Teach English in China: Postcards to Americans: Letters from China: Mexican Americans: jiangsu Province: Hai'an.Imagine learning Italian and then landing in Spain. Here in Jiangsu they speak a Chinese dialect called Wu. Standard Chinese is the language taught at the schools to bring unity. Younger and middle aged people speak Standard Chinese but many of the older people only speak Wu. In the beginning I was confused since what some people told me did not sound like Standard Chinese - well surprise, surprise I was learning words in Wu. I get my Chinese lessons now from the students and teachers at the school where I work.
Some time ago I received a plea for advice from an American teaching in China. That initial correspondence lead to more, and finding myself enjoying the style of his letters I asked him if he would like to contribute to Magic City Morning Star News. (I am assisting the Editor there.)
He provided me with some samples of his writing in the form of postcards to his family and friends, so it is therefore my pleasure today to introduce to you today, a new contributor to Magic City Morning Star News and a new series of articles entitled: Postcards from China, by someone who prefers to call himself T. D. Polo-Sanchez.
I do hope that you enjoy his postcards. But before we publish any of those, there is a serious question to be asked and answered. Here it is:
What do you get when you take a bag of tortillas to your favorite Chinese restaurant? The author T. D. Polo-Sanchez does not know either, but come along for the journey and find out.
Assembled in the United States from parts made in Mexico and exported to China, T. D. Polo-Sanchez has taken a year of absence from his post at an American high school to teach Oral English in China.
He is the middle child of a family of five which makes him well suited to settle in between the masses of the Middle Kingdom. His older brother is a vice dean of a small college in California while his younger brother is the sole proprietor of his parents' house after moving back in three years ago.
His mother is a machinist whose birth of the author, hard work, and a loan of 1,200 dollars have made T. D. Polo-Sanchez's dream of going to China possible. His father, Chinese in many of his ways, is a construction worker with an affinity to Dodger baseball and W.O.S. beer (whatever is on sale).
T.D.Polo-Sanchez hopes that you enjoy his posts and to remember that he writes with a deep love and affinity to the Chinese people. In this world while we laugh at others and at ourselves, we laugh together.
To contact T. D. Polo-Sanchez: firstname.lastname@example.org
On this page today are four of Mr. Polo-Sanchez's Postcards. I hope you enjoy them.
Jan 6, 2010
Greetings Celestial Brother from the M.S.G. capital of the world!
Imagine learning Italian and then landing in Spain. Here in Jiangsu they speak a Chinese dialect called Wu. Standard Chinese is the language taught at the schools to bring unity. Younger and middle aged people speak Standard Chinese but many of the older people only speak Wu.
In the beginning I was confused since what some people told me did not sound like Standard Chinese - well surprise, surprise I was learning words in Wu. I get my Chinese lessons now from the students and teachers at the school where I work.
The tones are what give me a lot of trouble. One teacher instead of calling her a "Mei Mei" or younger sister, I called her a "Mei, Mei" or beautiful girl. Well I have shelved that particular expression.
The Chinese are always in a hurry. To get around a person, persons, or any object they try to navigate around or through in a swift, quiet motion with a brush or bump in between. In the West we usually, "usually" being the key phrase here, say excuse me. The students in the class do the same thing around me as they try to squeeze or get through me.
One time when I was at a chalkboard writing, one girl was trying to get past me. I put my arm between myself and the chalkboard so that she would say "excuse me." No such luck, she ducked under my arm and kept going. You can't change 5,000 years in one chalkboard encounter.
Near the school I get my shoes polished by some of the locals. They always like to ask me questions like what do I like to eat and such. One of the women asked me if I knew about Mao Tse Tung. I told her that of course I did. He was my great-great uncle twice removed on my mother's side.
A lot of people always ask me where I am from. After one month here I stopped telling them that I come from America. They should know by now. I just tell them that I am Korean. This answer satisfies most people, but some insist that I am not. We Koreans come in many shapes and sizes.
Last week I got my first Chinese bath. Its just a standard sauna and bath western style at a club. A little Chinese man gave me a massage to relieve some tension. I don't know if I want to go back. He was trying to break the table with me on it.
Take care, and don't be a stranger.
13, Jan 2010
Hello Illustrious brothers from the land of the Han
The students here are really obedient. The girls more so than the boys. With the girls a stare will get them to quit any misbehavior, with the boys a word or two. Once in a while when I write on the chalk board, a solitary burp will slice the air. It is their form of resistance.
The Chinese teachers are very strict. They yell to bring discipline to the class. The teacher is the DA and judge. When the students are late for class they stand at the door like Totem Poles and ask for permission to enter the class. I heard of a teacher who once made a student throw a brick from one end of the class to the other. I try and not be so strict. When I enter the class they act like children again after their Ritalin is removed. I have 20 classes of 60 students each.
The Chinese sense of privacy is different from ours. One example, a few days ago I bought some tea. On my way home I stopped by the school convenience store. I placed my tea on the counter and the clerk took it and started reading the label. He then asked if he could have some. I said yes, and he helped himself. It was my fault for allowing the tea to leave my person making it community property. The Chinese have a saying "No one in China is so imposed upon as the emperor". In other words, if its out in the open and not inside someone's home: it is fair game. The public works of Imperial China had two columns in its budget:
1) Repair and Maintenance
2) Missing Parts Replacement.
To be fair, most Chinese do not steal things, they just pick it up and look at it. I've had students track me down at school to return a crayon.
Update on the above "Hai'an Tea Party". After talking to some of my colleagues it turns ons that the clerk was quite rude. No one in China should ever touch someone's food; the emperor's bricks are fair game.
Haian is not really a city, but an unincorporated region. With a population of only 400,000, it is considered too small to become a Chinese city. So Haian is a blip on the map of China. If we were to bring here one of the smaller Oregon cities, they would be a blip on a blip.
Many businesses here are family run affairs. It is customary to have the family pet run around some restaurants greeting the guests. At some places the fish is cleaned right on the side walk so that the patron can see the quality and freshness of the food.
One teacher invited me over to his home for dinner. While he cooked, he told me that I could walk around and look at the rooms. This sounded strange and I politely declined the invitation citing that my favorite Chinese movie would be on. Here you get four choices of movies: kung-fu and the Chinese Revolution, or the Chinese Revolution and kung-fu.
Jan 20, 2010
Cultural norms of humor do not always add up when you translate them from one to the other, or just practically what one considers funny.
Case in point, some of the teachers here play volleyball twice a week. They are older men with varying degrees of hair loss and diminishing height. One of my students told me, in kind of a whisper hoping the walls did not have ears, that at school those teachers have a nick-name: 'The Mediterranean Bald Men's Sports Club.' It took me one week to figure this one out.
The eight Chinese rules of the road:
1. Look both ways before you cross a street.
2. On a scooter or bicycle the operator must wear a helmet.
3. It is illegal to transport children under the age of five or have more than two people ride a scooter or bicycle.
4. Do not drive or take a vehicle of any kind against traffic.
5. Look before you make a turn.
6. Obey all street signs.
7. Be courteous and let cars ease in and out of lanes.
8. We were just joking about the first 7 rules.
It's really a jungle out here. The Chinese all want cars now. So if you think gasoline is expensive, wait until 1.3 billion Chinese start buying more cars.
October 1-8 is the Autumn Festival. National Day is October 1st. National Day is the anniversary of the birth of communist China. A military parade is staged and the leaders step out into the lime light and clap on T.V. Sometimes they point at the cadre of soldiers that pass by them and talk to each other saying something like this: "Did you see the one second from the left in the third column whose foot was 2 centimeters too high. I want him at half-rations for a month."
National Day ends with a big dinner and the eating of moon cakes. From the description I was given the cakes are made with flour, bean curd, and sugar. From the taste the thing was sugar, sugared bean curd, and sugar flour. The whole week is given off to the students and staff- never mind that we had to work ten days straight before the vacation. I went fishing and visited a couple of smaller towns near by.
I was walking in town to see fires all over the place. Maybe the citizens were staging a revolution. They were burning thin strips of papers to send money to the dead on the other side. The other purpose was to scare off evil spirits with fire. In almost very house, a shrine exists usually with pictures of those who have past on, interesting.
I was taken by a group of teachers to a night out on the town. After a night of eating we went over to the local karaoke bar for some after dinner entertainment. The karaoke bars are the 21st century Chinese opium dens.
Karaoke is an addiction, Asia wide as I understand, and I had to listen for 3 hours. Everything from the immortal "One Night in Beijing", to "You are my Super Star", and who can forget the number one hit "No more hurt, no more cry". To be modern, some songs are laced with a few words of English. The music is more like 1980s pop and soft rock. Others are computer techno rock. A few artists do have talent like Faye Wang and some guy named Johnny Chou.
I am glad that I am able to facilitate and advance the English speaking abilities of the Chinese students. A couple of boys went out to the balcony of their building and called me an S.O.B. before they melted back into the mass of of Chinese humanity. I could never pick them out from a police line-up. I am glad to be the center of such cultural exchange.
The national drink in China is called Baijiu. It is a distilled liquor made from Sorghum. If you can remember the worst liquor you have ever tasted, this is worse than that. If you need a couple of bottles of this stuff for use as a weed killer please let me know.
Mark Twain's advice: "Travel is the cure for ignorance."
Jan 27, 2010
My Foreign Affairs Officer came to me and told me that he heard that I was drunk recently. I reminded him that yes I was drunk because he was the one that invited me to dinner and the both of us became drunk. He remembered, and then it was o.k. Wow, sticking out like a sore thumb.
In my classes I estimate that 1/3 do not care, 1/3 do care, 1/3 care from class to class, and the last 1/3 are thinking of their next meal. I did do my math right; in China thirds come in quarters. I can't explain it, but it is this way. I came up with a motto for China: "Order in Disorder." China is like the Big Band theory. Everything looks like chaos, but it works itself out in the end.
Some people are already calling the 21st century China's century. Heaven help us. A friend of mine e-mailed me that if China surpassed the West, who will they steal their technology from?
These classes frustrate me so much. Yet, when I enter a class students start applauding or they actually go look for me around campus to make sure that I go to their class. Then they fall asleep on me. I have all the class categories- some classes are crap, some are so-so, some are really good.
I also have some classes that are just plain strange. In the strange ones the students do their work, but a few students are running a snack shop, the girls are running a salon - but they are actually talking English while they do that. I have contemplated just leaving, but this would make me lose "face" and the next time I go they would misbehave more to drive me away. So I try to put my size 10 shoe up their rears whenever I catch them red handed.
What makes me really laugh is when some yawn out loud and I do not know who it is. I remind myself that I am a Vulcan from Star Trek. I will not show any emotion in class, or these guys will prey on me like Winnie the Pooh smelling a jar of honey.
Recently I ran a debate to compare school in America and China - yawn time. A few minutes later I had them debate who was better- Kobe or Lebron. The NBA is so huge here. I could not get them to shut-up after that. In English, during the next lesson, they were still debating dunks, free throws, you name it.
I must admit that I went to one class unprepared. I know, mortal sin. One class gave me a Christmas card. Then it hit me, in this class we will draw X-Mas cards and in English we will share what we drew. Inspiration happens at the strangest times.
After class some kid put his hand around my shoulder and asked me what I was doing for X-Mas. He would not do that with a Chinese teacher. I guess I have to walk a fine line between being too hard or being to lenient. The nature of the class being for them to converse, if I am too hard they won't say a word and if let them have they go and have a party.
Assembled in the United States from parts made in Mexico and exported to China, T. D. Polo-Sanchez has taken a year of absence from his post at an American high school to teach Oral English in China.
He hopes that you enjoy his posts and remember that he writes with a deep love and affinity to the Chinese people. In this world while we laugh at others and at ourselves, we laugh together. T. D. Polo-Sanchez Email: eslinstructor33 @yahoo.com
John received the inspiration from his time working in Shanghai as a bartender in the early 90's and watching old-Western movies, in particular those starring Clint Eastwood in his youth. He learned English by serving foreigners and conversing with them. Foreign patrons told him about the bars in Europe and the United States.
According to the manager, the original restaurant opened right before the start of the Japanese-Chinese War of 1937. Since Jiangsu was a constant battlefield between Chinese Communist forces and the Japanese Army, the steady supply of foodstuffs to the restaaniurant was uncertain. - Once in a while Chinese films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are great hits around the world. Every year in Chinese theaters Hollywood movies come through and make money to repeat the process the next year. Xu knows that China is falling behind the rest of the world in creativity. - The February 2011 issue of China Today concentrated on a concept called "Creative Capital." The article outlined China's past decade long growth in its creative industries. The heads of these companies want to add to the "Made in China" exports with a new line of "Created-in-China."
The students complain that I am very strict. I fail to see how ''please wake-up'' and ''please put your hand cream away'' is strict. When I first arrived the students thought they were going to have a party. I did not put up being told to ''f-off'' and have an eraser thrown at me in America to get the Chinese equivalent. In the beginning I yelled to gain control of my classes of sixty students. That did not work because as a foreigner I do not get the yelling privilege of a Chinese teacher. Things changed when I read a web site called ''Middle Kingdom Life'' that explained what teaching English in China entails. What was particular helpful was the section on keeping ''face.''
When I first arrived the headmaster told me to stay away from politics. Somehow he guessed my original intent. A sensitivity to some places called Tea-bet and Tie-wuan. A few of the teachers were in college during Tiannamen Square where some of the foreign teachers told them to protest. What they remember is not a fight for rights but their angry Chinese teachers. They were baited by outside influences to break the rules. The Chinese are weary of outside influences. They remember such things as the Opium Wars and the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Chinese never forget. I have only talked to one teacher about politics. He told me in astonishment when we reached Taiwan and Tibet: "How do you know about these things." I told him, "The whole world knows about these things."
Imagine learning Italian and then landing in Spain. Here in Jiangsu they speak a Chinese dialect called Wu. Standard Chinese is the language taught at the schools to bring unity. Younger and middle aged people speak Standard Chinese but many of the older people only speak Wu. In the beginning I was confused since what some people told me did not sound like Standard Chinese - well surprise, surprise I was learning words in Wu. I get my Chinese lessons now from the students and teachers at the school where I work
Today, I am using a recent letter from Jerry, to tell a story – a sad story. It is a story rooted in Ancient and Modern Chinese Culture. It is a story of an impossible love. It is a story I have heard so many times before, of families who refuse to allow their children to love whom they will. It is a story about how in the 21st century, Chinese children must still obey their parents and marry the one of whom the parents approve.
Mt. Tai is located in the center of Shandong Province, lying across the cities of Tai'an, Jinan and Zibo. Its main peak, Jade Emperor Summit, which is within Tai'an City, is about 1532.7 meters (5,029 feet) high. The mountain was once called Mt. Daishan, Mt. Daizong or Mt. Taiyue and was renamed Mt. Taishan in the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC). It epitomizes splendid Chinese culture and was listed in the World Natural and Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO in 1987
We were under the impression that the Yangtze River was the longest, but no one seemed to know, because they had never heard of it. So we get on the bus to discover that it is full of people wearing masks to protect against SARS, but of course when they wanted to spit, they just removed the mask and spat on the floor. "S" of Course, who had told 'US' to bring masks, did not herself bring one, and so to stop the SARS virus from infecting her, she held her nose
This may not be significant to you the reader, but it effectively meant that I had slipped under the security police radar. All foreigners are required to 'report in' to local police stations so that the authorities can keep track of them. Hotels automatically do this for you. By not checking me in, the hotel had allowed me to 'disappear'. I did not object! From town to the 'High Dam' where the lookout above the 5 locks is located, the trip took 50 minutes, and snaked over and through several mountains. I remember that one tunnel was around 3000 metres long.
In this file I merely present photographs accompanied by a sign at Du Fu Thatched Cottage park, and a sample of Du Fu's poems. I hope you enjoy this presentation. At the end are some links to other articles and photographic files at Magic City and KingsCalendar. The Relic Exhibition Hall is the most important Part of Du Fu Thatched Cottage. It is located on the site of Du Fu's former Residence. In the late winter of 759, Du Fu went to Chengdu to avoid the disasters caused by An Lushan Shi Rebellion. In the next year, he built a thatched cottage on the bank of the beautiful Huanhua Brook, where he lived for four years and wrote more than 240 poems.
Qing Ming, means clear and bright in Chinese. It is both the fifth term in the traditional lunar calendar and a festival to hold memorial ceremony for the dead. Being as how I was the only white face in the crowd, the Chinese attendants jumped on me, baptised me, confirmed me and handed me the brochure with all the church services times listed on it. They wanted to know if I was Catholic or Christian. Usually I just tell people I am a Muslim, and it makes them think twice. This time I said something that I regretted. Ha! I'm not telling you what I said!
Arriving at the Hotel at 7 pm, we booked in to once again find ourselves faced with a room with one queen sized bed in it. Again we insisted and received a twin room. We stayed at the JinHui hotel which you can find listed at www.ctrip.com. It is located at LuoHu (lor - who) and is 2 minutes walk from the cargo vehicle border crossing into Xiang Gang (Hong Kong).
The interesting thing about the ride is that as the train leaves each station, a uniformed attendant salutes the departing train. At night, people dance, talk, roller scate etc. An Island blocks the view to the ocean. The sculpture of the boy is urinating
Mingxing's company had booked him into the upmarket Kempinski Hotel in Wuxi and he organized and paid for one extra day so that we could go sightseeing. There are two photos in Part one that relate to the Kempinski Hotel Room, but this photo is of the lavish foyer of the Hotel as taken from the first floor landing above the coffee shop. Whilst the Big Buddha is the 'centerpiece' so to speak, the real spectacular is to be found in the Cultural Museum. This place is one helluva spectacular place inside. It sits directly opposite the replica of the Potala Palace, and when you enter you are required to put coverings over your shoes. I suspect that the real reason is to cut down on the cleaning bill. This place was crowded and all those people shuffling along wearing shoe protectors gave the marble floor a really high sheen.
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]
About the KingsCalendar Publisher
R.P.BenDedek is the owner and Editor of KingsCalendar.com which was originally set up to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran'.
Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah.
King's Calendar Research: The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
If someone is going to state a date for any event in the history of Israel, then they can't provide that date in 'isolation'. This is to say that if someone uses the Bible to demonstrate that their date for something is correct, then you have to check to see if that date is supported by all of the surrounding Bible Chronology. Just about every academic alters the Biblical data wherever and whenever they choose. If the Bible is written by qualified commentators, then we ought to be able to conclude that the chronological information contained within it ought to be as trustworthy as any other ancient record, and its failure to synchronise results from Our failure to correctly apply that information. When was Solomon's Temple commenced? - 970 BCE When was Solomon's Temple completed? - 964 BCE When was Solomon's Temple destroyed? - 586 BCE
If 1 Samuel 13:1 however is meant to indicate that Saul reigned Thirty-Two years there might be some reasons why it appears corrupt. It may be that 1 Samuel 13:1 originally referred to Samuel, who was 31 years old when he became judge, and judged Israel for 32 years. Most commentators on Antiquities 6:14:9 believe it should read – Saul reigned Two and Twenty years. The King's Calendar relying on an artificial construct and Second Chronicles 36:21 determines that Saul commenced as King in 1038 BCE and that he reigned 28 Solar years or 30 artificial years (which was recorded as 32 years because the 29th Solar year when he was annointed Prince was a double artificial year.)
Jehu killed Jehoram (son of Ahab) of Israel, and Ahaziah of Judah (grandson of Ahab of Israel) and became King of Israel. The first chronologically related evidence for Jehu, shows that he paid tribute to the Assyrian King Shalmaneser in 841 BCE. An apparent new archaeological discovery suggests that it was not Jehu who slew Jehoram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah, but Hazael king of Syria. "Archaeology is not an exact science, and deals more often in probabilities and possibilities than in irrefutable demonstrations (Peet. T.E. 1924. p 75).' Archaeologists and historians arbitrarily alter data to suit their pet theories. Fortunately this is not something that the kingscalendar has the luxury of doing.