Thursday, February 28, 2008

Scrambled like eggs

As most of you know, my husband is a native French speaker. Sometimes, this means that we experience hilarious gaps in communication. My French is still in the beginning stage, and the errors too numerous to mention. However, his English is almost fluent, and so his mistakes are usually funny - to me anyway.

For example, at the wedding, the guests wanted me to make a little speech. Having no idea what to say, I looked to my dear husband for some guidance. "Just say 'good appetite'", he says. Good appetite? Sorry dear, but that doesn't make sense, and it is just hard to say something incorrectly in my own language. Although I understood that he was translating the French literally
, in English we don't say "good appetite". So, I did the next best thing. I said, "enjoy your meal". But no, that was not good enough. No sooner were the words out of my mouth than the M.C. , who had heard my husbands instructions, felt it necessary to reiterate my words. With much gusto, as if to cover my mistake, he nearly yelled into the mic. Speaking in English, he tells the guests "She said, 'Thank you for coming...and good appetite!'" Maybe "eat well" would have been a better choice.

The other night, we were having one of those mushy memory lane conversations that couples, relatives and old friends sometimes have. As you know, here in China I was (am) the "untouchable", and he was laughing about some of the things his friends said to him when he expressed his interest in pursuing me. The guys here often talk(ed) about my complexion and hair texture, and occasionally use(d) my appearance to reinforce their reasoning. As he laughed at how much has changed, and how I went from being the untouchable girl to his wife, he made a remark about my (naturally curly) hair. "My wife, with her scrambled hair." Of all the words used to describe my hair, this was the first time I'd heard "scrambled", even from him. Laughing hysterically, I said "Like eggs?", in order to be sure he was saying what he meant. "Yes!" he exclaimed, "Scrambled like eggs."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

CAC Cook-Up

On Sunday night, I went to a Caribbean Association (of China) meeting and potluck dinner. Shanghai is a big city, and this time the dinner was near my house. So, I went to the supermarket and picked up a dessert (I know, I know, being lazy) and took a taxi to my friend J's house. J' is a Jamaican-British, married mother of one (with one on the way). I arrived as food was still being cooked and warmed, and generally mingled. After the meeting, I stayed and chatted for a while, and all in all had quite a lovely evening.
The food was good, the company was good, and the meeting was productive. There are a lot of good things going on, and some activities I might attend. The biggest news of the night however, was this:

The first ever Jamaican restaurant is opening in Shanghai!

Of course, as CAC members we are invited to the pre-opening testing. That is when you go to the restaurant and sample dishes in order to give the chef your feedback. Free food that should taste good. Sign me up. My husband and I will be there!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Todays Tidings

A few notes...

Chinese New Year has ended! I think. Last night was another round of fireworks, I think marking the end of the clebration. Although I love festive events, I do not love being unable to sleep because of the fireworks. So I enjoyed the festivities, and am glad they are over. Speaking of Chinese New Year, can anyone tell me why I can't seem to find a lion/dragon dance in Shanghai? I do live in China, don't I? This shouldn't be so difficult...

I must be the ONLY person in Shanghai that doesn't have an ayi (domestic help). I going to have to join the club, and start paying someone to wash dishes, clean the bathrooms, and esp. those white tile floors. Hm, this sounds good already, I might have to find myself an older Chinese woman to help around the house wherever I go. It would also help me practice my Chinese...

I had all of these things I wanted to write, but now they've escaped me.

On a final note, a friend of mine commented the other day on how my relationship status on Myspace went from "single" to "married". Unlike most people, I never put "in a relationship" or "engaged". She said that she should take tips from me, never letting him know he has you. I thought it was funny, as that wasn't exactly my motivation. (Esp. being as he doesn't use myspace, so he had no idea what it said). But then it made me think a little bit. You know the movie Big Fish? In it, the father tells a story, and the punchline is that the only way to catch an uncatchable woman is to give her a wedding ring. I think that line sums up my relationship pretty well. Here, my husband is called "the man", among other things, by the group of guys that knew us both before we became a couple. Why? Because he got the "untouchable girl" (what they said most often when he would ask them about me). He thought I would be easy to get, perhaps like most of his relationships. I wasn't "hard to get", but I was in some respects an uncatchable woman. I like it that way.

Friday, February 08, 2008

春节快乐!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Here's a short video clip of the fireworks that were visible from my bedroom. The two sets in the foreground were set off in the courtyard (thanks neighbors). Note the noise and "background" fireworks also. The entire city was lit up. I had numerous fireworks displays visible from every room in the house.


video

And a shorter one, from a window on the other side of the apartment. This side of my building is next to a school, which is why all of the fireworks are in the background.







video

Thursday, February 07, 2008

ERA

ERA-Intersection of time.
The other night, I FINALLY went to see ERA. I've been attempting to get to this show, which plays every night, since I first heard about it a little over a year ago. Not wanting to go alone, my main problem was finding someone to go with me. The other night a friend that I had mentioned the show to a few days before calls up and asks if I want to go and see it that night. Having now other plans, I said, "of course", called the box office, reserved the tickets and off we went.
ERA is actually a little difficult to describe. It is mostly an acrobatics show that fuses traditional Chinese culture with modern technology. It is breathtaking. The things the performers due are beautiful, and classic and amazing. The show is riveting from beginning to end, and leaves the viewer wondering what they are going to do next. It is family friendly, and well organized. The choreography is beautiful. And everything is live, the music included, which adds an extra element of intrigue. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am so glad that I finally got to see this Shanghai staple.
Photography is forbidden (yay!), so I took pictures of the pictures in the program book that my friend purchased. I am not sure about the copyright laws involved, so the copyright of these pictures belongs to either a) my friend who purchased the book or b) the original photographer.
Enjoy...



Look at those arms! Yes, I spent a lot of time appreciating the bodies of the performers, especially the women. Look, women with bodies! Figures. They are not hungry! They are in amazing shape, of course. Those thighs are rock solid - but they exist. And I think they have to um...EAT.












Flexibility. Balance. Strength. Beauty.

CHINA.










Yes, I want my husband to hold on to some material with one arm, and me with the other, and then be lifted into the air just like this. I want the music in the background too.

This piece was one of my favorites in the show. At one point she was holding on to the the fabric suspended from the ceiling, and supporting his weight with her free arm (so her free hand was holding one of his hands, and his other hand was free as part of the movement - and I think, to aid in keeping balance). They didn't have wires, which increased the beauty and suspense as they went swirling and spinning through midair. And the singer was great (I could even understand some of the words of the song). Loved it.