May 26, 2005

Leaving Notice

Dear All:

Thank you very much for your support for my blog. I am wrting to inform that I will be leaving the UK soon and will not use my blog in the future.

I do apology for the wrong messages that might have produced to someone but I only wrote to express, not to impress anybody for any purpose!

Best wishes,

March 18, 2005

吉祥经 (Copied)






摘抄于 净慧法师,《在家教徒必读经典》

February 18, 2005

Favourite Quotes by James Dean

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."

"The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results."

February 11, 2005

The Terminal Reminds You of Languages Learning

I started Tom Hanks’s movie by his Sleepless In Seattle, which I used for my English learning. Because of so many practices based on his way of pronunciation, I thus became quite familiar with his voice and how he speaks. The Terminal shows me a different Tom Hanks—-the one with this exotic, foreignized American pronunciation. Apart from this movie’s humourous elements, I found this an excellent illustration of how a language should be mastered.

1. Although Tom is forced to live in the airport, he has an authentic language environment, where he could practice. (Good language environment is regarded to be the best condition a language learner.)

2. In order to get the news from his home country, he watches TV. (News in TV or in radios are suitable for language learners, because they can not only reflect how sentences are presented but also teach about various areas of vocabulary.)

3. In order to understand the TV better, he started to learn through word-for-word comparison from his native language with target language ——English. (Comparing languages known with target language helps to understand the grammar and could enhance the understanding of the target language)

4. The word ‘friend’ was learned through Friends, the American soap opera. (Language learning is not only about vocabulary, phrases or sentences. It could also about fun and entertainment, such as watching leisure programmes in the target language, for example Friends for English learning. )

5. Living in the airport provides him a very good chance of meeting different people from different backgrounds. (Language learning should also involve practising with people with different accents. Also, it could also referred to as the approach to understand the tool languages play.)

6. He also does the job as an interpreter. (Being a cultural negotiater helps the process of language learning.)

7. In this movie, it seems that Tom stays in the airport in order to wait Zeta Jones. (Interest in language learning is far more important than the speed of learning. Thus, enthusiasm about a language should be stimulated through various means. Or simply like Tom, find a girl you have to talk in the target language.)

8. There seems to be no shyness of him living with cameras around and talking with any of the other with his awkward English. (There should be no shyness in speaking a language. No matter how bad you speak, just say it, as language is for communication.)

9. I once noticed that Tom repeats a sentence several times. (Practising a sentence by speaking it or even shouting it out helps a lot. Also, it helps produce a feeling about the language.)

10. As it is known at the end, Tom goes to USA simply to ask for a signature of a jazz player. (I interpreted that learning a language is not simply about a language level superficially. It also should be a learning about its culture and its people.)

11. Finanlly, when he has come to a certain stage of language acquisition, language is just there to be used freely. (Language exists as a tool. If mastered, it is just there to help carry thoughts.)

You might say that I'm a bit crazy to produce such a list. But these were what has been going on in my mind while I was watching this movie. From high school to university, Tom Hanks has been acting as my 'English teacher'. His role has changed a bit in this movie, as this movie has not only illustrated my ways of mastering the English language but also reminded me of ways of learning other languages.

February 05, 2005

Mobile Phone Virus

I was informed of a mobile phone virus today, though I'd never heard of it before.

The notice is written as followed:

If you receive a phone call and your mobile phone displays (ACE) on the screen, don't answer the call. END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY. If you answer the call, your phone will be infected by a virus. This virus will erase all IMEI and IMSI information from both your phone and your SIM card, which will make your phone unable to connect with the phone Network. You will have to buy another phone. This information has been confirmed by both Motorola and Nokia.

January 01, 2005

I am David

Writing about web page

I am David--a movie on Life

You probably have never heard of me. I am David(Ben Tibber), a 12 year old boy and have grown up as an enemy in an Eastern European Communist concentration camp in Bulgarian because of the war. I lived there like others, being forced to break up rocks into gravel under the merciless prodding of sadistic guards.

Still remember, it was the year of 1953 that I tried to escape, guided by a man in the camp. To be honest, I don’t know the reason that I was sent there but I was kept informed of the importance of life. I knew it would be difficult for a 12 year old boy to escape a place like that but it was the passion to stay alive that strengthened my desire and courage. I finally tried.

I succeeded. I escaped that cruel and harsh imprisonment. I ended it and was finally free from it. However, what I only had was nothing but a bar of soap, a compass, a half loaf of bread and a sealed letter to Copenhagen, of which I had no idea. I had to cross the border, travel through Greece, Italy and Switzerland to my destination in Denmark. Facing this long odyssey for a boy like me alone, I was afraid and the memories of that period of life in the camp would once in a while come to my mind but I was lucky enough to get into rides on trucks, got over the border to Greece… I tried to continue with the warning of ‘trust no one’. I dared not to open myself much but kept every fare within and everything hidden.

Surely I have everything experienced and met different people on my way, the ship man, the Italian baker, the girl I saved from fire and the Swiss artist. Among them, it was through this Swiss artist (Joan Plowright) who cracked my defenses in trusting others. It was from her that I found the moral compass, a guide, and that there are people whom I can trust. Then, coincidently, I found…and I told her…. Oh….

Things I don’t like about this movie:

  • Saving the girl, her touching David’s hands while praying
  • Deliberate depiction of religion-related contents
  • Ending is in a bit a rush

Things I like:

  • Life: Presumably the story is true, is our life hard still?—ours are much better!
  • Kindness: Trust people, kind people still overnumber the evil!
  • Love: Don’t be mean to share love and trust!
  • Hope: Have hope on life!

See what the director (Paul Feig) has said:

  • "The film is about how you get back your faith in people,"
  • "It's about overcoming the fear and mistrust, and becoming more hopeful about human nature."
  • "David has to learn not only how to get by on his own in alien surroundings, but also how to trust people and believe in their goodness,"
  • The challenge was to get people to relate to David's dangers. "Few of us have ever been exposed to true injustice and persecution. It's hard to comprehend that some people must risk everything for what others take for granted."
  • "This is a film for everyone, both kids and their parents,"
  • "If we had shown the most gruesome violence in graphic detail, it would have taken away from the real message of hope."

December 29, 2004

ChineseD English

3 out of 5 stars

In Ha Jin's novels, a lot of Chinese sayings in disguise of the English form has become one of the features of Ha Jin’s writing. From the content level, it can be seen as the exotic feature of ‘China’ literature. From the linguistic level, does this borrowing from Chinese language specialty symbolises that English expansion or does it mean the increasing influence of the Chinese language? While reading his novel In the Pond, I chose a few lines, which I hope will bring you some fun!

Chinese swear words:

  • That dame dog Shao Bin /Damn the mad dog!
  • Curse them and their ancestors
  • I screw your ancestors/ mothers and daughters
  • Son of a rabbit! /You son of a turtle
    (Please don’t get offended to see any of the above. Better not put the Chinese equivalences!)

Language of Chineseness:

  • knives up their sleeves (袖里藏刀)
  • His heart is that black (心黑)
  • miss a watermelon by fighting over a few sasame (丢西瓜拣芝麻)
  • Combat the unhealthy wind in society (整顿社会不正之风)
  • Suck people’s blood and taking bribes (受贿,吸老百姓的血)
  • Bin begged him to raise his noble hands (高抬贵手)
  • All the officials here are rotten! (官员腐烂-腐败烂了)
  • Your problem is that you always believe you know exactly how high the sky is and how deep the sea is. (不知道天高地厚)

Chinese Cultural Terms:

  • It’s unfair that you occupy the latrine if you don’t crap. (占着茅坑不拉屎)
  • Who could tell a golden phoenix was hatched in a henhouse? (鸡窝里飞出个金凤凰)
  • Your words are always as precious as gold. (金玉良言)
  • You can’t embrace the Buddha’s feet only in your hours of need. (临时抱佛脚)
  • You shouldn’t play the lute to a water buffalo. (对牛弹琴)

About Ha Jin’s book:
According to, In the Pond has been ‘selected as a best fiction book of 1998 by the Chicago Tribune’. His later novel Waiting, Ha Jin's first full-length novel, has won the winner of the 1999 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for fiction.

Ha Jin and Shao Bin (main character in In the Pond):
Ha Jin received his BA in English, MA in American Literature in China and Ph.D. in English in USA. Because of the various constraints on writing in China, he decided not to come back and to pursue his writing life in the USA, where he is presently an associate professor in English at Emory University(ibid.). In concern of Ha Jin's background, Shao Bin, a brilliant and able person in the early China would certainly come out of his mind— an intellectual, who is struggling and trying to get promotion in his work place; an able man, who is unable to find his Bo Le (伯乐) (a metaphorical term, meaning those who could predict or see the potentials from certain people). This is also what Ha Jin was struggling while he was seeking his teaching job in the USA. With Shao Bin living in the pond, his experience of fighting with the unfairness is vividly described in this novel. Its humourous elements indubitably, to some extent, have added to its satirical taste.

Is it Chinese? Is it China?
I enjoyed reading In the Pond, it is just like reading a Chinese novel in the form of English. For non-Chinese, I guess it might be a very good chance to know a bit about the Chinese language, for example, the characterary Chinese 大-疯-子 in the screaming of 'Lu-na-tic' and the sentences without auxiliary in ‘If you not eat, I not eat myself'. Also, you will hook up a bit about Chinese thoughts, such as ‘Regard your teacher as a lifelong father, even if he had taught you just one day’. As Kirkus Reviews has commented on the backcover of In the Pond: ‘Ha Jin has made China available to a new world and a world of new readers’. I would say, he has made part of past China available. The China he knows is not the present China anymore but a visualized China exists in his memory.

Are his novels simple and exotic? Does his stratgy of writing symbolise a coming of a new aesthetic literature style? Or, to put it more simply, is it just a straight plain and tasteless translation took place in Ha Jin's mind, which caters for the world's China-related literature trend? You know what, I heard him making minor grammatical mistakes while he was talking in English. Shh.... did I say it? No, no......Still, he cannot change his national identity--Chinese. If you have time, have a look and see whether you can understand or like his ‘Chinese’ English. :)

December 27, 2004

功夫 Kung Fu Hustle — A Kungfu Movie

Writing about web page

Seen the latest Chinese Kungfu movie? The fighting in Kungfu by Stephen Chow is refreshing. This movie has been exaggerated a lot as some of other Stephen’s movies. It is funny. You will see the fast-speed running, high-volume screaming…. The style of this movie has reminded me of Jackie Chan and also of the Matrix. It's comedian but very creative! Surely, as it has been said, Stephen Chow is a master. Kungfu made me laugh anyway on my Christmas day. Want to see it? Figure it out yourself!

The social problems reflected from Kungfu Hustle (In Chinese)


November 14, 2004

History and Love

3 out of 5 stars

Reading the novel Sky Burial by Xin Ran was kind of like seeing an exotic movie in Tibet.

It is about 30 years’ experience of a Chinese woman in Tibet, seeking her husband. In Su Zhou, China, after several days of their marriage, Wen Jun departed Shu Wen and joined the liberation army because of the liberation of Tibet. After hearing the death of her husband and aspired by their love, Shu Wen went there to seek him.

This story is about life and experience, love and romance, Chinese and Tibetan, history and facts. It also depicts the landscape of Tibet and introduces some of the local cultures. I like the freshness this novel gives me and neutral description of the hisotry.

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