Chinese Teaching ----Practice One

Sheng-Zi (New Words)

1. Wo (I)
2. Ni (You)
3. Ta (He/She)
4. Hao (Good/ Well/ Fine)

Ju-Xing (Sentense Pattern)

Ni hao ma? -----How are you?
Wo hen hao.----- I am fine.

Ta hao ma?----- How is he/ she?
Ta hen hao. -----S/he is fine.


Wo jue de hen gu-du~~~

You shi ho zhen de hen gu-du, ke-shi zhe zhong shi you bu ke-yi yi-zhi fang zai zui-bian shuo de.
Bu xiao de, lao-tian-ye shui xing le mei?
Zhi bu Zhi-dao wo hen gu-du ne?
Xiang bu xiang kai-shi bang wo qian yuan-fen le mei?
Wo jue de zi-ji de qing-chun yi-tian yi-tian de lao chu le, ke-shi zi-ji hai shi gu-ling-ling de yi ge.
Ai~~~~gai lai de ru guo zhen de hui lai, wei-she-mo hai bu gan-kuai lai ne?


Ginger's Ramblings

I read a news about 'Ho Wenyong' the other day. He is a famous writer in Taiwan and I used to read his works when I was a teenager.

Recently, there are series called, "The Hospital" brocasting on TV. It is the program adapted from Ho Wenyong's work. Before he became a famous writer, he was also an outstanding anesthestist in Taiwan National Univeristy Hospital, one of the biggest hospitals in Tawain. After working as both for many years, he had decided to quit his job as a doctor and dedicated in writing.

It was always his works about his wife or his philosophy of life that attracted me. He would talk about his life experience and his expression was always funny and humorous. His novels from recent years are very different from his early works. They are deep and somehow would bring you into the dark-side of human beings and that scares me! The more you know about the dark-side of human hearts, the more powerless you would feel over youself to the world you're living.

Well..the news was about his response to people who read his novel "The Hospital" and people who watch the TV series.

Ho Wenyong, in the interview, used a simile to explain that many people live their lives like going on vacations with tours. They follow some tour guides to some popular spots and look around for what people regarded as the hot sightseeing spots and out!
They follow in and out! None of their personal opinions or views are involved in their own lives.

Of course, you would probably think: "It isn't true. Some did make differences."
Yes, some did make changes by having thier own ideas to their lives, but when they were making those differences, didn't they maybe, somehow follow the rules under the system of the world?

If someone didn't follow the rules of system to make her/is change about her/is view to her/is life, then s/he would probably end up miserably as a outcast and couldn't survive through.

Therefore, here comes the ending to Ho Wenyong's own theory, though he encouraged reader to be their own viewers and judges to their lives. He still reminded everyone not to stand agaist the system and the social rules too much. (Isn't that paradoxical?)

The news about him relates me to another issue that alwasy makes me feel trapped in, which is, "Determinsm and Free Will." There isn't an accurate result or answer so far, to the question of whether the lives of human beings are determined or maybe we could really have our own free wills to decide our lives in the ways we want. It is because there are still 'morality' and 'social rules' that get involved in the Free Wills that we're making. Mmm......this is too much for me to think right now.

I like Ho Wenyong and after so many years, when I read the news about him. I couldn't believe that I still have this same admiration that I had for him long ago when I was a teenager.
Time goes by, I am now older and he definately has became more mature over time. I still have this consent over what he has made about philosophy of life.
(It surprised me a lot !) But I guess he has this wisdom and sensitivity in him that attracts me.

Not so many men are like this! And~~ I'm longing for one to be around!
This sort of trait in man gives me a sense of security somehow.

In the ancient time, when women were not allowed to receive education. Men who received education were considered Intellectuals and they had devided into two catogories.
One was called, "Wen-Ren" the other was called, "Wu-Jian."
'Wen-Ren" means those who were artisitic, poetic, and able to write politically or artisitically.
On the contrary, "Wu-Jian" represented those who were either smart or not, but definately able to fight well in the battlefield.

And I would like to have the first kind than the second one.
Maybe it is because that's how I wish myself to live spiritually and therefore, I want one to tango with.


Who are We Inside Our hearts?

From Strangers to Ourselves----by Julia Kristeva

Strangely, the foreigner lives within us: he is the hidden face of our identity, the space that wrecks our abode, the time in which understanding and affinity founder. By recognizing him within ourselves, we are spared detesting him in himself. A symptom that precisely turns "we" into a problem, perhaps makes it impossible. The foreigner comes in when the consciousness of my difference arises, and he disappears when we all acknowledge ourselves as goreigners, unamenable to bonds and communities.


A Secretive Image--Men with Facial Hair

Today I was teaching and suddenly I had a very strange idea and started wondering why men wanted to grow facial hair? What kind of men would grow facial hair on them?????

It was because I had a student who looked so young, had a goaty and married. I've met him a few times in my class and he had this look that left me wondered why men were trying to hide behind their facial hair features?

Actually, I know a few men who have goatee or beard on them. In our culture, men don't ususally grow them. One is because, maybe they don't have that much to grow it into a style, another reason is because Taiwanese women like men better without it. Most of my female friends thought Men look dirty on them. (Okay, when somebody makes a statement like this, you would know this one is an exception!)

Mmmm.......I can't deny that whenever there is a group of men in front of me, the one who gets my attention would be the one that has facial hair on him. Either with a goatee or a beard. I don't know why, but it always seems to arouse my curiosity and would like to get closer to reveal the real him.

One of my coworker, a Japanese, he has a thin goaty on his face. I think, he has a very stylish look, very Japansese. Thick, straight eyebrows with his fierce eyes and his thin goatee. When he stares at you, it makes you feel like you are stared by a Husky. Scary~~ But, in fact, he is a very nice and thoughtful coworker and funny, too.

There is another one, also a student of mine, a middle-aged artist. He paints traditional Chinese paintings, oil paitings and makes bronze sculture. One time in class, I asked him what he liked about himself. He said: "I liked my art and my goatee." He likes to talk about "Zen" and his artwork, a very artistic man, also very nice, senstive too. Recently, he has an exhibition and invites me to go.

I once had a friend. (We fell apart now!) He is a baldy who grows a goatee. A very smart guy who always seems to read through people's mind. He knows people and has this nice and friendly image, but he is not as nice as he seems to be.
The more I got to know him, the more I found out his insincere and ambiguous attitude toward others. Of course, he treated me the same way, that was why we fell apart because I coulnd't stand my friend treat me like that.

Well... I know another man with a beard, but I don't know much about him yet! So there isn't much I can tell now~~

Anyway here are the conclusions from my observation of men who grow facial hair-------

a. They have baby faces and try to cover that with a manly feature.

b. They are potential baldy or baldy already who grow facial hair to distract people's attention.

c. They have aggressive mind, but were born with tender looks, so, try to use stylish goatee or beard to enhance their characteristics.

d. They are manipulating and cunning and try to hide that part of them under their disguise.

e. They are too nice and tender, thus growing facial hair to make people believe they are manly enough!

These are my personal views! Of course, I've made those statements not only according to the observation I made from my friends, but also from others I don't know!

One common feature on men who grow facial hair is, they have big and beautiful smiles. (Well...maybe not everybody, but at least the men I know are like that)


One Morning in the Autumn

Moon River
Andy Williams
Moon river, wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you're going, I'm going your way
Two drifters, off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see
We're after the same rainbow's end,
waiting around the bend
My huckleberry friend, moon river, and me
(moon river, wider than a mile)
(I’m crossin’ you in style some day)
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you're going, I'm going your way
Two drifters, off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We're after that same rainbow's end,
waiting around the bend
My huckleberry friend, moon river, and me
(moon river, moon river)

I miss the time......on......

The weather in Taiwan is getting cooler and cooler. It is officially in Fall right now. The temperature in the day time is still as high as in the summer time. Only when the sun goes down, will people feel the cool breeze.
Though, I love the days with sunshine, the summer time in Taiwan is so hot that burns sometimes. The life style here only stress people up and it's hard to slow people down to relax.

I miss the ocean so much. Blue sky, blue water..... Still remember me lying on the Hanauma Bay tossing around with my bikini.Mmmmm.........
Fall, a season that reminds people of Departure! (Is it a Eastern thing or an universal thing?)

Tonight, we hugged and said goodbye to Karen, the front desk receptionist.
She was the second one that left us this month! It will be a long long story to tell why people leave the place I work.
I've worked in this English Learning Center for nearly 4 years. I've seen people come and go many times, People that I got along with, people that I didn't get along with. There were people who left with happy endings, we held fareware parties for them. At the same time, there were some that left without being cared or saying goodbyes.

The same question has haunted me over and over again. What will it be, if I leave one day? Will I be missed? Will they feel sad when I leave?
I'm moving my territory out of this learning center by taking some part time job at another learning center. It is a must! I need to put my eggs in different nest to secure my living. (Something is going wrong with the place I work now!)

Well...it is very late now. I'm thinking too much again.
Maybe it is the cool weather that.............


Life without being a Colony. Still, Recognition is no Where to be Seen.

I always believe that reading is powerful because it helps stimulate your thinking into a different aspect.
After reading "Life in Colonies, and the Lies of Facts and the Truths of Fiction" by Minagahet. I couldn't help but think about the situation in Taiwan, and the Identity Problem here that would, somehow, never have an outlet to any solution.
There is an protest going on in Taipei since Sep.9th,2006. A group of people can't stand the scandal that our President and his family are involved and eagerly to urge him to step down from his position. Ostensibly, it is a justice that needs to be fought for. I mean, who could put up with a corrupted President? I do believe, some of the protestants are there simply because they dislike the corrupted President. However, the most likely inclination for those protestants to be there is because of one reason. Which is, to prove their representative status in Politics.
(I have to explain the political situation first, of course. The are two major forces in Taiwan. Green Party and Blue Party. Now, Taiwan is govern by the Green Party. The Blue one is like Republic Party in States and the Green one is like Demoractic. For the similairity, I refer to the consistent of people. The politicians from Blue Party are from somewhat rich or prestigious families, on the other hand, many Politicians from Green Party are either from labor families or gangsters groups)
Taiwan is an island that was once colonized by Holland and Japan for a long time. The colonial time of Holland in Taiwan was long long time ago. One hundred or 2 hundreds years ago. Too long ago to remember!
But 50 years ago, Taiwan was still governed by Japan. People over 65 years olds had experienced that time. (Like both of my grandparents spoke Japanese and received Japanese Education) Many of elders who are still alive, missed the time then. They said, although, Japanese deprived our language by forcing us to speak Japanese and had Japanese names, at least, people at that time were well-behaved and crime rate was much lower compare with now. ( 2 of my aunts and my dad have Japanese names)

Taiwan was soon, taken over by the mainlanders (people) from China after Japanese's govern. There was a civil war in China and the leader of the Blue Party was defeated by communist and so, he led soilders and their families, moved to Taiwan and would like to use Taiwan as a base, in hope of one day to regain his power in China. So, baiscally Taiwan was govern by Blue Party (the only party in Politcs ) at that time for many many years. This group of people try to invade their mythological-kind of idea to people in Taiwan and created a beautiful image that ,one day, we would overthrow China's power and take China back into our hand.

This big group of people came to Taiwan and taken over the political authority and forbidden the local people that were living here for a long time to speak Taiwanese (there were immigrants from the coast of China hundreds of years ago and aboriginal people that were living in the mountains.) Moreover, there was a historical event called 228, it was a terrorism from the Blue Party, in which, they had killed many intellectuals, artists, doctors. The government accused them for something that didn't exist and killed them.
Green Party was arised later to stand in a position of making Taiwan an independent country and aroused people's counsciousness to thier identities.
Green Party took a long time to make people in Taiwan realized that, we never belong to China and we are always indepedent somehow, and thus we need our name to be heard as a country but a province of China.

So, what has this part of history to do with the protest that is ongoing in Taipei right now?

For many famous faces on TV who speak for the protestants, either the politicians, lawmakers etc. They are all from the Blue Party. Many of them are either the offspring of the old Blue politicians or the offspring of the mainlanders. (Of course, it is obvious that Blue Party hates Green Party gut for their authority right now!) Those politicians or famous faces on TV in protest are all about middle-aged and they were deeply rooted with the idea of thinking to unite with China and build a good relationship with China.
So.the contest between mainlanders and locals are still ongoing somehow there in the protest.

Well..... I am off my topic again~
The youngsters in Taiwan don't see themsevles either the offspring of the mainlanders or locals. They don't care about that so much, we (young people) see ourselves as Taiwanese. But our identities are in crisis without being realized.
First, the politics is nver off the issue of the conflict bewteen the two national groups. (Locals v.s Mainlanders). It creates a very blur image to help young people to build thier identities as Taiwanese. Young people want to live peacefully without the tags of mainlanders or locals in Taiwan. But, remember, the parents of the young people are already middle-aged, their parents were raised with the deep-rooted identities of who they were. The domestic education of young people, unconsciously influence them without them knowing it.

This is why I don't like to talk about politics with my friends, all of my best friends are from the mainlander family and I am not. Not only my best friends, but also some of my coworkers and clients. They sometimes, uncousciously talked about Politics openly and the opinions of them, sometimes, accidentally
shaken my idea of who I am.

Who am I then? What political position do I take?

I am neither Green nor Blue. (Maybe, more Green color than Blue)
I am proud of being a Taiwanese and able to speak three language that are mainly spoken here in Taiwan.
I believe Taiwan is well-developed enough to be an indepedent country.
I would never want to unite or get close to China.
I don't like many Blue party politicians who think they have better lineage (like that they are pure blood and others are muggles) and smarter of knowing what's the best for Taiwan. As now, many of them are eargerly to get close to China and try to make peace with them.

Okay, then what's the second point of the crisis that we're facing.
The political chaotic status has made Taiwan a place that no other countries dare to make friends with.
We are smart and know how to do business around the world. We are powerful in produce many things that no other country can compete with. But besides the money and the fame we have in doing business. We are not taken seriously outside Taiwan.
I didn't realize this much until the trip to Hawaii. I had a good memory there, only 2 events that I would never forget.
I was at DFS with my friend, Arial. We were stopped by the doorman at the entrance. The conversation was as below----
"Are you with the tour group?" "No!"
"Are you Japanese? " "No!"
Then, he gave us the pass that were only allowed to shop at the first and the second floor. I was with a shitty face and ended up without buying anything at that mall.

Another event happened at one day, we were having breakfast in the hotel with all other participants in the ball room. We sat at a table with 2 men, one from New York, the other from China. The guy from New York tried to make a conversation with us. When the China guy knew us were from Taiwan. He kept interrupted the conversation bewtween New Yorker and we by saying who he knew from our school and things that he knew about Taiwan. It was like he had the right to represent of who we were! (I was murmuring some foul words in my heart)

What's more than the treatment Taiwanese receive abroad is that------
There are many times, I feel so sorry for some youngsters in Taiwan because they are too lucky to be protected under the wings of their parents. People who are rich getting richier and people who are poor getting poorer.
The kids from the rich families only know about money and the good quality of life they have. Many of them received education abroad and come home telling people they are Canadian, British or American.
I've met some of my coworkers who studies abroad a long time, come back to Taiwan teaching English and proclaim to be Aussie or Canadian.
They feel ashamed of being Taiwanese!!! Can anybody believe this?
The rest of the young people who remain in Taiwan for thier lives are suffering in the environment which political state is always swinging between the two sides.

What is the identity of poeple in Taiwan?
Without being colonized, the recognition is still no where to be seen. Or perhaps we are lost in this massive blur of cultural, historical background that we had?

I still remembered what the teacher said in the colonial study I took 2 years ago. He said, " Every Taiwanese should share a consent to recognize her/is root here, but search and build their identities individually!"