Friday, April 24, 2009

Only in China...

Met a friend of mine today and we started talking about our mothers and their ages. He asked how old my mother was and he said his own mother was a "dog". I answered "Wow, my mother's a dog too!"

Took my mother to the doctor yesterday to examine her knee that is giving her lot's of pain. She thought that she might have strained the knee-joint on the flight over from Europe. The doctor looked at her knee X-rays and burst out happily: "Good news! No problem! Your knee is so bad because you're so old! Nothing to do!"

Seen embroidered in big letters on a girl's pants bottom today: Teenie Weenie.
Learnt a new expression which means "being cold and hungry": 

"Drink the Northwest Wind".   běifēng 喝西北風

My friend from the first entry above said his mother used to always yell at him when he was young:

"You're so lazy you'll end up drinking the Northwest Wind!"

Another telling expression about bad times and starvation is "painting a cake to allay one's hunger": huà bǐng chōng jī 充饥.

Ze Puppies Rocked the Worm!

Chengdu Bookworm April 24, 2009 ©IBM

ZePuppies blew away the crowd yesterday at the Chengdu Bookworm, even the old neighborhood ladies, passersbys, rickshaw drivers and parking attendants were packed in the doorway hoping to catch a glimpse of Chengdu's latest music phenomenon! Playing everything from The Ramones to AC/DC they totally bombarded the Du with their ultimate SWEETNESS! Those who want to see Harley Fagan, Charles Dupont, Romain Rabany and Burton Booz perform again will hopefully catch them next time at the Bookworm's May 12th earthquake commemorative benefit event organized by Sichuan Quake Relief. Huanying guanglin!

Temple of Heaven Park 3

Old folks "baby gym" 
Jiàn zi 毽子 - Chinese featherball or shuttlecock
Leg exercisers.

Qigong April 2009 all photos ©Ingrid Booz Morejohn

We've recently been discussing "health issues", so here are more images from the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Exercise machines like those featured above are soon going to be introduced outdoors in at least one Swedish city to encourage adults (not just children) to exercise. The featherball game pictured above is called jiànzi 毽子 and is one of the most common exercise games in China. (It is also called jiànqiú (毽球) among many other names). It is common in other parts of Asia as well (seems its the national sport in Vietnam, da cau) and is a cheap sport - you only need enthusiasm and the featherball which costs 3-4 yuan. The feathercock is heavily weighted on the bottom with a small number of metal or plastic discs. The point is to keep it up in the air for as long as possible, either passing it back and forth to fellow players or by yourself - all the while never using the hands. The more elegant and tricky the better! Jianzi has existed in some form in China for at least 2,000 years and is now played competitively in many countries around the world.