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谢迈克在中国 » 2008» January

谢迈克在中国

Mike Shecket Goes To China!

Made it to Guangzhou

January 26th, 2008

My luggage didn’t.  I washed my clothes in the hotel sink and they’re hung up to dry now…I gave them a little assist with the hair dryer too.  Not bad…I used a bar of laundry soap.  The clothes smell OK and look pretty nice actually.

Flight’s canceled…

January 23rd, 2008

Stupid weather!

Awesome!

January 23rd, 2008

I found the one place in the Guiyang Airport where I can plug in my laptop and get on the Internet.  Good thing too…I’m going to be waiting here at least 3 hours…probably more because of the weather.

January 12th, 2008

I forgot to say why I look like this…because I can. Because, after all, people are going to stare at me anyway just for being a foreigner, so why not flaunt it?

Road names in China

January 5th, 2008

I haven’t done that much traveling around the country, really, but I’ve gazed longingly at many maps in Lonely Planet, and I make the following observations:

  • This is a given to anyone who’s been here, but it’s worth mentioning for people back home and elsewhere: many roads have an East (Dong - 东) and a West (Xi - 西) segment, or a North (Bei -  北) and a South (Nan - 南) piece, but in addition, many if not most of the ones so designated also have a Central/Middle (Zhong - 中) part to them.
  • There are no one character street names, as far as I’ve seen. No equivalent of, say, “Elm Street”. Every street name I’ve seen that I can think of has at least two characters before the “road” or “street” or “avenue” or “alley” character. I got to thinking about this partly because of the next observation.
  • Which is that I haven’t seen a single Mao Road, Zedong Road, Mao Zedong Road, etc., anywhere. No Deng Xiaoping Lu, no Jiang Zemin Xiang, no Hu Jintao Dadao. What nearly every city has, though, is a Zhongshan Road. At first, I took this literally: “central/middle mountain”. But it turns out that Sun Zhongshan is the Mandarin, mainland name for the man we know in the West as Sun Yat-Sen, the father of modern China.



Maybe street naming has a different, lesser cultural significance here than it does in America. After all, most people in China still live in the country (for now), and most of the roads out there probably don’t have names. Or they do, but the names are highly local and functional. Here I yield, as I’m speculating on something that has an actual, obtainable answer for which I’m not about to do the research.


At one of the pizza buffet places tonight, a couple other foreign teachers and I ran into another American.  I haven’t met, or at least talked to, very many Americans at all outside of the other three here at the school.

Basically, this guy from Kentucky came to China partly for some of the same reasons I partly came to China…more or less feeling guilty about being an American and being disgusted with what’s gone on there.  I think we feel the same way about being in China: we don’t really fit in with the culture, and we wonder if we’re really making a difference here.  And we both feel like maybe the place to be is back in America and the thing to do is to try to fix things there.

I still really hate some things about my country, but in the end, I guess I’m realizing that, in my way, I also love my country.

January 4th, 2008

I’m feeling kind of inspired today…if Obama wins the nomination, I feel like I might want to come home to Ohio and volunteer for him.  And if he wins the presidency, I feel like coming home more or less for good.

Copyright © 2007-8 Michael H. Shecket. All rights reserved.