight of those fanatics, but we are clearly no Iran.

Marginalizing the fanatic community, sadly, might inherently be an internal thing. If the west tries to reach is big gangly hand into the middle-east, its likely things will only just get far worse. That is a dark note to end on, but I really should do other things. I just wanted to type a little bit.

Friday, February 17, 2006

A heavy implication

I really like this short but interesting blog entry. I would say "hat tip" to Brian Leiter, but for those of you way too into academic blogs, is it just me, but is "hat tip" really annoying (not to sound a tad fruity, but perhaps if hats were at least considered "in fashion" again).

As for the journalism, it is mighty silly that they don't call out the absurdity.

Anyway, my views on gun control are still up in the air. I honestly believe it would be a bad idea for America to start going around stripping guns from its craziest and most religious citizens. That said, it is just silly that one in certain states can buy a fire arm from a Wal Mart.

I think we can all agree is that guns should be out of the hands of criminals, like Dick Cheney.

A quick addendum

I have no idea how I forgot about this in an entry about Taiwan politics and military. One of the major pan-blue politicians here is named 連戰. His name gave me a lot of problems when I first started reading news, because unlike most names you can actually translate it into something with meaning. It means "successive battles," a name that I am tempted to give my child.

"Hi, my name is Successive Battles Warner." Now that is a name.

Military in Taiwan

I am getting more and more into Taiwanese politics. I started by reading about the government, and with a great discussion from a very smart academic who teaches at my university. It became clear the institutions here are really really bad off. Lately it has become clear why, as the whole lot of the poltiicans seem to be not to worthwhile.

The only one I like is the blue candidate's chairman who seems like a geniunly good guy and who seems to hold a better views of cross strait relations than I believe the president does. The president, I think, may get Taiwan in big big trouble if he has a bad day.

The latern festival is going on literally blocks from my house, and everyday at eight o'clock they launch fireworks. It sounds like the red army is coming once a day. We were cooking the first time and then there was a house shaking (very literally) boom. Now I am used to it. It should happen for the rest of two weeks. At some point (tonight?) I am going to go over there, and if the pictures are bad, then I am just a bad photographer, because I have heard good things.

Last thing about military. I assigned all of my students to draw where they want to live, their dream house. The girls are in 6 story Barbie homes. The boys apparently want to live in military bases, with tanks helicopters, and explosions occuring in the base at the very time that the artist chose to render their home. In a country where conscription is mandatory, I have really good news for them.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Smarter Blogging

Last night and today I have spent the day, mostly alone, and mostly at my house. Having recently recovered from a flu that devastated my household (Ryan, Rie, and I), I don't really have the physical energy to play ball (though I do feel fine).

So I have been using my mental energy and excess (for once) of time for other exercises. After being productive with FAFSA, and studying my latest Chinese words, I have delved into the internet in a new direction, more of a cerebral direction than the average recent college graduate.

To preface this, the way to say blog in Chinese (well one of a few ways that I have encountered) is bo2 ke4. The way to say podcast apparently, is bo1 ke4. The difference is all in the tone, but the characters are very different. Listening to www.chinesepod.com (a very fun tool for casual or intermediate Chinese learners) they said a good way to remember the difference is that bo1 is apart of broadcast (hence podcast), whereas bo2 is apart of doctorate.

Obviously the connection between broadcast and podcast (which is not in my Apple computer's spelling check dictionary, tisk tisk). But the connection between a PHD holder and a blog writer to me seemed fuzzy. But the very smart host (Jenny Zhu) emphasized this connection as primordially obvious: bloggers are smart.

What? When did that happen?

I had spent that morning reading blogs from language philosophers, law professors, and the arguably brilliant Dave Berry. I often have marveled at the "blogosphere" and the impact that it is having on real news. Yet I never really stopped to think "hey, blogs are all grown up now."

In a weird way, they did it too fast for me. It was only four years ago that the only blog I knew of was Miranda's. I read Miranda's blog with diligence, well before it was called a blog. At the time she kept it somewhat secret, as sort of a private journal for the few who knew her URL (I actually initially got her URL through illicit means, sorry Miranda, it was all love).

At the time, when I mentioned I was thinking about starting a blog, it was somewhat of a joke. I remember Jake very much laughed at the whole concept, and thought an online journal defeated the purpose of a journal in the first place.

Yet quickly and not silently, blogs have gone from diary type journals to academic type journals. You can find real information out there. A good web surfer is not longer finding college humor and pornography. Rather, it is far more interesting stuff.

However, it is still hard for me to picture a blog as anything more than a step up from a the poorly crafted personal web-pages of yesterday.

Blogs may even hold the key to Chinese freedom of speech. Their sheer mass, and the ease of spreading links through messenger is quickly becoming a nightmare for Chinese censorship. Literally millions of blogs are flying around China, and their impact is freedom of assembly. For every site Michael Anti has shut down, he can pop another one up. Blogs are simply not a joke anymore.

What is odd for me is that even recently I have used blog as a derisive term. I use it to excuse my poor grammar and putting up things like surveys. I don't really regret that, but I am starting to think I might have to change my use of the word.

When I start law school, and especially afterwards, I might start a more scholarly blog, but for now, this is more for friends and family and I am okay with that. If for no other reason, my friends and family seem pretty scholarly themselves.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Quick entry

I normally stand against this sort of thing, but my blog has become a blog, so it is worth being tagged (however I will be the last branch)

Four movies I can watch over and over
* Pulp Fiction
* Dave (Yeah? What? What!?)
* Kill Bill I/II
* Godfather

Four TV shows I watch religiously
* Arrested Development (sigh)
* 哈,umm...我愛黑澀會 but that is mostly because its the only thing easily available. Plus its funny and I usually understand.
* Basketball games, everday I can catch one here, which is great
* In the states: Daily Show

Four places I've been on vacation (I don't like this question, it does not really say much I guess. Maybe because I lack really cool specific places).
* Mexico
* Thailand
* Ohio
* China

Four favourite dishes
* Sushi
* Humburger
* Chinese in general (which is lucky I guess!)
* Cheesecake

Four websites I visit daily
* Lawschoolnumbers.com (sigh)
* This blog for comment checking
* www.rfa.org/mandarin
* Yahoo

Four places I would rather be right now
* In the states, specifically CA, OR, and CO, because I be missing some people real bad
* China or Taipei (the over use of Taiwanese is driving me crazy here in the South)
* Europe, because I have not "done the Europe thing"
* Shifted one foot directly to my right, and resting on my left arm and not my right......ahhh...better...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

English to get some angst out

Something I really enjoyed and loved about this country died tonight, and I feel like shit about it.
One thing I loved about this country is that people shared basketballs. I know it is vain and stupid, but it was something I really liked. People just seemed to trust their basketball being freely used by people. I thought that was a really great thing.
So, I ended up joining along in assuming that if my ball was gone, it was being used by someone practicing or whatever.
The worst part is that I look stupid, emphatically stupid, in one more sentence…
So…I bought a new basketball yesterday…
The price was not exactly steep, same as the US. However, being that I am trying to live off of a touch more than $3 a day, a $15 loss hits the pride a bit.
What hurts are the shards of rose-colored glasses.
In Shanghai, I saw a taxi man try to convince a girl to go with him to another airport when he heard she had a transfer. Of course, she did not have to change airports, but I am sure he would have accepted payment to get back.
In Bangkok, I was fleeced of my money, albeit in a benign manner (hard to explain), and there were no hard feelings, but it definitely showed the cities dark nature.
In America, countless experiences of voided empathy, and ditto with Mexico.
Someone, for some reason, I ignored that in Taiwan. I heard stories; I saw the litter. I watched the drivers. But those all seemed to be vague stories of a lack of empathy towards society, not the direct sort of malice that out and out theft requires.
I think I ignored it for many reasons.
Firstly, I wanted to believe. I loved the idea that I could not worry about stupid things like that, and I did not want that to go away.
Secondly, the foreigners here are really jaded, far too jaded. I did not want to be like that, I really did not want to be like that. I did not want to hate my home. Hate my neighbors.
The other day, I saw a foreigner talk to a Taiwanese woman that tried to cut in front of him in line (a common occurrence). He spoke Chinese, but he instead said in English “Hey, you old f—king snapper head, yeah you, yeah, back off…”
Part of me liked it, because what she was doing was wrong, and it’s a common problem. But most of me thought “if you really feel that way, seriously man, leave.”
And that is common to a really large degree. Not all yell at ignorant Taiwanese, but a lot of people are really angry.
Trust me, there is enough hate to go around.
Some Taiwanese love foreigners. A lonely single white guy here is really doing something vastly wrong. They would love to speak English with you. In fact, I think many prefer the foreigner that does not learn Chinese, because they can use their English.
But other Taiwanese hate foreigners. They hate that foreigners get paid ludicrous money to speak their native language. They hate that they don’t have the same option. They hate that a loser foreigner is now a superstar here. They hate that foreigners are bigger. They hate that they love foreign things.
The worst thing is I cannot blame them. I see a foreigner here, and I automatically distrust them. I often look down on them. And for some reason, I think I am less foreign. But of course that is not even vaguely true, I stand out completely here.
I don’t want to be apart of that hate, but man I want to be angry. I want to fight. I want to debate. I want to go into that cynical darkness that I called high school. But I can’t do that.
I can’t do that because that is what starts so much of the dumb stuff that happens in this world. A stomach turning majority of the bad things in this world are just indirect responses to other bad things.
I want to pay forward the good, and be a dam for the bad.
But man can it be hard. I think especially because this was symbolic. Especially because right now is their holiday, and I am not invited. I have not family to eat with, I have no one to play Mahjong with. All of them will come back, but this is supposed to be the best time to be in China, and it has been, unquestionably, my hardest.
And of course, its over that same holiday that I lose a $15 ball and want to take my receipt, cry for mom, and go home.
To be fair, I feel almost fine now. Typing out this has been good, understanding why something so little dug so deep.
Typing this out has been good also because I wrote out the line that I want to stop this kind of idiocy, not be a part of it, and it felt like it should, just right.

On another note, I am damn glad I did not buy the nice ball I was thinking about buying.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

怪怪

幾天前我在停紅綠燈的時候。有三個人看著我。其中一輛摩托車上有兩個人另一輛摩托車有一個人。有一個女人從她的口袋拿出她的手機。

她打開她的手機。顯然她想對我照相。

綠燈亮的時候,我開始騎過他們,他拿著手機對著我。
我不要他們對我偷偷照相。所以,我騎得很慢。他們也騎得很慢。然後,我的摩托車息火了,我把車停到路邊。他們需要繼續前進。

我等了一會兒,然後我就騎得很快。我超他們的車,可是我必須在十字路口停車。因為我以為他門想偷偷對我照相。所以我在輛車中間停下來。不過,他們在我後面停下們來。 然候,他們對我的車牌照。

我希望我可以跟他們說話。以前,我在乎他們為什麼沒告訴我。現在我覺得他們有很無辜的理由。

如果是一個Scavenger hunt的車牌,這沒問題。並且找外國人的車牌會很難。可是我真的想知道。