Animated Animals: It is the sound of the underground

You walk to a subway entrance and look around. People silently go in and out, some bumping into you silently or with little more than a grunt. You look around and suddenly see a bird hopping around. It hops to the elevator, seemingly waiting for someone to open it. As inconspicuous as possible you walk to the elevator and press the button. The bird and you enter. Once inside you cannot contain your curiosity. “Excuse me, where are you going?” The bird cocks its head at you. It spreads its wings, is that how they point at stuff? “Today is…

Animated Animals: birds of a feather talk together

Outdoors, nothing is as easy as it once seemed. There are decibel meters everywhere. It is finally more acceptable to stare at your phone all the time, since it is safer to chat with each other digitally. However, especially in China many pets and birds in particular serve a distinct social function. These birds of course learn to talk and twitter away quite literally, which is fine as long as they are confined. Some do escape however, which created pockets in the wild where it is allowed to talk out loud. So after your first work day, you decide to…

Animated Animals: what the duck?

I was traveling a few weeks ago and while climbing a mountain, I suddenly thought: “What if animals could talk? Surely it would make mountains and forests a much less quiet place.” I also just remembered seeing the headline somewhere that currently most ducks for Chinese dishes are imported from Great Britain. So combining the 2, I imagine it would end up something like this… It is the same as with humans. If you do not talk to them, they do not learn to speak. Since animals are now able of learning human languages, there have been many new rules,…

Li’s Lievelingswoorden: Even kijken

Kijken doe je met je ogen. Althans, dat kreeg ik altijd te horen toen ik klein was. Niet dat ik ernaar luisterde natuurlijk. Ook op latere leeftijd ging ik nog vaak tegen mijn opvoeding in. Sommige vrienden werden gek van mijn rondneuzen tussen spullen waarbij alles aangeraakt en bevraagd werd. Nu ik in China zit, heb ik ook meer dan genoeg te kijken. En ja, de Chinezen doen dat ook een stuk meer met hun handen, het zit in de natuur! Iedereen leest hier boeken uit in de boekwinkel (ze gaan er echt voor zitten) en zelfs bordjes met ‘niet…

Li’s lievelingswoorden: Dinges

Nederlands is niet de mooiste taal. Het is mijn moedertaal, de taal waar ik het meeste in thuis ben, maar mooi is het zeker niet. Over talen zoals Frans, Spaans en Italiaans hoef je natuurlijk niet te discussiëren. Pure poëzie rolt daar over de tong, ongeacht wat de inhoud of betekenis van datgene wat gehoord wordt mag zijn. Toegegeven, ik heb wat meer waardering voor Nederlands hier in het buitenland gekregen. Niets zo leuk dan in een in China vrij onbekende taal te praten, roddelen en becommentariëren. Jammer dat het vaak met Engels wordt verward, omdat veel Chinezen dat ook…

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,…