amberite_archive: (Default)
I am wearing a sleeveless shirt from a supermarket in Beijing, which says:

"I am a color maniac
Rippling into the memory
I arrive at the palace of the god, the ultimate controller
Passing time, light, and dreamland
Bestowment, links with nobility
History is made while past is always forgotten
I make a wish, for gorgeous colors"

First of all, it's one of the most coherent pieces of utter nonsense I've ever seen.
Second of all, it sounds like something that would happen in a Lovecraft story. Or a modern meta-pastiche. Tyra Banks Goes to Unknown Kadath?

Third, the shirt is beige.

--


Back no longer feels like a train ran over it, maybe just a tuk-tuk. Progress!
amberite_archive: (cosmonaut milk)
Zhonglish:

On a box of what I may assume to be fresh oranges: "ORANGER NONCE"

Clearly, the former is a typo and the latter a mistranslation. I'm not sure it makes a band name. Maybe a high fashion label?


Telepathic toilet paper brand: "Mind Act Upon Mind"

They also make tissues.



Not really much to say aside from that!

I'm going to go get dressed and head downtown to see what I can see.
amberite_archive: (cosmonaut milk)
Oh, yes, the Nanjing trip. Brief report, photos forthcoming. So: I can say pretty heartily that if I wanted to relocate internationally with my family for six months or so, Nanjing would be near the top of the list. It's a comfortably large city -- people obey traffic laws there much more frequently than they do in Yangzhou, and the university district is full of expats and expat hangouts and local versions of expat hangouts, proper bars and coffee shops and restaurants charging a pittance compared to what they'd cost back home. The smog is pretty bad, but it doesn't *feel* as bad as a smog day of similar badness in Yangzhou, and I'm assuming that's due to all the large trees and viney foliage that occupy every street: more oxygen to battle for square footage with the good old-fashioned coal crud. The Jasmine International Hostel is a fine place to stay for about $6/night. Oh, and the cheap DVD shops are quite quality.

Let me review, for posterity, the Chinese mafia edition vs. the official edition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

Edition:IllegalLegal
Quality:The season by season ones are 6 eps/disc and pretty decent. The 'full edition' (irony quotes explained below) is 24 eps/disc and looks like someone saved it as a jpeg at 1%. Half the episodes won't play. Well, you get what you pay for. And I paid five bucks. Lush. It had better be, at that price! But how many of the people who actually made the thing will get a reasonable cut of it?
Completeness:Missing, for some reason, the second half of season 2. Censorship is my theory, but why? Does Angelus make some kind of offhand 'Free Tibet' remark somewhere?1 It's not like there's no sex, even underage sex, in the rest of it.Complete. Well, duh.
Blurb Copy:In Chinese, and English... more or less.2In English.
Fair Wages for Writers:Nope....And nope. Kind of puts this whole legality thing in perspective. 3


--

In other news, I've been in a panic over generally feeling shitty -- because lots of nasty syndromes are flagged by generally feeling shitty -- and then today I officially came down with another viral crud. The cold virii here are different from the ones in the States -- the previous time also started with several days of idiopathic feeling-like-shit4, including indigestion, followed by a sore throat for several days with a bad postnasal drip and a headache, then followed by the usual cold. The sore throat isn't quite as bad this time. At least I'm getting it over with before my vacation.

Fu Xing is a holy terror now and has names in six languages. English: Mr. Awesome. French: Rominet (the French name for Sylvester the Cat.) Korean: Navi -- courtesy of the Korean prof's daughter. Spanish: Pepe -- courtesy of a Mexican traveler I met in the hostel in Nanjing. Uyghur: Kaisar, which means hero.

That's right, the kitten now has a name in Uyghur. This is the result of a friendship I struck up a few weeks ago, which has its own funny associated story. I was trying to get home from the supermarket after 7:00 PM, which is always a dodgy prospect around here, and couldn't figure out from the various private buses' drivers if anyone was going my way. Finally a pleasant stranger showed up speaking English and helped me find the right one.

It wasn't leaving for a long while, so we got to talking. He's from the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, he's a mechanical engineer at an international company, and he likes his job because he gets along very well with expats, better than he gets along with most Chinese. He's more or less an expat himself due to the weird "all these countries are China, yet they're really not" thing. I find him very comfortable to be around -- perhaps because his enculturation seems to carry a concept of personal space that's lacking in the cities of Eastern China. At that time we had a rather hurried conversation -- he had to go -- but I mentioned I'd found a kitten, a baby cat with no mother, and was feeding and raising it and it was hard work...

His eyes widened, but I thought maybe he wasn't used to cats. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, agreed to chat about science fiction, maybe go out and have coffee...

A few days later, he called me and said, "I've talked to my friends and asked them what to do; they think you should bring it to the police."

I think you know where this is going. I was completely confused and didn't connect this to anything at all. I thought I'd misheard him. "What?"

"Bring it to the police, or a hospital..."

"Huh?"

We went through this routine a couple more times.

"Bring what to the police?"

"The baby."

The light dawned. "Oh! Oh no. No, not a baby person! A baby cat."

He was silent on the other end of the line. Then, finally, "A baby....cat?"

"Yes. Baby cat. Xiao mao." I made kitten noises into the phone. He started laughing.

"A baby cat! And I've been so worried these few days..."

In between laughing and apologizing for the embarrassment, we both agreed it would make a great story. We went out to tea yesterday and had a great conversation about our respective lives and cultures, and I asked him if he'd contribute another name for the list. So Fu Xing is now also Kaisar.

1Oh noes! Banninated! Wait, LJ's already banninated. Yay Tor!

2From the back of the 'full' S2: "Actress is one called Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar playing) girls, and a group of her high school friends Willow, Xander and her guardian Giles (on the surface of planets is the identity of the school librarians) with right Anti - Vampire story to, because they live in town Sunnydale is the door to hell where, in addition to vampires, other Many also often the devil. Solar energy is natural, making all kinds of evil against her and her friends to her She also help in the operation to redouble their might..." Ah, don't you love computer translations?

3Mind, in the States I'd be getting them from the library or borrowing from several friends, unless I were to finally get a decent job or some other sort of windfall. But even in that event, I'm not buying any official DVDs from the major corporations until the writers get a better deal.

4malaise, I know. But I love to mix my medical and slang vocab. Booyah!
amberite_archive: (Default)
On a shower gel: "Pigeon protein shower for kids"

... you know, after seeing a number of beauty products with sheep placenta extract, I do believe that's what they meant.

On a hair product: "Innervation"

I don't know whether you meant enervation or innovation. You probably didn't mean innervation. Either way, I don't think I want any.



...I eventually picked out a lotion that seemed pretty decent and not-having-weird-stuff-in, but had to leave without it because I didn't have my money. Oops.

Still taking care of the kitten. It's tiresome. I mean, it's extremely adorable and all, but knowing the touch-and-go nature of the situation is depressing; and also I have to attend to it constantly. Sometimes it goes to sleep after a feeding; other times it crawls up out of its towel and needs some other attention, and it's hard to know when it's done being fed, burped, and pooped. And it wakes up at random times. I've started hallucinating kitten eeps.

So not having children.
amberite_archive: (fourth doctor crazy pills)
A great blog entry on the occasional potty-mouthed Zhonglish you will see from time to time -- specifically why things get mistranslated as 'fuck' fairly often. Really hilarious.

Though I still think 'lard-bucket' was a bitter expat!

Spotted recently:

* A pair of pants some young man was wearing -- pockets emblazoned with the same kind of text mishmash seen on the hoodie I described a while back, along with an image of Che Guevara. There's some irony in there...

* Some sportswear prints: "adadas", and one which made me laugh, "adjkfs" or something like that. In of course the appropriate font.

Honestly there's so much crazy English here that it's not nearly as funny as it used to be, outside of the extreme cases, the ones where their choice of mistranslation is particularly unfortunate to a native speaker. I have an electric water-heater whose box says "Not only can it save the electricity,but also it is durable .The pot body is made of the high-quality stainless steel.It is nice ,durable to be corrupted,safe and reliable." and goes into directions much in the same mode. Months ago I would have stared at this in fascination -- now I just try to strip and digest the meaning out of it.

I have a box of scented tissues, came with the room, that says "This beauty in full bloom scents the air and deserves lots of praise for its sweet and white", and it annoys the HELL out of me every time I look at it because it's not nonsense English, it's almost good English that's missing a noun -- its sweet and white what? -- and so it gets stuck in my head and rattles around.

I like wearing clothing items or using stuff with bad English on it, but refuse to write in notebooks that have nonsense on the cover: a writer's superstition that it might be catching. I found a notebook -- the kind that typically has bad English -- with some good English on the cover, "future life: Living in one's own way is the best" -- and so I bought it. It also has a picture that corresponds oddly well to the female version of my self-image, so I like having it around, even though I don't usually write in lined notebooks.
amberite_archive: (chaos)
More Zhonglish, on a package containing a pair of headphones:

"OVERWEIGHT BAST"

I think they mean bass boost...?

However, the image of a pudgy Egyptian cat-goddess is much more entertaining.

G'night.
amberite_archive: (harlequin)
I taught an afternoon class today. First off, the class monitor was accidentally given tomorrow's handouts as well as today's (China is really big on having students be in charge of administrative aspects of the classroom) and I had to get them to collect the handouts back and give them to me. Then, my lesson plan was based around audio recordings, which I couldn't play because they put me in a room where the computer wasn't hooked up to speakers, so I wound up improvising a lesson from one of the textbooks we've got here. The book is called "Oral Workshop: Reproduction" and I'd initially dismissed it, because it's a bunch of oddball, slightly childish stories written in outdated language by some Brit with a bitter sense of humor -- the stories tend to have rather unfortunate wordplay 'punchlines' many of which aren't understandable at my students' level of English. But it does provide conversation scripts and everyone in the class has a copy, which is worth something.

Oddly, I was really tense before class today but now that I had the 'day where everything goes wrong', I feel a lot better and less nervous about tomorrow's!

After class, I went to the large 'supermarket' downtown. I use the quotes because it's more of a department store or mini-mall. They had garlic curls! They also had some boxed milk that met my requirements. Hooray.

I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means Dept: I also got a liter of Golden Embryo brand corn oil.

Perhaps they meant 'kernel'?
amberite_archive: (gallifreyan text 1)
So I bought a coffee mug that was on sale from one of the supermarkets. It's apparently by a brand called "The Fashion Cartoon", which makes several other coffee mugs and probably some other stuff from the look of it.

Their slogan: "The Fashion Cartoon... Is not extremely ordinary."

I'm sure they meant to express those concepts in a slightly different order.

--

(In other news I'm getting a great deal of use out of this icon by [livejournal.com profile] eve11, who dug up some Gallifreyan text from old Dr. Who media and made some fantastic icons out of it awhile back...)

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