注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

秋春粉墨

若兰的上海生活

 
 
 

日志

 
 

The Year of the Snake  

2013-02-18 13:19:56|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |
Although I've lived in China way too long, this year was the first time I had the opportunity to spend Chinese New Years actually in China.  It's the longest holiday in China at one week (students get 3 months off, crazy), so people take the long journey on trains, planes, and buses to go back to their hometowns, eat with family, and get harassed about how they're unmarried failures.

The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨



The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨
 
 
The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨

 
I was graced with the pleasure of being invited by my best Chinese friend, Zenan, to go to her hometown in Ningbo and experience a true Chinese New Years.

The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨

You know you're in China when there are wild roosters running around the apartment complex.  This guy was sure to be someone's Chunjie new year main course...

We then walked around her small town called YuYao 余姚, which is a suburb of Ningbo 宁波.


The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨



Climbed a mountain..



The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨


Spectacular view, eh?  Cough.

The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨


I'm sure you see that there's quite a bit of snow, which is actually crazy ass rare for southern China, especially the Shanghai area.  It snowed A LOT with goddamn freezing temperatures to accompany.  While the snow was beautiful, it was god awful cold.  Like Japan, southern China has no central heating so everyone just wears coats all the time and tries to warm themselves up near a space heater, which utterly fails. Of course, the 'air conditioner' set to warm helps to lift spirits, but only work in enclosed spaces, which means large dining room for chinese new year meal was probably the same temperature as the refrigerator.


The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨

The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨


Even flowers can bloom in the freezing cold, snowy, and polluted environment of China.  Beautiful!

The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨


年夜饭!The new year's dinner meal!  This was only the first course (poor Zenan's mom slaved away in the kitchen), but it was delicious.  My personal favorite is the Chicken in the far back...  Nothing like some 鸡肉 to get me goin.  Jiiiiii~~~~!

The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨


And then I went to Afghanistan.... oh... wait.. sorry... it's just the Chinese countryside at midnight on Chinese New Years.  In America it's crazy illegal to set off, like, ACTUAL fireworks from the confines of your personal home but--not here!  Sounded like a 2 hour air raid, with pretty fireworks to accompany.

The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨


Yay

Similar to 紅白 in Japan, China also has a new years TV Program called 春晚.  Just when you thought Kouhaku couldn't be bad enough, Chunwan takes it to a whole new level.  Chunwan is FIVE HOURS of Chinese propaganda, basically.  The  government invites Chinese movie stars and singers to perform and give boring speeches. 

The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨


Somehow they were able to snag Celine Dion this year and she sang in Chinese, believe it or not.  I was also blown away by her Chinese singing capabilities as well, because it was absolutely amazing.  She sang a duet with this famous lady (have no idea who she is) and sang the lovely melody, 茉莉花 (Jasmine Flower).

The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨


This is the meal that Zenan's mom prepared BY HERSELF, which probably included 20 dishes at the least.  This was just the first course of them.  Good lord, I think Chinese mother's have so much pressure and work to do over New Years!  I'm sure they enjoy it in a weird way, but Zenan's mom was telling me that she felt nervous to cook for the family because if she makes anything that tastes bad or no one eats, well... its shameful.  I thought the dinner was absolutely delicious!

The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨


New Years in Ningbo was fun.  I think running out to the balcony with Zenan in our pajamas with bitch beer in hand, watching the explosion of color erupt around us will be, simply, one of those unforgettable moments.  Eating Zenan's mom's cooking and watching awful Chinese TV with her family is a warm memory I'll keep with me always. 

However, it is depressing to see Zenan and her friends get scolded and emotionally abused by their parents about how they're single and failures (Chinese girls need to get married by 30, OR ELSE).  Zenan's friend even started crying when talking about how rough her mother was with her, saying things such as "i rasied you and you can't even give me a child in return."  While we were having coffee with Zenan's classmates, she asked her friends: "Do you yourself as a person feel that you are ready emotionally to have children, or do you just feel like you should because everyone else you should?"  This left her friends in thought for a few silent moments, but in the end their response was: "I am ready.  I want a family." 

Despite the family pressure, the Chinese New Year celebration in Ningbo was fun and interesting; and, as always, a unique anthropological study.

Now, let's go back to Shanghai life, shall we?


The Year of the Snake - maryhalloran - 秋春粉墨


These are some dishes I shared with J at my favorite Hunan restaurant in Shanghai, 果园.  The decor is clean and fresh, the prices are dirt cheap, and the food is AWESOME.  The only downside is--it's in Hongkou, so if you're downtown getting to this location is a bit of a pain in the ass.  Flavor is spot on and was recommended to me by a Hunan native.  Chinese food--you never fail to amaze me.


On February 25th my new job starts and I'm scared shitless, to put it bluntly.  Many people told me that I should just keep going to graduate school, because if I fail interpreting in class then at least it won't damage my reputation.  I need to give myself a good name, so to speak, and screwing up a huge interpreting deal between my current company and WPP or any other huge communications network would be VERY BAD. 

Japanese people aren't stupid, though, and I think they know what they're getting into when they hired me.  The director is very kind with me, and the one day we worked together I could tell she was willing to work with me through my weaknesses.  My old company pushed me to the brink and wanted 10,000 word translations in two hours, or a summarized English report of a Japanese patent within 3 hours, etc..  Any error in this work would result in smack down and belittlement from the managers, which was, well, near unbearable.  I think this new company will be filled with professionals and those that are willing to help me grow instead of try to dime and nickel me for everything I do.

Although I haven't lived in Japan for the past 2.5 years, I feel that my Japanese has grown professionally.  My business Japanese is almost up to par where I can write a keigo e-mail without error, and where I use to struggle reading newspapers and reports, I can now fly through them.  I used to get headaches translating contracts and business documents, but now I whizz through them.  I thank my old company and all of the Japanese research they put me through, all of the absolutely AMAZING, talented, and successful Japanese entrepreneurs in Shanghai that taught me how to talk business in the language, and last but not least, my best Japanese friend K who helped me realize that Japan is not just an island of robots--it is a part of who I am.

Of course, in comparison to my growth with Chinese, Japanese is minimal.  I passed HSK Level 6 last year, the hardest level of Chinese, and can now read magazines and newspapers in Chinese.  Although I suffered through self humiliation through the consecutive interpreting classes everyday, I felt myself grow and my Chinese improve to a whole new level I never even thought possible.  Of course, my Chinese still has a very long way to go (my Chengyu are awful), but in comparison to two years ago when I was learning "Ni hao" and "Wo Xihuan"...  I've come a long way.

I love languages, interpreting, translating, and learning.  I've found my path in life, and now I just have to work on building the road and getting through.  I will be a successful interpreter in both Chinese and Japanese, and if god allows French and Italian as well. 

So here's to new adventures in the year of the snake!




  评论这张
 
阅读(22)| 评论(0)
推荐 转载

历史上的今天

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2018