China Blog Mixtape

First, here’s a Danwei article about the way the F-bomb pops up in Chinglish translations, and why. Check it out, if only for the screenshot of the computer translations.

Lost Laowai talks about the Rape of Nanking. And not in the CCTV9 70th anniversary documentary way, either.

…it surprised me that I had gone a quarter of a century on this planet and never heard of Nanjing, never mind anyone raping it.

When I ended up moving to China not long after, I was a bit taken aback by the overt hate and racism towards Japan and Japanese. I mean, sure I had only relatively recently heard of the horrors that befell Chinese at the hands of Japanese soldiers – but that was nearly 70 years ago, how could they still be pissed about it?

But I think it’s my ignorance towards this part of history that is largely responsible. We shout the loudest when no one is listening, and for a long time no one was listening to China.

Tim Johnson on China Rises talks about Beijing air quality. It’s not alarmist predictions of environmental doom, just an expat and father wondering about the long-term effects of China air. Obviously we don’t have kids, but Stick and I often wonder if the price to pay for our Chinese adventure is a hacking cough.

Beijing is severely polluted. Call me ethnocentric but my experience is that most Chinese have no idea how severe the pollution is. They’ve rarely or never been outside of China, and they’ve grown accustomed to the haze and smog. We Westerners are not. Yet we choose to live here, often for very good job reasons, even enjoying ourselves greatly. And our kids’ health may suffer in the process. It’s not something most parents want to dwell on.

Optimists see the Forbidden City, the Temple Of Heaven and the Rainbow bridge, but blogger Imagetheif wants to know Beijing ugliest buildings. There are so many modern monsters that it’s hard to pick one, and a lot of buildings that look fine alone (the leaning tower of CCTV or the Olympic bird’s nest) don’t look so great when surrounded by Beijing’s grey Soviet blocks and competing neon.

Strolling down Chang’an Avenue recently I was struck by how much of central Beijing’s recent construction is, well, nasty. Seriously: Jianwai Soho, Twins Mall, Wanda, it’s all transforming the Boulevard into one long strip of gleaming, mixed-use wreckage pockmarked with Starbucks outlets.

And an older one, but worth repeating. Sinoplice‘s entry on Why Life In China Is Like An RPG

9. It takes place in a magical world where people believe in mystical concepts like qi and fengshui
10. The people take legends very seriously (even 5,000 year old ones)
11. The word “peasant” doesn’t seem out of place
12. There are plenty of barmaids in the taverns and women of ill repute on the streets
13. The background story: a legendary kingdom has fallen under the control of a powerful, malevolent force, and heroes are nowhere to be found…

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0 Responses to China Blog Mixtape

  1. meg says:

    What a difference a few decades can make, in either direction! Hope is not lost for Chinese air, but they will have to work miracle to have to clean for the Olympics

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