I’ve been taking German lessons twice a week since June.   Now almost 4 months later, I have to admit, my German still ist nicht gute.  That’s what happens when you learn a new language on your expense account,  and the native speakers are so obssesed with the gender of virtually everything.

Today I was ambushed by my German teacher, a lovely Polish lady – so if I ever had a polish accent when I speak German, I know whom to blame.  She asked me to write down two or three verbs and noums, I wrote Hund (dog), Katze (cat), Blumen (flowers), rennen (to run), lachen (to laugh).  Then she asked me to write a poem with them.

Richtig?  I asked her.  She noded with a smear on her face.

Oh what the heck.  Goethe would not come back to hunt me for butchering his language, he is listening Punk Rock these days.  So here is my maiden voyage into the vast see of German words, bear it with me:

                           Mein Hund ist aktiv

                           Aber ich bin nicht Sportiv

                           Ich hasse renen abgrundtief

                           Meine Katze geht demonstrativ

                           Sie denkt sie is attraktiv

                           Ich lache wenn sie hat Stimmungstief

                           Ich weiß, ich bin nicht sensitiv

                           Aber ich bin postiv

                           Wenn sie meine Blumen isst

                           Bin ich nicht depressiv 

A 1,5 hours German lessen: 50 EURO.  Messing up a foreign language, priceless.

And with a joke also:

Q: What’s the difference between Capitalism and Communism?

A: Quit simple.  Under Capitalism, man exploits his fellow man. Under Communism, the opposite is true.

Brillian, right?  Try hear me telling it – I promise I will ruin it for you.  Man, my dream to be a stand-up comedian is completely shattered.  What a cruel world.

Pardon my random blogging schedule, dear readers.  Blame it on CNN, it cannot stop rambling on and on. 

Ok, a few updates.  The lucky guy and I celebrated his birthday with great food and the “Sex and the City” movie.  It felt more like my birthday though.  He absolutely despises chick flick, but I talked him into watching the movie with me to “celebrate” his birthday.  I know, an evil woman I am!  The poor man felt asleep during the movie, but I pretended not noticing.  Having him besides me was already enough.

And I don’t blame him.  The movie was simply bad.  Way too long, overly dramatic, plagued with lame jokes…My chance to trick the lucky guy into watching the TV series with me is now officially slim to none.

Move on to the Middle East.  I am visiting Qatar and Kuwait for business next week, after struggling to get a Qatari business visa.  First, they rejected my application stating the following reason: “We Do Not Entertain Chinese.”  Then, when pressed to issue me the visa, they made me a man.  So on Monday, I will hand over the visa (with my right hand, allow me to emphasize) that states I am a man to an immigration officer, and explaine how this mistake might have happened.  You can bet that I will be wearing pants, not skirt. 

What else?  Oh, happy Dragon Boat Festival!  Got a Dragon boat, anyone?

Since the earthquake, many friends have contacted me.  I am deeply touched by their concerns for me and my family.  Luckily, so far everyone I know is safe. 

But many others aren’t as lucky.  Death toll is approaching 20,000, thousands are still missing, survivors are homeless and in urgent need of food and water. 

Financial Times praised the government for its quick response and increased transparency.  But many Chinese citizens still have questions: Why weren’t the earthquake detected? Why is that so many buildings collapsed were schools, whereas almost none of the government buildings did? 

I don’t want to point fingers in this entry.  I just want to show you what make me proud of being a Chinese amid the disaster: Thousands lined up to donate blood; soldiers, nurses and doctors marching on foot to the epicenter with food, water and medicine; rescuers risking their own lives searching for survivors; volunteers deliver food and water from shelter to shelter…These people – not the Beijing Olympic Games – is the reason why I am proud to be Chinese. 

       

CNN is the only English channel I have at the hotel, it’s my reliable source to the outside world, as compare to the moody WiFi I pay to only be able to use in the Lobby.  Only on it’s good mood days, I get to surf the net in my room.

It has occured to me that this is the major reason why my addiction to internet is gone. 

Back to the topic.  The minute I heard the news from CNN, I picked up phone and tried to call my Mom.  Clearly the phone line got disrupted somewhat, for before I finally get to talk to my Mom, I was greeted by three different people in 2 different languages.  Now I know how easy it is to tap someone’s phone.

Luckily, my Mom is OK, only slightly scared as she put it.  My brother is at school, thrilled by the experience and may have got a perfect opportunity to comfort the girl he really likes.  My Dad is on a business trip outside Sichuan, I hope he is OK.  Don’t want to sound cold-hearted, but both me and my Mom couldn’t reach him by phone.  Of course, we will continue to try to contact him. 

Now if you would excuse me, I have to go up to my apartment and watch CNN.   

I thought blogging was addictive.  I was wrong.  As you can see, my dear readers, I am cured.  

This happens either when I am too busy having fun or too bored to have anything interesting to write.  I have to admit, it is mainly the latter this time.  Not that I didn’t have fun.  I enjoy my work tremendously, my coworkers are awesome, my boss is hilarious.  And, I may soon go on a business trip to the Middle East – really, I have nothing to complain about.

But we women are good at looking at both sides.  Europe can get boring during the weekend, if you don’t have someone sitting under the sun, devouring gigantic ice cream or sipping coffee with you.  Because this is pretty much what you can do on weekends.  All shops are closed for the benefit of window-shopping loving folks.  For the rest of us who want spend some money, our choices are limited: beer garden, cafe, restaurant, and museum.  I’ve tried them all.  But really, how many times do you want to see those abstract paintings if you don’t have an inkling what they are?

That was my point.  But I will overcome it.  Europe is fantastic and I don’t want to be anywhere else (except maybe somewhere closer to my German/English Language instructor) !    

Every country has some ridiculous rules and regulations.  In some part of the States, for instance, water level in your bath tub cannot exceed 35 cm.  Don’t laugh, bath tub cops will bust you if you don’t take it seriously. 

Germany is no exception.  I was talking with a friend about a ridiculous regulation involving sinks and it gave me a business idea.  My company has put me into a nice apartment, but I have to find a place of my own after three months.  So naturally I started gathering info on apartment hunting.  First, I heard the usual stuff: bad neighbourhoods, nasty landlords, unexpected railway tracks next to your bedroom window, ect…Then I was told this bizzar regulation: tannets must take the sink with them when they move.  I know, my jaw almost reached the floor when I heard it. 

Then this brilliant idea of a sink deposit service came to my mind.  I will call my staff the Sink Squad.  Sink Squad will go to people’s kitchen and take out their sinks for them.  Of course, upon request, the Sink Squad will be happy to install the sinks into their new places.  With a fee, of course.  The unwanted sinks will be stored and resold on the second hand sink market – catering to folks who move a lot. 

Not a bad business model, right?  Le’ts hope that IKEA is not already doing it!