Me and Chairman Mao
Here's something funny. Turns out, the people of Beijing--who apparently have a less than complete understanding of English/American slang--at some point decided to use "BJ" as an abbreviation for Beijing. While this does make a certain amount of sense, since Beijing is in fact "Bei Jing," or the "North Capitol," it is also both obviously and spectacularly unfortunate.

I know, sucks for them. (Pun so very much intended.) It does, however, make just walking around town pretty funny for me, which is all that really matters. For example, at the Summer Palace there was a lady wearing a hat that said "BJ 2008." I'm hoping that it was for the Summer Olympics, which are going to be held in Beijing in 2008, but--as they say--you never know. In her defense though, she didn't look old enough to have ... never mind. Anyway, here's another fun example: if you look through one of the local English-language magazines for someone to teach you Chinese, you'll find that you can most likely hire a "local BJ woman" to do it. I don't know exactly how much it is per letter to place a classified ad, but I'm thinking that the extra money to add "ei" and "ing" in there would have been so very worth it. Although on a positive note, I'm sure she's getting a lot of calls for her, um, services ….

Local Dub Redux. In other news, we watched Alfie last night. Like Napoleon Dynamite, it also had some very interesting subtitles. My favorite? At one point, Alfie / Jude Law says he's got "too many things" on his mind. In the subtitles, it said that he had "108,000 things" on his mind. So apparently in China they know exactly how many things are too many things to have on your mind: 107,999 okay; 108,000 too much! What I really want to know is how they figured that out. Did they kidnap some poor wayward soul, strap him into a chair in the back of the DVD copying shop, and feed him information piece by piece by piece until he broke down crying and screaming "Too much! Too much!" over and over until he finally, mercifully, passed out? One can only imagine.

On a final note, I just uploaded some random pictures of life in Beijing, both ours and other peoples'. I've labeled them--fittingly--"Beijing Life." I'm trusting that you'll be able to find the link on your own. At least, I hope you can. I really hope you can ...
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