Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Person

人民, a popular phrase in the People's Republic, is Mandarin for "the people." But there's only one person in this picture! What does it all mean?

Took a trip yesterday to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. It was fun to return there and reabsorb the grandeur of it all. The Forbidden City is really an amazing complex; just in its architecture it's orders of magnitude more grand and majestic than anything else I've ever seen.

I registered for classes today, and I'll be in level 5 for writing and listening, and I somehow squeaked into level 9 for speaking. Impressive though this may sound, I should mention that levels 1-7 are for "beginners" and 8-15 is "low intermediate." A little disappointing, actually, that after two years in the classroom, I'm still beginning. More on all that later.

While wandering recently, I was accosted by a man who wanted to know if I was a native English speaker. A 10 minute conversation ensued, he demanding to know the difference between "this year's output increased two-fold" and "this year's output increased by two times," among various other iterations. To be frank, it got a little annoying after a while. Plus he had bad breath.


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