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a personal view

What dad said #1

Went out shopping with dad, he needed some pants.

Me:” would you want a pair of jeans?”

Dad:” need to ask your mom.”

Me;” I said, do YOU want to buy a pair of jeans for yourself?”

Dad:”I know. Need to ask your mom, she knows if the jeans will fit me or not.”

Me:”what do you think about jeans on yourself?”

Dad:”I don’t care.”

… …

 

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Are Things Cheap to You?

Let’s get right into it. Living in Shanghai for 20 months, encountering many “expats” in daily life, so many of them have said, “Every Thing Is So Cheap Here.” On Sunday night, having analyzed their saying, I have decided that I will no longer take the initiative to interact with this type of expat, regardless of their gender, race, age, or education level.

You are an idiot when you are saying “everything is so cheap” in public no matter where you are. It’s like when you say “you are what you eat”. Offensive. It only shows that you are not a considerate person and you fit right in the douchebag category. The only exception for you to announce such offensive statements is when you are attending exclusive and invitation-only parties where you get to compete with other privileged douchebags – that’s acceptable. However, when you are at a store, a restaurant, a bar, a train station, or wherever you might be surrounded by strangers, do not comment on how cheap things are to you. Because things might be cheap to you does not mean they are cheap to other people who sit or stand next to you.  It is that simple.

Thing is, you only get to hear this type of dumb saying when you are not in America and Europe. I have not been to South America or Africa, but in Asia, to say “everything is so cheap” is like an icebreaker between expats – they quickly bond. It’s like a path to find your class in the foreign country you choose to live in.  Maybe this is similar to people who exchange their boarding school and college names in the US, so you know where you’re at in the ongoing class war.

The other problem I have with this type of douchebag is that they like to constantly remind you that they are EXPATs. To me, they are no different than a foreign worker or migrant, like everyone else (you, me, and them). Here is an article about who should be called an expat. I think this article is a total waste of time because in my opinion, no one is an expat. I do not care if you are an executive from West Europe or an investment banker from the UK. You are just someone who works and lives in a country that’s different from your home country.  You might get paid more and live a better life in a foreign country, but that does not make you a better person who should have more privileges than others. If you think you deserve more and know better just because you think you are an expat, please, show me if you know how to live in New York City like an “expat”, where no one gives a fuck about your expat identity or how much you make, or how you used to have maids and chauffeurs.

I only know a very few wealthy people, and none of them has said “everything is so cheap here” when they visited Shanghai. A couple who owns an apartment with a terrace on East 87th & Park Ave and a newly built beach house in the Hamptons did not even say things are cheap here when they were in Shanghai last May.  So please, throw your illusions in the trash and try to live humbly. Don’t make yourself sound like a douchebag and a total asshole when you can’t even speak the local language in the place you currently live.

What Mom Said #4

Before I head to my very first stand-up comedy in China,  mom face-timed me, I told her that I need to run to see the show. She said, aww that’s fun, but don’t laugh too hard and pee your pants!

Well, I did not pee my pants at the stand-up comedy, as a result. I did laugh.

The stand-up comedy is organized by Comedy UN, lead by a local Chinese named Storm Xu in Shanghai. The organization has many English speaking comedians from all over the world. They have Chinese stand-up comedy night and English stand-up comedy night every week.

Why did I choose English stand-up comedy to attend? It’s a long story, but here’s a quick summary:

It’s one of the first things I learned on TV when I moved to the US. Throughout my adulthood, I watch many SNL, Chris Rock, and Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, and George Carlin, plus Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers. Okay, not just men’s comedy, I never missed a podcast of “2 Dope Queens”.

In New York, I even had the luck to attend “The Colbert Report” and saw Stephen Colbert in person on UWS, thanks to our friend Jeremy!  I also went to a black women’s stand-up comedy with ex-colleagues at a very dark bar in LES, girrrr, their sketch was some raw stuff!

In conclusion, English stand-up comedy seemed more natural to me, although I might not get all the references that only a natural born American would. As an audience, I’m used to the raw and dirty language,  the screaming, and the ridiculous humor.

In comparison, the stand-up at Comedy UN was less raw, less dirty. There were five comedians came from the UK, South Africa, Australia, and the US and China. Their jokes had a lot to do with culture shocks in China, which were valid. Only a couple of them cursed, shouted. One Chinese comedian with perfect English brought up the topic of racism – Chinese are racist because the Chinese like to call people names with visual and hurtful words, which I agree. However, the comedian ended up joking those name calling words had some spiritual meanings related to death and seduction linked with ancient Chinese ghost culture. I was not amused.

The best comedian was Storm Xu, the leader/MC of Comedy UN. His jokes were not limited to the culture shock category. He had jokes on Australian cops, the US government shutdown, and his parents dealing with divorce at the moment. Let me give him a big shout-out!

The venue is also worth to mention. It’s located in a semi-abandoned villa compound in the center of the city. It has no street lights in the compound, it was very dark until you found your way into the theater. Now, I think of it, the theater might not exist for long…

Lastly, I want to apologize to a nice audience who sat next to me, went to the show alone just like me (so brave!). When the whole performance ended, she wanted to exchange a few thoughts with me by speaking to me first; due to social anxiety – the inability of socializing on my own in public, I responded her with a very quick agreement and vanished in the dark..

 

 

 

What Mom Said #3

Facetimed with parents tonight, talked about state of emergency in Virginia, condemned white supremacy, neo-nazis, and alt-right groups. Laughed at Trump’s idiotic diplomacy, and dismissed Kim Jong Un’s nuclear threat as Chinese normally do. Blah Blah Blah…. Mom, in her calm voice, asks “as an american, can you write a letter to president Trump, ask him to maintain world peace?” Mom is the cutest!!!

what mom said #2

mom isn’t too familiar with iphone apps, but she knows how to use wechat better than dad. today, she forgot how to forward a video to me on wechat, after i told her how, she quickly forwarded a video to me. i praised her. she was so happy and said, because you praised me, i’ll have less trouble fall asleep tonight, i’ll sleep so well! “幺女,你今天表扬了我,我等会儿晚上睡觉肯定很快就可以睡着。今晚可以好生睡一觉!” (mom has trouble to fall asleep at night since her surgery.)

what mom said #1

my mom never wants to spend an extra dime on herself. but when she heard we went out for dinner and spent 80 dollars on the meal, she’d calmly say that’s a normal price to pay for a meal these days, and if it’s good, eat more. “现在吃饭是要这个价。只要好吃,就去吃!”

Me and My Podcast

Once I was interested in becoming a radio host, because radio was magical and mysterious. In fact, it still is. When I was in middle school, I had the encourage to go to the local radio station, wait for the show host to show up at the gate before her show starts, so I can do my elevator pitch.  I got two chances to be her guest host! But both times I screwed up because I was not well prepared on air, live. Then, I never had the confidence to ask for the third chance at the radio station.

For a long time, listening to the radio was not part of my life. Until there’s a thing called podcast, radio comes back to my daily routine. There are so many great podcasts, namely BBC Business DailySerial, and Science in Action, plus 2 Dope Queens. (Remember the time when every New Yorker was listening to Serial season one “The Alibi” so intensely on the train to work/home?! )  Oh! Of course, This American Life. I stumbled upon the show while I was searching for a show to listen on an actual radio (from Sony, ivory color) in our Brooklyn apartment. It was a week night in an early winter, I was having dinner alone on the kitchen island. This American Life caught my attention because it was telling a story about some rough individuals in New York City, and their situation was gloomy, dark, and intense. I got hooked immediately!

Before moved back to China a year ago, I’ve made sure I have many US and UK made podcasts on my phone so my sense of world won’t be blocked from the Great FireWall. Bloomberg Daybreak  is my morning background after I got up from bed. BBC Global News played during my shower and wash up. Because these two podcasts update a few times a day, so I don’t really need to pay them much attention.

After coming home from work, I like to play 2 Dope Queens while I prepare my simple dinner and laugh really hard. I’d also imitate those comedians’ accents on the show, the New England and New Jersey accents are easy, but the New Orleans’ is hard. I can hardly do the Queens’ accent.  When I’m ready to sit and eat dinner, I like to play some deep and serious shit, like, Death, Sex & Money, This American Life. Because the voice of the show host sounds like he’s having a conversation with you, and topics are usually about people’s life.

On weekends, I catch up with podcasts that I haven’t had chance to listen during the week. Decrypted, The Economist: Money Talks, and Game Plan, etc.. I’d say the most annoying voices come from Game Plan produced by Bloomberg Radio. It has two white women on the show as hosts. Oftentimes, they’d talk about diversity and inequality at workplace while forgetting they are two privileged white women with good university degrees and comfortable salary based journalism jobs. It’s absolutely ironic! However, I do like their “half-baked takes”. Simply, you suggest something that might improve your personal daily life, but no one has to agree and obey it. For example, a man suggested that men should be able to wear sandals to work when it’s too hot during the summer. I agree with him, because why only women are allowed to display their beautiful and ugly toes?

I’ve also learnt a lot from Science in Action. For example, a London professor said no matter how much you exercise, if you don’t have enough of sleep, your exercise is a waste of time. Many fishes and shrimps are eating plastic as their daily diet in the ocean. Caterpillars eat caterpillars if they’ve eaten leafs from the same bushes where they’ve got the same chemical spray, so way to kill caterpillars! (I think caterpillars look cute.)

What am I listening now while I’m writing? Jazz. Because I couldn’t concentrate when I had The Takeaway on (by the way, did you know it’s John Hockenberry ‘s last week at the show this week?), and Hiphop and Techno were too angry and distracting.

I’ll need to cut back on podcast listening this week, because I have to read “The Girl on the Train”. Also, I’m still digesting This American Life – Babysitting . I’ve listened the second time of the story yesterday, and I broke into tears!  The story no.3 is one of the most powerful family stories I’ve listened, plus the imagination the story offered me. It was like a movie, a family drama. In the movie, I’m visible when the siblings are telling me the story, and I’m invisible when the siblings are with their mother in their house in Buffalo, New York. The show already told us they don’t live on the rich side of the town. My imagination tells me they live in an old brick house, small. The house is on a street where most families are working class, wage laborers, but people are decent and nice to each other. The most fascinating part of the story was why their mother believed their lie?  In the end, I’m glad they’ve made it through. Surviving is hard but manageable to people who have strong foundations.

Good night.

 

 

 

 

My personal JingA experience 我的个人京A体验

(此文用了一些英文词语是因为这些词翻译成中文后就没有那么爽了)

我在国庆节前去成都时就听说了产自北京的京A 精酿啤酒,在国庆节回到成都后,我专门去了HUGO (雨果啤酒馆)和Good Good 墨西哥餐厅品尝了京A的啤酒。在成都,我喝了京A的Flying Fist IPA (飞拳IPA)和Mandarin Wheat. 回到上海后,我在建国路上的Kai Bar (开吧) 尝到了京A 的Worker’s Pale Ale,非常适合我的个人偏好!

这周在京A微信活动推广信息中得知他们今晚会在上海的The Hop Project (这个啤酒馆可以做一个单独的review)合作推出他们的“胡同帮 – Hu Tong Clan” IPA 啤酒,含酒精度9%。这个系列之所以吸引我是因为他们为此款啤酒设计了一件非常酷的T恤,虽然设计抄袭了美国元老级Hip Hop团队 – Wu Tang Clan(武当派)的标志,但T恤本身所带来的视觉刺激感还是很强烈的。国庆节期间,我在成都看到一位朋友穿了这件T恤,我就决定要把这件衣服搞到手!虽然它是男式,但在这个性别模糊 gender blurring的时代, 男士T恤穿在女士身上往往会更加的fashion forward。

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冲着这件T恤和对北京自酿啤酒的好奇,我冒着 台风海马周旋在上海的危险去了The Hop Project一探究竟。很可惜,我喜欢的京A Worker’s Pale Ale 和Flying Fist IPA都下架了。更让我失望的是这个“胡同帮 – Hu Tong Clan”推广活动居然没有卖他们的Hu Tong Clan T恤!我想问北京的京A团队你们是怎么想的?你们的销售成员只拿了几件绿色京A logo的T恤卖。这个细节的错误顿时让活动失去了厂牌和顾客亲密接触的机会。

以下是我对今晚喝到的京A啤酒系列的评分,纯属个人观点 (欢迎各位指点,交流):

分数满分标准:100

1)胡同帮 – Hu Tong Clan Dark IPA, 9% ABV.

颜色:深咖啡色

浓/厚 度:高

口感:重,sharp, authentic, solid, 纯正大气

评分:80

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2)白酒啤酒 – Baijiu Beer, 12% ABV

颜色:浑黄色,清澈度低

浓/厚 度:高

口感:酸, 很难下咽. Simply not good, not worth your time (unless you want to pretend you know alcohol).

评分:40

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3) JingA EH? Maple Saison 枫叶季节, 6.2% ABV

颜色:秋天的橙色

浓/厚 度:中上

口感:甜苦搭配不是很协调,没有介绍说的那个枫叶味。没有想象的那么丝滑顺口。

评分:50

4)京A Project Pale Ale (酒精度忘记了)

颜色:淡黄

浓/厚 度:中

口感:普通,没有特别能让我感到兴奋的点

评分:65

下面两款京A是我在上两周喝到的:

5)京A Mandarin Wheat, 4.8% ABV

颜色:淡黄

浓/厚 度:低

口感:轻,淡。适合不常喝酒的人士。

评分:70

6)京A Worker’s Pale Ale,5% ABV

颜色:棕色

浓/厚 度:中

口感:舒适,沁人心脾

评分:90

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经过这次体验,我认为京A Worker’s Pale Ale最让我满意。

 

 

艺术分享#1 蔡国强 – 天梯 Sky Ladder, Cai Guo Qiang

Cai Guo Qiang 蔡国强 烟花炸出的艺术

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