Friday, July 30, 2010

Off to Xi'an

Last day of work

One thing I don't like about internships is the moment when you have to hand over your badge. It's a piece of your identity all compacted into a rectangular plastic that they're going to cut up in front of you when you leave. When the marine at Post 1 took it, I tried to sweet talk him into giving it back after deactivating it. He refused but asked me out instead. I guess it's his idea of a consolation prize.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Adding to the bucket list

Someday, I'll go horse trekking in Sichuan and learn how to milk yaks.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Flirting . . . with Chinese characteristics

A scene at the metro today. This is classic Chinese flirting, known as Sajiao 撒娇.

Girl: You don't like me at all.

Boy: What do you mean? I really like you.

Girl: Liar.

Boy pouts.

Girl slaps him on the face.

Me shocked.

Boy: Don't be like that.

Boy smiles and tries to hug her.

Girl slaps him again.

Boy tries even harder to hug her.

Girl pretends to struggle. She thumps him repeatedly on the chest.

She gives up.

They cuddle. All the way till the end of the line.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


That was absolutely beautiful. Thank you. Now I think I understand a little better.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The sound of pants

In my mind, I'm the tragic heroine who suddenly goes blind but surprises the world with her supernatural hearing. But really, I'm just an intern whose back is to the corridor with the heaviest traffic and playing mind games while researching all things China.

Men's pants cling onto the wearer in distinctive ways. The pant legs rub against each other in various degrees, producing signature sounds that scream out who you are.

The man with the gold-rimmed glasses, 80s Chinese hairstyle, and the multi-color polos down the hall has wide, billowy pant legs. When he walks by, they sound as if two pieces of tissue paper, folded loosely in half, are being pushed against each other in an up and down motion.

My boss dresses in form-fitting, straight boot leg trousers that result in minimal noise. Most of the time, I know it's him because I sense the very muted presence that his pant legs create.

The middle-aged econ section reseacher slash night time professor sports relaxed khakis. Similarly, his pants produces sounds with a certain softness, unlike some which are very jarring.

Ironically, the quietest men have the noisiest pants. Perhaps it's their way of compensating.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The body language of emails

I obsess over emails, not necessarily over their content but rather the delivery.
Sentences full of shpelling mistaks, LOL, or .....? I instinctively read faster and skip over them, pretending I don't notice so as to spare my sender any imaginary embarassment.
A "I hope your work is treating you well" from somebody I just met? I cringe. Perhaps we didn't hit it off as well as I think we did. 
A new animated emocon in an email from my mom this morning? I sat there absolutely shocked. I don't even know how to do that myself. 
And a sentence highlighted in bold when I wasn't expecting it? I just about cried.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hong Kong

It's good for my soul.