Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for October 20th, 2010

Fat or Virtue in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 20, 2010


China has some great sayings, and some are…. well.. not so great. Oftentimes my Chinese friends will passionately tell me that they have a great Chinese saying that will stir me to my bones and expose me to some greater light or path on understanding.
They then go on and on and on with this saying that makes little or no sense to me and leaves me scratching my head thinking, wtf does that mean. Then they look at me with eyebrows arched expecting some reply, any reply, so of course I nod in a sage manner and wink at them, pat them on the shoulder and say ahh yes, what a wonderful thought my Chinese brother. when in all reality I merely want to find some good Beijing noodles to sate my hunger.
But this saying is story is ace, its from From The Civilization of China- by Herbert A. Giles

(The book is great, and a fast read and I will post more, but check this out)…its from the teachings of Lao Tzu. this is a story of how a virtuous man lives

“a moral or virtuous life summed up as,” Mighty is he who conquers himself”

here is the story
“Two men meet on the street and one says
“how fat you have grown”
“yes” replies the other, “I have lately won the battle”
“What do you mean?” asks the other
“so long as I was at home, reading about ancient kings, I admired nothing but virtue; then , when i went out of doors, i was attracted by the charms of wealth and power. These two feelings fought inside me, and i began to lose flesh; but now love of virtue has conquered, and i am fat”

so all you chubbers join me and rejoice in our virtue!!!!

Posted in Cultural oddities | Leave a Comment »

On-going Saga of Comments to my site

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 20, 2010


Hey, I have been receiving and reading all of the comments, but have still had a problem responding to them and allowing them to appear. I will figure something out soon, and thanks for responding!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Pretty Good Post about China…

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 20, 2010


Here is a good post that, in a kind and gentle way, explains what one may see in China in a typical day. Her posts are spot on and I can totally relate…The name of the blog is weatheringthejourney.wordpress.com

The blogger is going to leave China, but you can check out her old posts. She does a good job of exposing China, but without some of the anger/angst… that other posters may have…

here is the post, click the link above to see the rest:
from weatheringthejourney.wordpress.com“Well it’s no wonder the Chinese hate waiting in lines and have to be forced to do it. I was watching the kids on the school’s roof-top playground before school was starting this morning and discovered what might be one reason why.

Rooftop Playground 1Before school begins…

At first just a few kids were there and one delightfully independent soul was running and galloping all over the place with wild abandon. Then, as more children arrived, they were divided up into two groups. One group was led in jumping ropes (see Dad, I said it correctly!), and the other group was using hula-hoops, and one kid was on a hippity-hop ball and bouncing all around everyone. I love that kid, I bet he drives his teachers crazy though. Anyway, this whole time loud, cheerful, children’s music plays. I can hear it very well inside my apartment.

Rooftop Playground 2Everybody line up and follow-the-leader!

After more children had arrived, they all got into lines and started exercising or maybe dancing. They didn’t really move much from the place they were standing, just a lot of arm waving and crouching down and standing up again, follow-the-leader style.

hen, when the music stopped they all filed back into the school. If I was a kid, I’d be miffed. What a rip-off, where’s the fun?! After the kids go in, every morning a man comes out onto the higher roof-top and practices with a long weapon. I can’t tell if it’s the staff, a spear, or a guan dao. The moves he’s doing make me think it’s probably a spear. I remember when I first saw him practicing, he looked a little awkward, but he is rapidly improving. I do hope though that someone is working with him on his posture and footwork. They could use some work – if you don’t have strong roots and a strong core, the rest is just flash-in-the-pan. I’m a little jealous. Staff and spear were my favorite weapons to study, and I miss them. Sometimes I think I should get up early and just walk around until I find someone practicing with one of those weapons and then sit and watch them until they offer to let me try. Hmm. There’s an idea.

winner-winner, chicken dinner 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Lost in Love or Just Plain Lost- Air Supply to China-WTF

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 20, 2010


My attention span is quite limited, but I am good at getting to the heart of things and so it is with this background that I say that I think the music group Air Supply is coming to perform in China.
Air Suppl? WTF???
I mean Air Supply
1-are they still around?
2-they were old when I was young, and I am old
I see this ad on the Beijing subways and sure enough, it appears to show the fossilized remains of that old ‘hair band’ air supply, one guy balancing himself on an octogenarian leg and his aging npartner almost collapsing at his feet. So I got to wondering, is this true, is Air supply coming to China, and if they are , then in what frigging parallel universe is Air Supply still relevant… then I answered my own question, its China that marvelous country where anyone and anything can still reinvent itself , not convinced, read on (great run on sentence, I know)
-in china they are just now discovering the rubics cube, no shit, they play with it all the time
-Mike Tyson is doing some tour here, of heaven knows what
-Stephon Marbury is coming or has been here
-Allen Iverson supposedly was in talks with local Chinese teams
-my local pharmacy uses that one old chinese adding machine, the one with the beads on the little wires, I forget the name
So I began to think about it and it is true. China is kind of an accepting place, they love it if you show them a little love, treat them like a big player on an international scale, its all about face. And china can market any foreign good to the locals, they have a somewhat limited perspective on what is ‘in’ and thus love a foreign (read as white face).
I have seen this all over the place, people with no or limited skills come to China, only to enjoy a ton of success, much attributable to the graciousness of their Chinese hots. Then I got to thinking of me …. and the fact I am in china….and I … um… have had decent succes… so what does it say……. about …………………….me

Posted in Ranting in general | 2 Comments »

Hard at Work in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 20, 2010


Posted in Cultural oddities, Photos | 1 Comment »

Beijing Traffic

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 20, 2010


I think I took this one looking up towards Guomao SOHO.

Posted in Photos | Leave a Comment »

Special Massage in Beijing?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 20, 2010


Hmm, I wonder if this place cuts hair, as the barbers pole implies or actually provides other services… any ideas….

Posted in Cultural oddities | 2 Comments »

Beijing Street

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 20, 2010


Posted in Photos | Leave a Comment »

Luxury Living in Shanghai China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 20, 2010


This comes from chinahush, it shows some Shanghai apartment buildings. The scenes are scary but I remember when I first came here and looked at some local college dorms, they looked remarkably similar. The buildings are over 80 years old which is good for China, whose modern places dont last more than 15.

20101018-dwelling-16

Longchang apartments.

20101018-dwelling-02

20101018-dwelling-03

20101018-dwelling-04

20101018-dwelling-05

20101018-dwelling-07

20101018-dwelling-08

20101018-dwelling-10

20101018-dwelling-11

20101018-dwelling-12

20101018-dwelling-13

20101018-dwelling-14

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Are We Not Men, We Are Devo- D E V O

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 20, 2010


Remember that group DEVO? I was looking at a photo of the chicom leaders, which I cannot find, but their hair reminded me of DEVO. I have heard it is kind of compulsory to dye their hair that jet black that they all have. Here is a photo so DEVO and the leader of China.

Posted in Photos | Leave a Comment »