Posts tagged: China

Bad translation

Click on the image to read the whole thing...

Click on the image to read the whole thing...

The $2 shop is good for boat builders using epoxy resin. You need lots of disposable brushes and disposable gloves.

Because everything in the $2 shop comes from China it’s highly likely that you will experience a bad translation every now and then.

This is the best I have seen.

…Let your finger hit by a bullet to move freely in the homework…


Click on the image to see the big picture and laugh out loud!

China Free Trade Agreement, and Paul Holmes

Air New Zealand sends Paul Holmes to China so he’ll talk about it on his radio show – for the few remaining months he has left on air.

Surely people (his listeners) will see through his probable ramblings about China for what it will be…blatant advertising.

He wasn’t a formal guest of the government party, but gate-crashed the gig. Officials found him a place at the after-match function, hopefully near the toilets at the back of the room.

Meanwhile the Stuff newsite runs a poll on whether we think that a FTA (PDF Document) with China is a good thing. The consensus is overwhelmingly NO. At 8.35pm tonight 81% disagreed with the deal.

I’m guessing that most of those people are against it because of the situation in Tibet. That’s an OK thing to be upset about but it’s naive to suggest that we should stop trade, or we should not try to improve our trade position with a country as big as China because of Tibet, or because of China’s lack of human rights. If we boycotted everything that was made in China most of the appliances in our house would become unusable (because of the Chinese components). The Warehouse would shut (shock, horror). It’d be damn near impossible to exist in our modern, consumer driven world.

Perhaps this is too idealistic, but, with our newly found Favoured Nation status we could have more influence than before over issues such as human rights. And as the free trade flows between China and New Zealand, and the wage rates and living standards rise in the Chinese economy the Chinese government will need to grant more rights to its people. As the economy grows the Chinese people will demand this of their government.

We have just established a trade agreement with the biggest country on earth. Good for us!

Pollution in Beijing

The Chinese are now into the home straight heading for the first day of the Olympics on 080808.

The question remains whether the pollution will have been cleaned up by that time. I read a fascinating feature on the New York Times today addressing this very problem.

Having visited Beijing last November for seven days I know how bad the problem is. The day we went to the Summer Palace the pollution scale read 253. The World Health Organisation suggests anything over 20 is bad for your health. What was more shocking is that in the depths of winter the scale has exceeded 500.

Olympic Stadium, Beijing

The image of the Olympic Stadium was taken from the taxi on that ‘253’ day. While I had trouble actually seeing the stadium through the smog the taxi driver was so proud of it he pulled over to the side of a busy three lane highway to let me take the picture.

The government in China has promoted the concept of Blue Sky Days – they reached 165 such days in 2007 – trouble is their ‘blue sky’ only needs to be below 100 – which is still 8 times the WHO recommendation. And the majority of the ‘blue sky days’ fall between 95 and 100.

Still, if any country can clean up their act for the Olympics then China is that country. They’ll probably do it by legislation, although they deny that they will have to resort to this.

Britney to adopt twins from China?

Britney Spears looking absolutely glamorousI’ll believe this when I see it.

This silly girl lost custody of her children, and now claims that she’s going to adopt 6 year old twins from China . I don’t think the Chinese government will let it happen.

1. Britney is now officially fat.
According to friends in China any ‘parent’ wanting to adopt Chinese children have to pass a BMI test, or Body Mass Index. In other words the Chinese don’t want fat people adopting their children.

2. Britney doesn’t have custody of her own children.
Let’s not assume that just because she’s getting these children in China that they don’t care what sort of people are doing the adopting. I’m guessing she’ll go through quite a rigorous check, apart from the BMI test, and she’ll come up short – on sanity; on fitness, on weight; and on her ability to sing.

3. I can’t believe I just wrote this post.
Obviously a blatant attempt to generate traffic to my site using the name Britney Spears. I’ll stop now.

Made in China

Chairman Mao, Beijing, ChinaI’ve just got back from a holiday in Beijing and Hong Kong. What an amazing experience.

I have to say a visit to Beijing did fill me with a certain dread. The spectre of Tianneman Square still lingers, and the offhand treatment at the Chinese embassy (arranging visas) certainly made me think it wouldn’t be a pleasant experience – more of a brave adventure. How wrong I was.

I’m ashamed to say Sugar and I only knew two phrases – one for ‘hello’ and one for ‘thankyou’. The remarkable thing was that in the whole time away that was all we needed. Virtually everyone we met spoke a little English – at least enough to be able to order food, take a taxi, and go shopping.

The city has 3.9 million cars, and 50,000 are being added each month. Surprising that the majority are European – Volvo’s, BMW’s, Volkswagen, with the odd American Buick thrown in for good measure.

We spent 7 days in Beijing. At the end of the week I had sampled some of the best food I had ever had in my life. And so cheap. One night as a special treat we dined at a restaurant called Source…down a dark hutong, so off the beaten track that the taxi driver had trouble finding it. A fixed menu in a beautiful courtyard restaurant…attended to by two staff…8 small courses of the most delectable food and tastes – final bill $130 NZ.

In seven days you can just about see all of the main tourist sites. The Great Wall (we went to Sumatai which is the furthest outpost but worth the extra hour it takes to get there), the Forbidden City (you can spend all day there and not see everything), Mao’s Mausoleum (yes, we queued with the proletariat and had our 20 seconds viewing of the leader lying beneath his crystal enclosure – he’s been dead since 1976 and looks healthier than me!), the Summer Palace (on the outskirts of Beijing where the emperor’s retired to take cooler air during the clammy summer), and various markets and shopping precincts recommended by friends.

We stayed 20 minutes walk from Tianneman Square in a small courtyard hotel (Sihe Hotel) which i highly recommend. Very cheap, the staff spoke enough English to look after us, and the free breakfasts (Chinese) had the miraculous power to give me enough energy to get through the day on little else.

Like any really foreign country we came to actually enjoy Starbucks coffee – it was the only taste that vaguely felt like home, and there seemed to be an outlet on every corner, even inside the Forbidden City!

Pollution was incredible, incredibly bad that is – but it didn’t smell. The World Health Organisation has a rating (based on what I’m not sure) but their recommendation is nothing over 20. The day we went to the Summer Palace the measure was 253! On the way to the palace the taxi driver pulled over on a four lane highway to let me take a photo of the Beijing Olympic Stadium. The building appears to be made out of a metallic jumble of flat spaghetti. The only problem was it was difficult to see it through the fug of pollution…it merged into the landscape.

Two days later the sky was a brilliant blue. With no wind in the intervening days we wondered how this might have happened. Conspiracy theories abound, involving the powers-that-be seeding the sky to reduce/remove pollution. However it happened we were actually grateful.

I’ll post a few memories over the next week or so with pictures attached. It’s an incredible place to visit, and I recommend you go sooner rather than later. Capitalism has reared it’s ugly head and the safe and friendly environment we encountered is likely to quickly degenerate into an unsafe and greedy New York. Where else in the world (except perhaps Japan) could you walk down a dimly lit alley at 11.30 pm with no fear of being attacked, robbed, or raped.

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