Chatting with Dr. Tim Xie
06 Aug 2006
Dr. Tim Xie (谢天蔚) of California State University Long Beach contacted me a while back. He was doing research for a paper called Blog, Wiki, Podcasting and Learning Chinese Language* (PDF; written mainly in Chinese). He did an e-mail interview with me about blogging in Chinese, part of which I later posted on my Chinese blog.
Anyway, recently Dr. Xie visited Shanghai. He stopped by ChinesePod to discuss some academic issues with Ken, and I also had a dinner with Dr. Xie during which we chatted about the state of academia in the PRC, thesis topics, and other fun things.
During our chat, he talked about what it was like, as a native of Shanghai, to make periodic visits after living abroad for twenty-odd years. Never mind the tremendous changes in the city; here’s an exchange he had with a cab driver:
> Driver: So you’re visiting Shanghai from abroad, huh?
> Dr. Xie: Why do you say that?
> Driver: Well, I know you don’t live here…
> Dr. Xie: How can you tell?
> Driver: Well, first, you speak flawless Shanghainese, but you gape at everything around you like a tourist. Second, you don’t dress like a local. And third, you don’t smell like a local. You use some kind of fancy perfumey stuff.
I found this conversation highly amusing.
* Note that in the paper Dr. Xie translates “podcast” not as 播客, which has enjoyed popularity in the PRC, possibly due to its cute similarity to 博客 (blog). Dr. Xie uses the term 网播 for “podcast.”