18 May 2007

The Best Signs and Pictures from Around Asia

Currently reading: China: Regional Studies Series

Currently listening to: Why Should The Fire Die?, Nickel Creek

Today I present you the funniest pictures my friends and I have taken in the last few months. These are all real photographs, I couldn't make these up if I tried. As always, click on the picture to enlarge. Normally this blog is rated G, but this post earns a PG-13 warning --just a heads up!

Found Abroad in Asia:

Malaysia: On our bus trip to Singapore, we stopped at a rest stop. In the stall was this picture, giving us proper direction on how to use the toilet. Since many Asians are used to squatting, they sometimes try squatting on Western-style toilets. So this picture is trying in encourage normal use of the toilet (left image), rather than squatting over the toilet (right image).

Singapore: "Protected Place: No Admittance to Unauthorized Persons" or else you'll be held at gunpoint, like the graphic.

Entering Singapore: We were amused by the customs forms upon entering lovely Singapore--"Warning Death for Drug Traffickers Under Singapore Law." Apparently, Singapore's not a good place to smuggle drugs to, just FYI :)

Sentosa Island, Singapore: "Do Not Lean Over" I'm not sure what's more funny--the posted escalator hours or the graphic for not leaning over. Wouldn't you know if the escalator wasn't operating if it wasn't running?!? Just in case you need to plan when to use the escalator...

At a food court in Singapore: Don't you want to eat "pig's organ" too?

Malaysia: "Caution There May Occasionally Be Jellyfish in the Sea" What? Only occasionally?!? Aren't there always jellyfish in the sea? Where else would they live?

In Malaysia, outside of a travel agency: "We provide Outbound Tour Services to: Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Exotic Countries, China and etc." The working assumption: China is not an exotic country. Ahem, I beg to differ...

In and Around Eastern China:

At one of the temples in downtown Wuxi: (note the fire extinguishers)

Of course, it's the "key location of fire safety"

In Shanghai: "Sex Health Protecion Monopoly" Not quite what you'd think it is...it was just a lingerie store. I'm not sure how those two equate though.

At an outdoor venue in Shanghai: "Set Up a Central Stage for the Special Olympics Movement, and Build a Warm Family for Intellectually Challenged People //Special Olympics--A Stage to Show the Loving Heart" They have a loving heart but are very politically incorrect!

In the Ancient Town in Shanghai: This wins the prize for best graphic. Watch out, the rocks are coming straight for your head!

Back in Wuxi: "Engage in building up an everlasting classic new port" --I maintain that the signs around construction sites have the best English signs.

Same place: "The Spacious Panorama Constitutes Freedom." This begs the question--Does the cluttered panorama constitute restriction?

Again: "The best house presents you the more elegant lifestyle." I wish!

Still same construction site: "Wealth rerlizes Dream" What else does wealth rerlize?

The Great Wall (Thanks to Lindsey for the pictures):

"Appreciate lovely view of the Great Wall, do not forget the fire is heartless" Hmm, I didn't know fires had hearts--Unlike most of the other signs, I truly don't understand what they are trying to communicate.

"Be civilized visitor, set up the ecosystem scenery together" or AKA "Protect the environment"

You know you want to visit a four-star toilet! Again, it begs the question--Are there four-star roads? Four-star trees? Four-star trashcans?

Don't forget to "wash your hands to fight bird flu"!

Recently found on an undisclosed person: "Orgasm, orgasm, orgasm, orgasm"

Tiger Hill in Suzhou (Thanks to Megan for the pictures):

"Protection of Virescene Relies on Each of Us as We Coexist under the Same Blue Sky" Hmm, can you offer a better translation?

"Only in The Sun of Civilization Can Trees Maintain Evergreen" How does the sun of civilization help maintain evergreen trees?

"Give the Grass a Little Love, the Grass will Reward You an Extension of Green" Is an extension of green really a reward?

Yikes--Did you know "Your Health Rests with Your Civilized Behavior"? Maybe I've been sick because my behavior hasn't been civilized...there's the missing link!

The pièce de résistance, or the whole reason why I wrote this post: This gem was found at our hair salon. I think you could make the case that it would be easier to randomly pick words out of a dictionary and they would make more sense then this supposed English.

"Extrude the fit to measure the avoid to wash the be partial to hair the vegetable even smear over on the wet hair or f*** the hair,then Point the stomach to lightly massage the dry part of caustic of suffering of hair, and not need to wash the water."

What can you say to that?!?



15 May 2007

Katherine's Wedding

Currently reading: Paste Magazine, March 2007

Currently listening to: Hail to the Thief, Radiohead

On Saturday, I went to the wedding for our 8th grade Chinese teacher. She already had the civil ceremony and huge wedding celebration in her hometown, so it was actually more like a wedding reception. It was a smaller gathering than the wedding I went to in the fall--it was strange knowing at least a quarter of all the people there (all school people). Of course, it was quite the event, complete with new and exciting food.

On a similar note (food), we made tacos last night. I still hadn't used my taco seasoning I brought with me from Michigan--it even had the Meijer label on it. Beth brought back corn tortillas from the States at Christmas. It's very strange to me that it's possible to forget the food you love. I used to eat cheese quesadillas all the time in college and they had to be on corn tortillas, not flour. It was a taste of heaven (as far as that comparison goes in the food category)! To make this pathetic story even better, Lindsey made salsa and we finished the chips that my sister brought at Easter. Fresh salsa, tacos, quesadillas--oh my goodness, it was amazing!

Pictures from the wedding:

This was a new food: Pig's stomach!

The foreign teachers with the happy couple.

The feast that was our lunch.

My Chinese TA and I.

Daniel and the 12th grade Chinese TA.

The American teachers.

Modeling my new dress I bought last week in Beijing.

Coming soon...The best English signs we've found in China. You can bet it will be good!


13 May 2007

May Holiday

Currently reading: Newsweek, April 16/April 23

Currently listening to: Hello, Dear Wind, Page France

The first week of May was one of the three "Golden Weeks" in China. Designed to promote to tourism, May holiday, along with Spring Festival and October holiday, are the time of year when most Chinese travel around the country. We had the entire week off from school so I went north to visit my friends. Most of the foreign teachers from our school were picking up family in Beijing, so we all took an overnight train to Beijing together. It was quite the luxury--a nice contrast from our train in Thailand. Apparently, I just don't have the ability to sleep on trains though. It was quick trip; we left at 8 at night and got in to Beijing around 7 in the morning. I met my friend from Switzerland (she studies Chinese here in Wuxi) at her hostel (her parents had been visiting her and they were traveling around the country). We went shopping and just hung around the city. After the day together, I went over to see the Kennedys in their city. If everything works out, I'll be moving there in August. It was nice to see the school again and to imagine myself there in the fall. It was a relaxing, low-key week. They blogged about the holiday week here. Now, I'm back in Wuxi and with another week down, we only have a month and two days left of school. It is really possible that I've almost survived my first year of teaching? Teaching overseas nonetheless...craziness. Here's the week in review:

The luxury that was our overnight train--complete with a fake rose and the Chinese countryside in the background.

Karri, Megan and Lindsey (closest) in the hall outside of our compartment on the train.

At the market in Beijing--"Handicraft Embroidery Depend The Mat Bed Cover An Ensign Set Cloth." They're advertising that they sell traditional Chinese pillowcases, etc.--in case you didn't understand :)

Betcha can't buy cotton candy from a guy on his bike in the States. (Again, see the Kennedys blog for more pics and info on our May Day outing adventure)

Beautiful balloons for sell--Note the balloon with the Olympic mascots on it, only one more year :)

The boys goofing off.

The girls goofing off.

The view to the outside from a little cave--beautiful, huh?

I was so excited to see tulips in China! They reminded me of my mom's tulips in our front yard and also of the amazing planters at the Calvin chapel--sigh. It wasn't quite the same, but I was thankful to see them still.

Another reminder of Dutch West Michigan--not sure what these clogs are doing there, but I've learned to stop asking silly questions like that.

Because of the holiday, the park had a bunch of public displays. These kids couldn't have been older than high school and they all played the drums amazingly.

The water was teaming with fish.

Another picture to make you wonder--Would you buy a car from the "Faw Camel Company"?

The Grand Finale to the Ultraman/Batman tightrope show over the water--complete with water fountains.

A man selling animals made from grass on Ancient Culture Street. Do you see the grasshopper on the left and the butterfly in the middle? Completely made from grass!

Hannah playing dress-up with my winter clothes.

A little background before I explain: The two main Western fast food restaurants in China are McDonalds and KFC. Both are very concerned for their customers safety and will provide a chain connected to the bottom of the table with a hook to secure your bags to.

Now for this amazing sign--"A tender remind from the police: please use the crook under the table to ensure the safety of your belongs." Wait a minute--I'm supposed to give the crook under my table my belongings ? I thought the idea was to prevent thievery :)

Well, Happy Mother's Day!