You have a funny sense of humor

Truly, how many times do we say that we like or do not like someone because of her or his humor? Certainly, there are those among my friends and other people I know with whom I share my jokes or do not. And then there are of course those who just laugh about anything anyway (you know who you are!). But to be honest, humor is something that is really culturally specific. I have often said things in an ironic or sarcastic manner, such as “Why would it be that way, huh?” or “We know what they are doing with…

Biking battles: The origin

“Let me bike to work today.” Quite an innocent thought, if you might say so yourself. So you pack your stuff, glance outside to make sure it is not raining and go out. At the bicycle parking lot of your compound you look for a while for your bike. It is black and, like most others, rusty and old so it does not stand out too much. It takes you a while to find it, because you realize the community workers moved things around again. To have a large space in the front of the lot to put nothing. Probably…

I will have hot water, thank you

Walking to work today (with blue skies and in bright sunlight mind you!) thinking about something quintesstentially Chinese: hot water. Okay, hot water is of course not only limited to China, luckily, but the way they use it here is quite Chinese I would say. They drink it. Without any added flavor. Except perhaps for some other chemicals that are in the water here naturally (or not so naturally). Anyway, I remember that when I started to drink hot beverages, I would drink tea, but with sugar. Not with milk, I did not like English tea like that. And also…

Film rewriting: La La Land

Shamelessly plugging into the publicity that La La Land already has because of the Oscars and its popularity. Yes, I saw the movie, I even saw it twice. I liked it a lot, love the music, understand (part of) its popularity. So I am not going to tell you the synopsis of this film, since it is everywhere on the internet and otherwise you know how to go to http://www.imdb.com (or you just learned now how to). But basically it is a slightly more realistic lovestory with some very good music inserted. Actually, that is one of my main complaints,…

About learning Japanese in China

So pretty much my next favorite country besides China, Belgium and France is Japan (probably should keep a spot for a Scandinavian country too since the chance of me finding a partner there is very high). Because I have been slacking with my Japanese studies since about 2013, mainly keeping it up through watching anime and reading manga at about one page per 15 minutes, I found a buddy to start doing Japanese again with. In China. If I could say anything about the Chinese education system without really participating in it, I would sum it up as being: rigid,…

What words mean

The brain is a strange thing. Once you do not know something, you cannot imagine how it is when you understand or know it. Once you do know it, you automatically forget how it is when you did not understand or know it. Last weekend, I had a niece visiting who was in China for the first time. It made me remember how everything was when I visited China for the first time, or even when I did not know the language as well as my face would assume. With all the characters and different pronunciation(s), you adapt to a…

What to do?

Since this is an era of typing instead of writing, I sit behind my computer desk with not an exactly blank screen, but getting close. What to write about today? Actually, I have no idea. Or I actually have a bit too many ideas. That is okay, it is how I spend most of my life. Not actually knowing what to do. Is that a bad thing? Well, in this day and age where we can plan everything, most people seem to want to have more surprise and wonder in their life. For the Chinese, this feeling seems to be…