What have I been doing for the past 2 weeks (besides trying to get my site back online)? It seems like a lot of nothing, but the list goes something like this:
Plowing through my Chinese intro to linguistics text. (Surprisingly, I’m learning a lot of really useful non-linguistics-specific vocabulary.)
Reading short stories by H. P. Lovecraft. (And, frequently being disappointed by the endings.)
Killing time going through the archives of Nuklear Power. (OK, I know it’s lame; I can’t explain it! But FF1 was my favorite game of all time, so that must be part of it.)
Expanding my music collection. (Huddle Formation by The Go! Team is awesome happy music.)
Visiting the hospital again. (More on that adventure later.)
Deciding not to go to India for my October vacation because the plane tickets are just not cheap. (Still not sure what I’ll do.)
Yes, I’ve dicovered that when my internet usage goes down I end up reading more and getting more sleep. Good thing I solved my hosting problem. No telling what I might be capable of if I were well-rested, well-read, and well-thought out all the time!
I think we’ve all had incidents of misheard song lyrics. You think you hear one thing in the song, but the actual lyrics are very different. I’ve had a bit of that in China.
My first main incident with this phenomenon in China was with the song “Nanren Ku ba bu shi Zui“ * (“Man, go ahead and cry, it’s no crime”). In the song, Andy Lau repeats “ku ba” over and over in Chinese, which basically means “go ahead and cry.” The thing is, it sounds exactly like the way Cuba is pronounced in Spanish. Weird. I know I’m listening to Chinese, but every time it gets to that refrain, I hear Spanish. (Well, they are comrade nations, I suppose….)
The other incident is for another Chinese song by a male singer. I don’t know the singer or the song, and I don’t particularly like the song. I just know that I keep hearing him sing “Koopa Troopa.” Now, anyone who dutifully played Super Mario Brothers 1 on NES back in the day knows that Koopa Troopas are little turtles that oppose Mario and Luigi on their righteous quest to save the princess (if she’d only stay in one damn castle!). But those wily koopa are making a comeback in Chinese pop. (OK, does anyone know what Chinese song I’m talking about here?!)
* Warning: This Flash “video” is horribly cheesey. But hey, you can hear the song without downloading the MP3. Also, I apologize for my crappy translation of the song title, but, you know… it’s a dumb song anyway.
OK, I know this has absolutely nothing to do with China, but I can’t resist. I love this game, and I must share it with the world. It’s called Alien Hominid. You’re this alien that crash lands near the FBI headquarters. You know the American government — they immediately get all violent and come out guns blazing. So it’s a fight for survival, you against the FBI dudes.
The animation style is really great, so even though it’s kind of graphic (you can bite the FBI guys’ heads off! Cool!), it’s a lot of fun. It’s by a really talented 23-year-old animator who calls himself Synj. It’s sponsored by NewGrounds.com, which is a great site for Flash stuff. Check it out.
It’s been raining for days. That’s one of the drawbacks of living here in Hangzhou — the weather is not always great. There are times in the fall and spring when it rains for weeks, practically nonstop. Well, no sunshine anyway. That can really get you down. Fortunately, for the past 2 weeks or so I’ve been really busy trying to get my site finished, and now all the guys here are getting (back) into Starcraft, so we have stuff to do indoors. Now if only they didn’t kick us out of the office at 10pm every night…