Hi everyone
As you all know,I love words and I love how a language is used tells you a little bit about the people who speak it. and what is important to them For instance, it was explained to me that the Chinese refer to the number of people there are in their family by saying how many mouths there are; a pretty clear indication of the importance of food in the culture

Ok I know,a bit of a ramble.Here’s the language point: I am not Chinese.
After all these years as a Kwong and the catrillions of chuckles I have had as a result of having a Chinese name and a non-Chinese face,I arrived in China, the birth place of said name only to find that they don’t see it or hear it the way I say it as Chinese. Early on here in Beijing, I said to one of my young colleagues that Kwong was a Chinese name. She looked at me like I was mental and told me no it wasn’t possible. To be honest, I didn’t know where to go with that one. I repeated “Kwong” .She looked at my accreditation tag and still said: no. Not Chinese name. She did say the pics of my kids looked like Chinese. Sigh. Anyway, when it was finally explained that my “people” are from the south and we still write our name in old fashioned Chinese (whatever that means) the light bulb went off for her and she acknowledged that it was (perhaps) a Chinese name but the fact that it was from Canton province explained a lot. (Although I am still not clear what…but felt the comparison to the Appalachian Mountain folk in that comment)

More name stuff….all of the young people who work on my team have given themselves an English name to be helpful to David and myself. The only problem is that although they remember their own English names and the kids with whom they work the closest, they cannot for the life of themselves remember anyone else’s English name…which…in the case of an evacuation could get a little hairy. (No…am not really expecting any evacuations…just wanted to say that for dramatic effect). So conversations go like this: Pj: “Nancy, do you know where Eva is?” Nancy: “Who?” Pj: “You know…EVA…?” Nancy: “Why do you want her?” Pj: “I wanted to give her something, do you know where she is?” Nancy: “Where who is?” Pj “Eva” Nancy: “Who?” Pj: “That’s ok…I will wait for her to come back”

As a reward for “careful reading”:

The following is what you have been waiting for…and comes from a small restaurant where Pete, Amanda and I had lunch…some of the items on the menu…full list to follow…but this will whet your appetite and move me more strongly into the lead of the wacky English Olympics (sucks to be you Grier!):

Tomato fries the egg
Does the Pot Sacrificial Rabbit
The potato burns the Beef
The onion explodes the Mutton
Wire drawing Banana (apple)
Stir fries before stewing the cowpea dryly
Shiitake Mushroom rape
Burns Kale in vain
Fragrant Spicy Potato Sik
Pj’s favourite: the Palace Explodes the Diced Chicken…
On all of the pages was the following: “The picture only supplies the reference, the product take the material object as”
Pretty much says it all….

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