Saturday, November 13, 2010

austin's animals

i was born in a city, no farm animals or farms. the closest thing to the farm was the orange groves (which is cool but lacking in big farm animals). so whenever i go to the midwest, i love the cows and farms. i'm also a fan of the small towns in america. that's the reason why i love to go to rach's hometown and read the local newspaper there. it's pretty awesome. one of the things they have in the paper is the local police reports. here is where they chronicle every activity that the police do throughout the day. so today's blog is dedicated to the entries in the police report that relate to the animals of austin.

* deceased cat found (that's it? nothing said about if there was an owner looking for it)
* officer dispatched to a deer that was hit by a car near international paper
* checked the area of 13th street and ninth avenue for loose dog, returned to owner
* report of a dog to be tied to duffle bad on interstate 90 (this is my favorite)
* loose dog in the 500th block of 4th street

* picked up an injured rabbit at 900 block of 23rd ave sw
* report of an animal complaint at the 100 block of 10th st
* checked on a dog that was inside a car for several hours at 600 block of 9th st, dog was fine
* checked the area for a dog that jumped at a mailman at the 1400 block of fifth street

so i came to the conclusion that the police in austin do more for the animals than the people.

on another note, here's a picture of us at austin's most famous museum - the spam museum.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

hangin' in NC

i realize that i'm the world's worst blogger, but i'm okay with that. the last entry was from china and now we are in cary, nc. we've been in the states since july and we're heading back to chiner in feb 2011.

since we've been home, we've been to a ton of place. we're putting miles on my parents mini-van, cuz they don't. here's some highlight so far of our time in america.

sam learned to waterski - this is more of a highlight for her dad.

we went to disney world.

we've carved some pumpkins (my is the one of the right).

we also went to the state fair last weekend and it was quite the experience. i love people watching in china, but the fair is way better. it's like i was in another country. ahh the fair, full of awesomeness!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

chinese walmarts

if you ever wondered what they sell at a chinese walmart, just think chinese stuff all packed into one ginormous store. last month we went to walmart in changchun with my parents and they had pigs hanging from their feet and some butcher cutting slabs off of it for people to buy. this website also had some wonderful images from walmarts across chiner. so if you think your local walmart is kinda trashy, think again ... at least they don't sell this stuff. although walmarts in china are actually pretty nice compared to the local stores.

chinese walmarts

Monday, May 24, 2010

thatched butt?

today in class, we were talking about different types of homes. the students were supposed to brainstorm as many types of homes as they could. one pair of students wrote down "thatched butt". i politely corrected their mistake and then went on my way to the next group of students. but i'll be honest i did the junior high giggle the whole way up and down the isle of students. i couldn't stop laughing, it was just cracking me up. i'm not sure if it was because she had actually wrote the word "butt" on the paper or the mental image of a "thatched butt", either way i had a good laugh.

just so you know, i was not thinking of this image:

but now i am. i could really use a little time on the beach. we've had some crummy weather this spring and it's raining again. yuck! i hate the rain!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

60 bottles of beer on the wall

where's wu? yes it's been a month since my last blog entry (and i was doing so good). this last month has been so crazy!!!

for the first time in five years, we as teachers had to "supervise" seniors for writing their senior thesis papers. talk about crazy chinglish, 20 pages of pure awesomeness. i want to pull my hair out when reading some of these papers, they didn't make any sense and those that did make sense, i had to bust for plagiarism (i'll save that for another time). so that's been consuming the majority of my time.

also i've been coaching the department soccer team, who decided that practicing at 6:00am was the best thing for the team. when 13,000 kids share one field for the entire school, field availability times can get a little crazy. even though we get there at 6:00am, we are only given a quarter of the field to practice on. if we are lucky we can actually get a goal to practice on. ughhh, the joys of living in a land of 1.3 billion people. but we just played our last game this week and lost in the semifinals. which is where the "60 bottles of beer" came from. we had a celebratory banquet for the team to finish the season, in which the team and i and some department leaders gathered for one big party. basically it was all the boys and leaders toasting until the cows come home and drinking themselves into a drunken stupor. if you know anything about the "asian glow" these boys had the "glow" going on! since our organization has a no alcohol policy and the leaders and students know it, i was saved from being a causality of the asian glow. even those i was saved from the plethora of alcoholic beverages, i still had to drink something every time a toast was given. which was a problem since every single kid had to toast the coach, so i downed an entire 2 liter of pepsi and some during the festivities (i don't even like pepsi). i've also never seen so many grown adult males cry. every one of the seniors weeped as they thanked me for being their coach and said they should have played better to be the champions. to which i told them, "you're right! you made me get up at 6:00am everyday, and you didn't even win, you guys really are losers!" just kidding, what do you say to these kids after that? i just smiled and said that it was okay. but i did learna few cultural lessons that night:
1. chinese people are even formal when they are having a "party". i tried to imagine american college students doing this, but i couldn't even fathom that.
2. there is an extreme respect for those in authority (teachers, coaches, leaders).
3. when you are being toasted you have to drink everything in the cup or else it shows you don't respect the person toasting you. which meant i had to pee the rest of the night.
3. even big boys cry.
4. i hope samantha inherits the "asian glow" so i can bust her for drinking if she ever tries.

so that's the latest scoop from wu's world. sorry it's been so long.

also in case you don't have facebook:

coming around thanksgiving of 2010 :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

please come to siping mcdonalds!

i read this little article about mcdonalds, i really hope they come to our city. in case you didn't know, our little city doesn't have a mcdonalds, but they do have 3 kfc's. i know what you are thinking - who goes to kfc? i never go while in america, but here in siping, i love it.

McDonald's to double China outlets in 3 years (March 30, 2010, AP)

McDonald's said Tuesday it plans to nearly double its number of outlets in China by the end of 2013 as the US fast-food giant seeks to expand its presence in the world's biggest developing economy. The company aims to boost the number of its outlets in China to 2,000 from around 1,100 in three years, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing Tim Fenton, the company's president of Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. McDonald's will open 150-175 outlets in the country this year, its China chief executive Kenneth Chan said.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

text message

here in china, text messaging seems to be the only way to communicate with each other. for one thing it's wicked cheap. so we always get funny text messages from our students who try to explain things to us in english, but clearly have no idea what the english word really means that they just wrote.

for example tonight i got a gem of a text message:
"dear mr. wu, i'm vivian (name changed to protect the identity). sorry to disturb you. there appears herpes simplex virus infection again. it's a great pity to miss your class again. i'll be back next week. thank you!"

ahh classic :) thank you chinese-english dictionary. and yes it is a big pity, but a bigger pity for you and your virus.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

some facts about china

today i got this about some numbers and facts about china. take a look.

The Numners Behind China
Via: Online Schools

Saturday, March 20, 2010

the great chiangmai t-shirt exchange

if you have ever visited chiangmai in thailand you know about the night market. the night market is pure awesomeness. they basically have an entire street lined with little carts that sell everything: t-shirts, purses, wooden games, magic tricks, dvds, wii games, watches, lamps ... and on and on. you name it, it's there. they especially have a ton of t-shirts that range from funny ones to downright crass. in fact, when our teammate jude was 5 and learning to read he really liked the t-shirt with the mcdonald arches on it that said "Mcs@#$". yeah, oops, not a good place for a kid to be learning to read. but they're not all bad. in fact there are so many clever ones that we decided this year at conference to have each team member draw the name of another team member and then have to buy that person a t-shirt from the night market. this is what resulted (we're all acting out our shirts):

my t-shirt said "teamwork" and pictured a silhouette of some guys kicking the poo out of a guy on the ground. very clever.

but the bestest (yes, i used a word that even my chinese students don't use) one went to sonny. kami bought him this gem:

no explanation needed. he was very embarrassed to be seen in this shirt and many people thought he was a really big fan of michael. ahh, poor sonny. everyone thinks he's a big m.j. fan. but hey, who isn't?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

the ladies of china basketball association (wcba)

on thursday we took a road trip to anshan, a city about 4 hours away on the train, to see our friend katie play in the wcba finals. she's an american who is playing for the henan elephants (they are really far away), and the finals just happen to be kinda close to us. so we decided to road trip and take along with us some of our students to watch the game.

here's a few of my observations.

1. riding on a train is even longer when you sit near the door and everyone is blowing smoke on you. ahh, give me more second hand smoke!
2. two of the girls we took hadn't ridden the train longer than 1.5 hours before and had never left the province. so they really had a swell time.
3. sam really likes watching basketball. she was so excited that she was shaking. although, she didn't really understand that we just wanted to cheer for katie's team. we'll work on that.
4. katie is much taller than the rest of the chinese players.
5. during timeouts the fans nearest katie's bench would blow these annoying horns as loud as they could so that the team wouldn't be able to hear the coach. it worked.
6. chinese people need some tutorials on sports watching. they always cheer at the wrong times. whenever the home team had the ball it was dead quiet. why not try and cheer up the team?
7. while it was dead quiet, i was able to yell, "airball" over and over again. no one around me understood what i was saying, but it drew a lot of stares. at which point, sam said, "dad, don't do that!" ahh, sam, this is the start of your dad embarrassing you for the many years to come.
8. this was our second time watching katie play in china. i was surprised at how good some of the girls actually played. when i play basketball with my students, i'm like michael jordan. so my idea of chinese people playing basketball is not high. but these girls were pretty good.
9. in the end the henan elephants lost game 2 of the finals, which puts them down two games. they play today, if they win, they keep playing. which the league hasn't even scheduled yet. ahh, china, you never stop surprising me.
10. if they lose, katie and her husband, todd, can go home. i think they won't be too sad to lose and go home :)

so that's my trip. we took the train back to siping and got home at 4 am. then i had a chinese class at 8. surprise to everyone, i actually went.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

saturday is really monday?

so today is saturday but according to the school it really is monday. sound confusing? welcome to my world. whenever we have a holiday the school gives us some days off, but then we have to make them up. why give us a holiday then? is it really a holiday if we have to make it up when they take away our weekend?

because sunday was the lantern festival, we got monday and tuesday off. not really though, because today we had to make up all our classes like it was monday. then next week saturday we have to make up all the tuesday classes that we missed. it's so crazy, i think we should just have class on monday and tuesday because now i have to work on saturdays. i used to try and figure out why they did that, but now i just do whatever they tell me to do.

i guess they really shouldn't tell me i have a holiday. they should just say that classes are on a holiday delay. oh well, happy monday everyone.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

fireworks rock!

as a pyromaniac, i live for fire and things that go boom. this year was my first time in 5 years to experience the entire length of a chinese new year celebrations. on the eve of chinese new year the fireworks began around 6 AM and continued until 3 AM the next morning. around 10 PM on the eve of the new year, the place got lit up. fireworks were going all around our building. i've never heard or seen anything like it before.

the party didn't stop on new years day. for the next 15 days, fireworks are "legal" for all residents to use, so everyday from 6 or 7 AM till the wee hours of the night, fireworks could be heard. on the 15th day of the new year (according to the lunar calendar) the chinese celebrate the lantern festival. this evening includes setting off even more fireworks to end the festivities. so to celebrate we went to the market and bought a plethora of fireworks. it was awesome!

that's a photo of us shooting off some roman candles at sam and rach in the apartment. as the fireworks came out of our roman candles we were yelling harry potter-isms - "alohomora!"

at the local park, they set up a display of lights to celebrate the lantern festival, very similar to a christmas lights display. apparently they hadn't done this in siping for a few years, so this was the first time in a long time that they had this display. i went and froze my buns off. there is a ice festival display in harbin (5 hours north of here) which is during january and the temps are well below zero there. i figured if i can't handle single digit temps, then there is no way i'll ever be able to go there.

the festivities are finally over and we can get back to life without fireworks all day long.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

compare and contrast - zoos

this semester we are teaching our sophomore english majors how to write comparison and contrast essays. i thought i'd do a little ditty on american zoos versus zoos in asia. so here's my scoop.

1. i'd like to start with the giraffe exhibits. this summer we went to the zoo in nc, which was super cool and very nice - that being said, they just opened an special area to view the giraffes. we got there and the giraffes were a mile away and we could barely see them. here's a picture of mavis and sam, the giraffes were supposed to be behind them, but you can't really see them.

the zoo keeper made us whisper and told us that they may get within 100 feet of us so we could see them. blah, blah, blah. here's the real deal lady. go to thailand where you can pretty much touch those guys and feed them bananas and beans for less than a dollar. and we didn't have to whisper.

point goes to the thailand zoo.

2. hippo exhibit. the zoo in nc had some hippos really far away, i didn't even take picture because they were too far. now let's look at the hippos in thailand. here you see the exhibit featured 3 gi-normous hippos who came right up to the side of the enclosure and we could feed them and touch them. we paid 50 cents to throw sweet potatoes and carrots into their mouths and grab hold of their teeth. i know, awesome!!!!

you can see how jude's little hand can reach over the railing and grab those little guys.

point goes to the thailand zoo.

in conclusion, the zoos in thailand are cheaper, but dirtier, and you may leave feeling a little bit sorry for the animals. in the end you get over it, cuz the awesomeness factor of touching animals is way better. why do americans care so much about safety anyways? asia doesn't and look at the cool things you can do. sure that hippo could rip my arm off or that giraffe could bite my hand, ehhh, but who cares? i got to touch a hippo!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

VPNs are swell

Ni hao internet world, i'm back online. there is probably no one that reads this wonderful blog anymore, but that's okay, i'll try to resume updating. i recently bought a VPN so that i could access my blog, facebook, youtube, and other sites. so now i can surf freely (take that china firewall).

in other news:
1. i'm hanging in siping with sam while rachel is in america for a wedding.
2. while in siping with sam, sam stuck a sunflower seed up her nose and i had to take her to the hospital to get it out. it was the chinese new year's eve, so there were no taxis and the school official had to get a fancy school car to take us. i was slightly embarrassed because those two guys (the official and school car driver) had to be taken away from their families on one night where all you do is spend time with your families. so to wayne and the car driver: "sorry again - 不好意思 ".
3. on chinese new year's eve there were more fireworks all day than i've ever heard in my whole life. 4th of july is so lame now. i've never been in a war, but i can now imagine what constant gun fire sounds like.
4. because of the chinese new year, no restaurants and stores have been open, so i've been eating pb&j and ramen noodles for a week. sure wish they had mac and cheese here.
5. olympics being broadcasted in chinese on chinese tv aren't really that exciting. thank you sling box.

that's all for now.

here's a shot of sam from the pool in thailand.