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Archive for February, 2007

IF A HORSE DIES THEN YOU HAVE TO WALK: CHINA’S “CANCER” VILLAGES AND THE CHOPSTICK TAX 马死落地行*

I was in mystical Yangshuo, China not long ago (post to follow in a day or two) and was deeply troubled by the unfettered growth in the region. Toilets emptied directly into the clear water of the Li River and I imagined it would soon be like the dark Pearl River in industrial Guangzhou. Last year 5 of my students were diagnosed with a variety of cancers; none of them is older than 22.

Close to Guangzhou is Dongguan. It is, like Shenzhen, a very new city populated by migrants from the North of China looking for greener, albeit toxic, pastures:

URBAN PLANNING
I was never so glad to get back to Guangzhou as the day after I visited Dongguan, China. And Guangzhou’s sky has an aversion itself to letting the sun shine. Dongguan is a huge city with natural and man-made amenities inversely proportional to the pollution. Even the countryside smells like the back-end of a bus.
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Asia,Cancer Journal,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,Environment,Guangzhou China,Yangshuo China,中国

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China Expatrapreneurs: A call for articles…

China Expatrapreneurs

I received several emails after my last post on China CEO expressing interest in helping put together a text on grass roots business leaders in China. We would tell their stories complete with insights as to how to succeed in small to medium ventures in the Middle Kingdom.

If you know if an expatrepreneur that should be included or want to contribute to the project please let me know. You may email me at santini47 at Yahoo.com or you can leave a comment below.

It would be done in a fashion similar to anthologies with rights reverting to the author upon publication/ And if there is any money to be made we will share in royalties or agree to donate them to a suitable charity.

Hop aboard!

Asia,China Business,China Editorials,China Expats,Chinese Media,Expats,In the news,中国

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China’s “Shocking” Internet Bootcamp

Chinglish Sightings

Chinese youth are more addicted to video games. text messaging and online chats than any other group I have seen worldwide. Students will happily risk a failing grade in class in order to keep up with the daily movements of their friends. They text message each other so often that GPS is uneccessary.

Beijing has been concerned for a while and bootcamps for the addicted are springing up country-wide. The Beijing Military Region Central Hospital was turned into a boot camp for the Internet-addicted a few months ago. According to the director of China’s of the program, people treated there have a hard time distinguishing between real and virtual worlds. Me too, but it has nothing to do with the Internet and more with being an expat…

According to a recent post by Boing Boing: “The Chinese government is imprisoning and giving electric shocks to people it thinks have become addicted to the Internet. Alarmed by a survey that found that nearly 14 percent of teens in China are vulnerable to becoming addicted to the Internet, the Chinese government has launched a nationwide campaign to stamp out what the Communist Youth League calls “a grave social problem” that threatens the nation.

Tao Ran, a military researcher who built his career by treating heroin addicts said that the clinic is based on the idea that there are many similarities between his current patients and those he had in the past.

In terms of withdrawal: “If you let someone go online and then he can’t go online, you may see a physical reaction, just like someone coming off drugs.” And in terms of resistance: “Today you go half an hour, and the next day you need 45 minutes. It’s like starting with drinking one glass and then needing half a bottle to feel the same way.”
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Asia,China Editorials,China Photos,Chinglish,In the news,Just Plain Strange,Weird China

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So what do you have under your hood?

smuggling Chinese

Customs arrested a Mexican man for allegedly trying to smuggle a Chinese woman into the U.S. by hiding her inside a car’s engine compartment.

Is the irony lost on anyone here?

According to an NBC News site “Officers removed the grill and said they found a Chinese woman lying in a non-factory compartment of the engine. Is there a FACTORY compartment?! She was freed and transported to a local medical facility.The driver was charged with alien smuggling and transported to the Imperial County Jail. The woman is now being held by CBP as a material witness for the prosecution.Officials said this is the second failed attempt in a week of someone allegedly trying to smuggle Chinese migrants inside an engine compartment.Last Thursday, CBP officers at the downtown port discovered two Chinese men hidden within the engine of a Chevrolet pickup truck. The driver, a 28-year-old Mexican male from Brawley, was arrested.

China Editorials,In the news,Just Plain Strange

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Chinglish Sightings

Not featured in Lonely Planet:

Chinglish Sightings

Via the Hao Hao Report and Cox Washington is a upgrade on the Chinglish battle going on in Beijing: “Visitors to China’s capital can stroll through “Racist Park,” enjoy a plate of “Crap in the Grass” and stop by a Starbuck’s franchise for a cup for “Christmas Bland” coffee.

Now the Beijing government is trying to clean up such mistranslations and sloppy editing (including the inversion of ‘a’ and ‘r’ in carp on menus) before an expected 500,000 foreigners arrive for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

The campaign includes teaching 300 English phrases to 48,000 taxi drivers, helping private restaurants edit menus and standardizing public signs.

The English translations on signage range from charming mistakes to baffling renditions that spread anger and confusion.

In Shanghai, which will host several Olympic soccer games, at least one public toilet equipped for handicapped use is emblazoned with the malapropism, “Deformed Man Toilet.”

There is such a plethora of entertaining “Chinglish” – the unusual and sometimes incomprehensible phrases that result when Chinese meets English — that several online communities are devoted entirely to sharing entertaining snippets.

A collection of photographs posted on the photo-sharing Web site flicker.com includes of a Chinese sign marking a loading zone but bearing the English message: “VEHICLE-TAKING SPOT.”

Many of the funniest examples are found on packaging, such as instructions on a Chinese-made candle warning owners to “keep this candle out of children.”

The fact that hundreds of thousands of English speakers will descend on China for the Olympics prompted a government-led campaign reminiscent of mass mobilizations of the 1960s and ’70s.

In Beijing, several district governments offer citizens free English classes with the goal of boosting the number of foreign-language speakers from today’s 3.2 million to 5 million by 2008, when they will be called on to help the city “host a most excellent ever Olympic Games,” according to a poorly edited English version of Beijing’s “Plan of Action for the Beijing Speaks Foreign Languages Program.”

Uh…

Asian Humor,China Editorials,China Humor,China Olympics,Chinglish,Intercultural Issues,Just Plain Strange,Weird China

One response so far

Shtikl me!

Regardless of where you live, Shtikl is a must read. It is written by cyber-friend, philospher, teacher, artist, author, new dad and blogmaster Dushan. It has been a couple of years since I became hooked on his playfully circuitous logic. Enjoy!:

20070130.jpg

20070131-en_1.jpg

cartoons,Humor,Personal Notes,Top Blogs

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Love and Asian Internet Dating in China

A dear friend of mine recently came to China to meet a beautiful woman that he had corresponded with for several months. The meet-up was a bit of a bust*: they needed an interpreter 24/7 and most of the expats and Chinese who met her came to the same conclusion that was confirmed a couple of weeks after my buddy returned stateside.

LOVE

 

His intended was picked up in a raid of, um, entertainment businesses in Shenzhen and couldn’t write for a couple of weeks as they don’t have DSL in the provincial jail there. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. OK, so it was funny and I have tortured him since it happened.

To go back in time a bit: I was startled last year when one of the staff directors here asked why foreigners seem to be attracted by the Chinese women that the natives find unappealing.

I wryly replied that he should consider it a blessing.

Lots of men look Eastward to find relationships. They frequent inter-cultural dating sites for a number of reasons: some good, some bad.

The women who use the Chinese dating services and chat services are, by and large, good women in search of an honest and lasting relationship. Most of them are divorced or highly educated and that puts them on the outs in many Chinese social circles. It is like American thinking not so many years ago.

Unlike some countries, the women here are not looking to sleep their way to an American visa. They come from proud families and are deeply rooted in their regional cultures. That does not mean that they will not relocate for the right relationship or the promise of a caring life together with a special someone. I have known several women who have followed their hearts to America, Canada and elsewhere.

Following are some general musings, concerns and comments on online love searches for Chinese women. A later post will list services and their ratings by friends and associates that have found their soul mates via the Internet.

Most Chinese make about $80–$200 U.S. dollars a month, so life is short of frills for many of the women on the net. BUT: don’t send any money unless you have been here to visit or unless you have enough knowledge to discern the truth of a request. There are scammers on the net, albeit a lot less in China than in other developing countries. Come here and meet the lady for which you are falling into cyberspace. The worst you will get is a great vacation.

My friend was asked by his cyber-paramour to pay for English lessons and a small operation. The fee requested seemed small to my American buddy but would have bought the girl a full-time tutor for a year and gotten her more plastic modifications than Cher and Phyllis Diller combined.

NEVER send money for a plane ticket unless you have verified that your beloved has a visa in hand. I know of two men who spent several long hours together in a Denver airport unknowingly waiting for the same girl. It is a long and winding road to a visa, even a fiance stamp, now that Homeland Insecurity is involved. Be in this quest for the long haul. And don’t be frivilous: a fiance visa is a once in a lifetime deal for a Chinese woman. If you decide not to marry after the trial period your Asian siren does not get a second chance to find Mr. Right.
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Asian Women,cartoons,China Editorials,China Expats,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Internet Dating,Japan,Personal Notes

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Looking for Love in All the Wong Places: Internet Dating in China

A dear friend of mine recently came to China to meet a beautiful woman that he had corresponded with for several months. The meet-up was a bit of a bust*: they needed an interpreter 24/7 and most of the expats and Chinese who met her came to the same conclusion that was confirmed a couple of weeks after my buddy returned stateside.

LOVE

 

His intended was picked up in a raid of, um, entertainment businesses in Shenzhen and couldn’t write for a couple of weeks as they don’t have DSL in the provincial jail there. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. OK, so it was funny and I have tortured him since it happened.

To go back in time a bit: I was startled last year when one of the staff directors here asked why foreigners seem to be attracted by the Chinese women that the natives find unappealing.

I wryly replied that he should consider it a blessing.

Lots of men look Eastward to find relationships. They frequent inter-cultural dating sites for a number of reasons: some good, some bad.

The women who use the Chinese dating services and chat services are, by and large, good women in search of an honest and lasting relationship. Most of them are divorced or highly educated and that puts them on the outs in many Chinese social circles. It is like American thinking not so many years ago.

Unlike some countries, the women here are not looking to sleep their way to an American visa. They come from proud families and are deeply rooted in their regional cultures. That does not mean that they will not relocate for the right relationship or the promise of a caring life together with a special someone. I have known several women who have followed their hearts to America, Canada and elsewhere.

Following are some general musings, concerns and comments on online love searches for Chinese women. A later post will list services and their ratings by friends and associates that have found their soul mates via the Internet.

Most Chinese make about $80–$200 U.S. dollars a month, so life is short of frills for many of the women on the net. BUT: don’t send any money unless you have been here to visit or unless you have enough knowledge to discern the truth of a request. There are scammers on the net, albeit a lot less in China than in other developing countries. Come here and meet the lady for which you are falling into cyberspace. The worst you will get is a great vacation.

My friend was asked by his cyber-paramour to pay for English lessons and a small operation. The fee requested seemed small to my American buddy but would have bought the girl a full-time tutor for a year and gotten her more plastic modifications than Cher and Phyllis Diller combined.

NEVER send money for a plane ticket unless you have verified that your beloved has a visa in hand. I know of two men who spent several long hours together in a Denver airport unknowingly waiting for the same girl. It is a long and winding road to a visa, even a fiance stamp, now that Homeland Insecurity is involved. Be in this quest for the long haul. And don’t be frivilous: a fiance visa is a once in a lifetime deal for a Chinese woman. If you decide not to marry after the trial period your Asian siren does not get a second chance to find Mr. Right.
Continue Reading »

Asian Women,cartoons,China Editorials,China Expats,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Internet Dating,Japan,Personal Notes

7 responses so far

Solving China’s Power Problems–One Pint at a Time

With everyone up in arms, or threatening to be, over China’s unquenchable thirst for energy I thought a bathroom break was needed:

POWERED BY GUINNESS

Remember the old joke about the fellow who was in an Irish Pub’s W.C. pouring his pint down the urinal? When asked what he was doing. he replied, “Cutting out the middle man.”

Well, you might want to hold that thought (pun, bad as it is, intended) for a while. There might just be a renewable energy solution for China. A company in Singapore has developed a credit-card sized battery—powered by urine! This biodegradeable power source is initially for use in for medical test kits that test for problems in, well, urine.

The Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering (now to be known as the Whiz Kid Reader) published the results. They describe the altered AA Battery as one that will last about 90 minutes and produce 1.5 volts–the same as a standard AA battery. When a drop of urine is added to some copper chloride paper, a chemical reaction takes place and produces electricity.

Researchers said the power, voltage, and lifetime of the battery can be improved by adjusting the geometry and materials used. . .And probably the brand of Ale.
That reminds me of a friend who came across an electric fence in the middle of the woods and….

But I digress….

–Thanks to http://Milanosblog.com

Reprinted from September 17th, 2005

cartoons,China Humor,Environment,Humor,In the news,Just Plain Strange,Singapore

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Hong Kong’s Mickey Maose Outfit: It’s a Small Park After All

I have incredible timing: I was in Hong Kong just in time for the WTO riot, an hour ahead of the anti-Japanese protests and recently headed for the ferry station while foot traffic stalled for a post-new year’s parade on the way back from Disneyland. It was a good thing I wasn’t too tuckered out from my amusement adventure–It is hard, after all, to get too tired at HK disneyland as it is an incredibly small world.

LONG LIVE CHAIRMAN MOUSE

Last week government officials and park managers announced that profits were disappointing this year. Guangdong tourists are still behaving like, well, Guangdong tourists: They are cheap!

They are frugal because it is in their blood as well as a survival necessity: the whole world reveres the business acumen of the Cantonese: The “mainland” yearly income still averages only $875 U.S. Dollars. And Disney anticipates that 1/3 of its visitors come from outside Hong Kong.

They had hoped, and in fact expected, that most visitors would spend an extra couple of days in Hong Kong, but folks are still taking buses down and back on the same day. And get off of rides and, instead of buying expensive computer images, take a digital shot of the digital photos on display.

There are two things you virtually cannot do to a Guandong native: force one to get less than their money’s worth of fun or have them pay one Yuan more than they have to for anything! They now stay in the park (2% the size of Disney world in Florida) for an hour longer on average than an American does in Florida. They then ride the bus home in the evening to save on hotel fees. Rates were just lowered, but a hotel at Disney still costs an average of one to two month’s salary in the mainland.

The first words a Guangzhou woman learns are 多少钱 Doashaoqian “HOW MUCH?” If you give an American woman flowers on Valentine’s day she will coo and thank you because you have proven you are not the insensitive pig Cosmo’ says you are. In China she will IMMEDIATELY ask you what you paid. And if you parted with too much money, you are in BIG trouble.

The Hong Kong Government, betting like they were in Macau, plowed millions of dollars more into the park than did Disney. They expected, acording to some bogus study, that the mainlanders would spend about 2.3 days (2.3???) in Hong Kong for their visit. Nope! Most are hightailing it back to Shenzhen, and Guangzhou with a few Yuan still intact. Fact: The cost for 2.3 days in a Hong Kong hotel would pay for a half year of University education in mainland China.

The Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners’ executive director Michael Li said last year that the hotel occupancy rate hovers around 60 to 70 percent and that the opening of Disneyland has not affected the rate. What a shock. He said that the local government and the theme park should discuss related ways of getting the tourists to spend more time in Hong Kong. I think that unless you up their pay in the mainland there is a problem. And Hong Kong Disneyland may yet hemorrhage some serious money like France did/does.

Li said, “They should get them to visit more scenic attractions as this will be more economically beneficial to Hong Kong,” Ya, after having to apply, and pay for, a special visa just to GET to Hong Kong and nine hours dodging vendors at Disneyland, I am sure they will be up for a trip to the zoo.

Hong Kong Disneyland’s management has been blasted on the local radio for arrogance and arbitrary decision making (they made food inspectors take off their hats and badges going into the park and the fireworks are a few decibels above city allowed levels–like Hong Kong is a quiet place anyway), bad planning on high-volume days and they have challenged the management to appreciate and accept local culture. The park responded with the death-defying answer that their motives for things are “commercial secrets.” When did Mickey and the crew join the CIA?

It will be interesting to see how the whole thing pans out. Two percent of the space, longer park stays, impoverished/tight fisted poor tourists, a watered down fireworks display at 7 PM to pacifycranky neighbors, and a dearth of good attractions. Now, there is a formula for monetary success!

The up side? Lines are incredibly short for venues (10-20 minutes maximum), the whole park can be covered in about six hours, there is nothing much edible to spend money on and the place closes early enough that you can make it home for the evening news.

But, I am still a kid at heart:

Long Live Chaiman Mouse!!

FRANKENMOUSE

cartoons,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Humor,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Macau,Personal Notes

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Happy Year of the Pig

Welcome to the Year of the Pig. May this year bring healthy back-ups and good fortune….

sign_of_pig_small.gif

If you were born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, or 2007 here is your personality forcast:

People born in the Year of the Pig are chivalrous and gallant. Whatever they do, they do with all their strength. For Boar Year people, there is no left or right and there is no retreat. They have tremendous fortitude and great honesty. They don’t make many friends but they make them for life, and anyone having a Boar Year friend is fortunate for they are extremely loyal. They don’t talk much but have a great thirst for knowledge. They study a great deal and are generally well informed. Boar people are quick tempered, yet they hate arguments and quarreling. They are kind to their loved ones. No matter how bad problems seem to be, Boar people try to work them out, honestly if sometimes impulsively. They are most compatible with Rabbits and Sheep.

I am still slowly rebuilding files and will spend my evening like mlillons of Chinese watching CCT’s annual gala…So, the New Year has to be better, right???? There will be no Dick Clark, no Times Square and maybe no pigs:

PIG

Reprinted from the lost archives….

First, they dumped the Friendlies (HERE) because some professor thought someone might read it as “friend lies”. Then, the government gave serious thought to extinguishing the dragon (HERE) as a national symbol because it looked too fierce. NOW, they want to bans pig from Year of the Pig TV advertisements!!! The move, apparently, was made by a party propaganda official Li Changchun who is probably related to the moron who trashed the friendlies. The move is meant to avoid offending China’s 21 million member Muslim population. Seems odd doesn’t it? Jail ‘em, register and appoint their clergy for them, but don’t tease them with p-o-r-k forbidden to them by Islamic law.

So, how are the Buddhists, who think that the animals were chosen after Buddha himself summoned them all to a meeting in which he would designate the first 12 animals as rep’s, going to feel?

Who woulda thunk it? China attempting political correctness….

This has big implications:

You are going to have to muzzle the dog as the government has now outlawed eating dog to improve China’s culinary image prior to the Olympics; and of course the donkey will have to go to keep from offending politicos from the States; the chicken will remain roosted to deflect criticism for the prostitution trade here as women “sex care providers” are called Chickens and the men are called Duck; the snake will get caged for reminding Christians of original sin and the Ox will head for a Hindi barn….

Maybe they could use fruit (don’t EVEN go there…) or vegetables….

 

Lots of stuff yet to be added….PLease be patient…

L

Asian Humor,Holidays,Humor,In the news,Personal Notes

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Panda Porn

Zoolologists worldwide have gone to a lot of trouble in recent years to ensure the survival of a rare and beautiful species. But, a couple of new projects make you wonder whether or not the zoo keepers have wee bit too much time on their hands….

China is still building a breeding “base” for giant pandas in another effort to save the endangered species from extinction. Wang (do not go there), the director, said that the base will contribute more to the research and breeding of giant pandas as well as to their training before their release in the wild. Males are rehearsed in panda pick-up lines and taught to smoke before being let go and a reunion is planned for sometime in 2006. Giant pandas are notoriously unproductive. There are only about 1,500 of the much-loved black and white creatures left in the wild in China’s the giant pandas living in the Qinling have been separated geographically for 50,000 years from those in Sichuan, experts said. “The giant pandas in Qinling is a more endangered sub-species of giant pandas,” the official said. I think I had him in one of my oral English classes. A recent survey indicated that the number of giant pandas roaming in the wild of Shaanxi has reached 340 thanks to effective protection measures.   The cake-taker though comes from Thailand.  According to National Geographic A Thai zoo is hoping that “panda pornography” will spark romance between its two giant pandas, which were married by proxy (monkeys stood in for them?) last November in an elaborate Chinese-style ceremony. “Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui have called Thailand’s Chiang Mai Zoo home for the past four years. Zoo officials had hoped that the warm Thai climate would spark the pandas’ hormones and trigger their desire to mate. Instead they are insisting to go to dance bars and the beach. But the animals, on loan from China for ten years, have yet to start a family. A first mating attempt earlier this year failed to produce offspring, and the pandas have remained platonic pals (But, the male doesn’t call or write or anything laments the female) since then—prompting officials to launch their unique plan.” Maybe one of them is just really ugly, or has a unacceptably colorful panda past? “They don’t know how to mate, so we need to show the male how through videos,” project chief Prasertsak Buntrakoonpoontawee (If you can say that three times REALLY fast I will send you the centerfold from the 2007 Panda Babes Calendar)t told the Reuters news service. Chuang Chuang, the six-year-old male, will view films of other mating pandas when scientists judge him to be relaxed and receptive—perhaps just after a tasty dinner. “If all goes well, the racy video will be both instructional and inspirational, showing Chuang Chuang the reproductive ropes and causing him to see five-year-old Lin Hui in an entirely different light. “Ya, but don’t pandas gain like 40 or 50 kilos on TV? The story goes on to say, their solitary nature could mean that even some wild animals are unsure of themselves with the opposite sex.

I think that maybe they just want a bit of privacy.

by Lonnie Hodge 

Asia,Asian Humor,China Humor,Environment,Humor,Just Plain Strange,Thailand,Weird China

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A Poem with Faith in Wellness

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

SOUNDTRACK

(a work in progress)

When the agitated syncopy
Of your thready heartbeats
Stop to amass a clap of thunder
Over a crashing surf
And you fight The waves
With Cuchulain’s sword

When your body betrays you
And depression is an frail umbrella
In the hot sun of lament

When ravenous silence
Is acrid steam from a bitter ocean’s crest
Or when you think you are
One simple syllable
Shy of a symphony
Remember the lullabies of the past
Conduct them into the present
Lay awash in the fragile swell of hesitancy

Compose reconciliation
Have faith in the God of the metronome
The will of the tides
The gift or accident of nature
That gave you ears for
And a comradery with
The murmurs, sobs, roiling
And wicked playfulness of the ocean
And the weather it dares to rebuke…

for W.L. and Ms Yue

 

American Poet in China,Cancer Journal,Chinese Poetry,Personal Notes,The Unsinkable Ms Yue

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The Himalayan Quiz

First, the Himilayan Quiz: Test Your Knowledge

1. What’s the highest mountain in the world?

2. What are three of the names for Tibet’s highest mountain?

3. How do you pronounce the English name of Tibet’s highest mountain?

4. True or false: George Bush says that the tallest mountain isn’t shrinking, the Chinese (see (Yao Ming)) are getting taller.

Climb in Tibet:

One of the most creative executive leadership programs available in China is now open internationally to managers and corporate leaders. Along with Chris Barclay, CEO of (Altec) China, ten participants without pumping big iron, but a clean bill of health, can also breathe Sir Edmund Hilary’s rarefied air. They will be able to ascend to over 6,000m of new managerial heights. Altec, a back-to-back winner of China’s HR Managers’ Award for Best Training Company in 2004 and 2005, has led thousands of workshops for over 450 multinational companies. Barclay began mountaineering leadership treks by taking Nike’s leadership development team into Tibet in 2006. Altec has a number of proprietary outdoor teambuilding programs that it conducts at breathtaking Yangshuo (YSMR) Mountain Retreat in Guilin, China.

But the Tibetan trip, complete with some touring days in Lhasa, is by far the most exhilarating transformational program in their broad repertoire. Altec, in conjunction with top guides in Tibetan mountaineering, is offering a two-week executive leadership trek in Tibet. The climb has been specially selected so that aspiring mountaineers will have from now until the end of May to train and prepare for the trip of a lifetime using an online conditioning program developed by Altec. The trip will include food, lodging, executive leadership training. Just add airfare and you’re on your way to Lhasa to hang with the Tibetan mountaineering school. The same guys now preparing for the Olympic torch relay will be there, too. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds will benefit an important charity, the China-US Medical Foundation. (CUMF) You can find all forms of information you’ll need for the trip here. (Tibet)

Answers to the quiz: 1. Guess again—it all depends on how you’re counting. While Everest is commonly called the tallest mountain in the world, it has several competitors. Everest, with a height of 8,850 m, is trumped by Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, which has a height of 10,203m—if you measure it from its base deep in the Pacific Ocean. Measured from sea level, Mauna Kea stands at around half of Everest’s elevation (4,205 m). And if you want to talk about distance from the equator, Ecuador’s Chimborazo tops Everest by 2,168m because the Earth bulges at the equator. However, Chimborazo is only 6,267m above sea level. 2. Naming Everest: Qomolonga (yes, try saying it five times fast) is the transliteration of the Tibetan name and means “mother of the universe.” The Chinese refer to Mom as “Shengmu Feng” (“Sacred Mother Peak”) or “Zhumulangma Feng,” which literally translates to something like “Pearl Solemn Clear Agate Peak.” The peak actually has no ancient Nepalese name (the people of Kathmandu never named it), so in the 1960s the Nepalese government named the mountain “Sargarmatha,” a Sanskrit term meaning “Head of the Ocean.” 3. Named “Everest” by the British surveyor-general of India, Andrew Waugh, for his predecessor George Everest, the name was first pronounced “EAVE-rest” instead of the Americanized “EV-er-est.” 4. Could be.

Asia,Asian Humor,China Business,China Expats,China Photos,Expats,Tibet

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B.L.A.B.: Expat Disease Widespread in China

BLAB

Bi-Lingual Acrimonious Barkalalia (BLAB) is a toxic and destructive ailment afflicting thousands of expats in China and around the world. I am sure I have at least its more benign cousin: Foreign Itinerant Talkative Syndrom (FITS) where victims, in danger of BLAB, joining Yahoo! groups and chat about topics related to say, Republican Perspectives on Tolerance, Homosexuality and Social Change in Beowoelf while watching long hours of Prison Break/Lost re-runs and bootleg B-Movies that even China Southern Airlines has rejected for in-flight showing.

Diagnosis of the disease is tricky and should not be confused with Oral Blabbus Mundanus (OBM as we pros call it) a relatively benign affliction generally seen in American consular personnel. It is a syndrome wherein the expat, deprived of native discourse, can prattle on for hours without even a minimal encourager like a nod. This condition has been seen in POWs and people who over-identify with cast members of LOST. BLAB, usually carried by males, is potentially fatal. Carriers can literally suck the oxygen from a confined area or turn otherwise gentle foreign female companions into knife-wielding felons. It can also bring extreme or total isolation (Few therapists can even tolerate a BLABber) to the sufferer and the attending depression can be quite serious.

A simple twenty question test, devised by AA and used for many other compulsive/addictive disorders, can be taken quickly and is surprisingly accurate.

ARE YOU A BLABBER?

If you answer yes to one or more of the questions you, OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW may want to seek professional help

1. Do you turn to innocent non-native speakers or cabbies when you feel the urge to BLAB?

2. Do you crave a BLAB even when your friends say they have had enough?

3. Do you BLAB alone?

4. Do you BLAB at a definite time daily?

5. Do you lose time from work due to your BLABbing?

6. Is BLABbing making your home life unhappy?

7. Have you ever been in a hospital or institution on account of BLABbing?

8. Is BLABbing affecting your reputation?

9. Have you ever felt remorse after BLABing?

10. Have you gotten into financial dificulties as a result of your BLABing?

11. Does your BLABbing make you careless of your family’s welfare?

12. Has your ambition decreased since BLABbing?

13. Do you want to BLAB the next morning?

14. Does BLABbing cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

15. Are you depressed that BLAB BLAB China is no longer on the air?

16. Is BLABbing jeopardizing your job or business?

17. Do you BLAB to escape from worries or troubles?

18. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of your BLABbing?

19. Has your physician ever treated you for BLABbing?

20. Do you BLAB to build up your self-confidence?

Treatment for BLAB can be tricky. Generally a one-way ticket to the BLABbers home country is in order. Alternately, there is a 28-day program developed by hearing and speech impaired caregivers that uses a behavior modification technique known as satiation. During the program the BLABber is allowed to talk freely because no one can hear or respond to him anyway and eventually the expat rants himself back to normalcy via satiation.

By Lonnie B. Hodge OMBW

Reprinted from November, 2007

Asian Humor,China Cartoons,China Expats,China Humor,Confucius Slept Here,Humor,Intercultural Issues

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China Supply Chain Logisitics

Much ado is made about the dearth of creativity in Asia as compared to the rest of the world.

I know that I have often critqued Chinese creativity, but I sometimes tend to see common Chinese people as remarkably creative especially in light of resources available in poorer areas. Here are some great examples, via slide show, of necessity indeed being the mother of invention:

CHINA LOGISTICS

New Year’s is only a few days away…

Asian Humor,China Humor,China Sports,Humor,Weird China

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Valentines Day Caption Contest

Though the The Opposite End of China and Riding Sun have cornered the market on China photo caption contests, I can’t resist asking for you for a bit of help with the pic’ that froze my keyboard. It is the chorus extras on the tarmac above the heart that really got me:

A Soldiers Heart On

The winner(s) will receive a gift certificate worth a 100 RMB shopping spree at Deng’s DVD Speakeasy in Guangzhou. That’s 25 movies or (with my “Pirates of Canton” discount card) an equal number of “crash resistant” software programs!

I will choose a winner or winners by Monday of next week.

Happy VD!

Asian Humor,China Photos,Humor,Weird China

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Chinese Corpse Brides

Here’s a little Valentine’s Heart warmer:

China corpse bride

On the exterior window ledge in my apartment building’s hallway someone has burned the semblance of several thousand dollars in Chinese money. It is a common ritual meant to give the deceased a few extra bucks on their travels through the after-life. I guess dead Cantonese merchants don’t check the money as closely as they do in this reality.

I learned from an article in the NY Times about a strange twist on attending to the needs of your dearly departed family members in a rural town located between Beijing and Shanghai: It is called “After Life Marriage” when Traditional Chinese families, worried that an unmarried dead relative may be unhappily alone, provide them a corpse bride. “To ensure a son’s contentment in the afterlife, some grieving parents will search for a dead woman to be his bride and, once a corpse is obtained, bury the pair together as a married couple.” A family searching for a female corpse typically must pay more than 10,000 yuan, or about $1,200 ( almost four years of income) for a bride. I would say that is rather stiff, but….Sorry.

Families do what they can and sometimes make a matrimonial figure of straw and bury it next to the dead son to substitute for the spouse he never had or pay about 2,000 RMB for a body that has washed up on nearby river banks. According to the New York Times: “The Communist Party has tried, with mixed success, to stamp out beliefs it considers to be superstition. But the continued practice of the ancient custom in the Loess Plateau is a testament to the region’s extreme isolation. In other parts of rural China, it is difficult to know how often, if at all, the custom is followed.” It is at once the most compelling and chilling of Confucian customs and ancestor worship that demands familial loyalty even in death. It could become much more prevalent with the coming shortage of living, breathing eligible females.

By Lonnie Hodge

Asian Humor,Asian Women,China Editorials,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Uncategorized,Weird China

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Not the Least Bit Inferior

China Law Blog has a post up entitled, China HR: Do You Look Fat Today? It is a fun read…
BIG MOUNTAIN
One of the things you will get over VERY quickly in China is the need for validation by students or colleagues. The Chinese don’t give one another a break, so don’t expect one for yourself.

Sure, they will hand you a compliment, but…. Even with all of the fawning that goes on with a new male or young female teacher there is always an addendum.

Here are but a couple real ones with more to come….

“Your classes are less boring than the last teacher’s…”

“I will tell you the secret: many students think you are very handsome, including me. But, you have no muscle. Just do some more exercise. Do you love Tennis?”

“Here is the name of the girl who is in the hospital. It would be nice for you to call her, but don’t say anything. It might upset her.”

“Maggie, you are very pretty, but with a big bum.”

And even the the most recognizable foreigner in China, DaShan (pictured above), has his moments. From the Chinese media in Shenzhen: “…not the least bit inferior to top Chinese performers.”

Asian Humor,China Business,China Editorials,China Expats,China Humor,China Photos,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Teaching in China

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The Lusophonia Games

It is not for the lack of world class facilities, dedicated athletes and capital expenditures that have sunk the SS Lusofonia in Macau. It seems to be apathy about seeing who will prevail in the first (and maybe last) competition for players from Portuguese speaking countries: I noticed Angola, Brazil, Timor, Mozambique, Macau, Portugal and a few others. I acounted 12 flags, half of which were new to me….

Now I know how Bush must have felt prior to his election.

I went to the Taekwondo finals where there were more competitors than spectators (even the parents headed for the casinos), but was not deterred. I figured that Ping Pong, being a Chinese blood sport, would draw a better crowd, so I headed over to the mixed doubles finals. I was oddly encouraged by the sight of two ambulances and a fire truck: Was there the possibility of stampedes for autographs or perhaps a ball or two hit with enough backspin that they might burst into flame?

LUSOFONIA PING PONG

The men’s semi-finals were in full swing when I arrived.

LUSOFONIA

One of the world class bad boys did a Brandy Chastain and took off his shirt after a close game with a Portuguese team member.

LUSOFONE PING PONG

Whew, these guys must pump iron one or two times a month! The crowd went wild as he went on to beat his opponent…

Naked Ping Pong

I guess now I understand why the PR director never returned my calls or emails about a press pass. He had way too much to do…

by Lonnie Hodge

Asia,Asian Humor,China Editorials,China Humor,China Photos,China Sports,Humor,Macau

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