September 2, 2012
Thank you very much for your all your feedback – I feel encouraged to do more & have included many of your suggestions.
We have been exploring our new city even more – on foot – now the temperature is a bit cooler. We walked around our block – which incudes a park “Panyu Green Space” – which has reflexology walk (a pebble path in a circuit, which you walk on in bare feet) & “Red Town” which is an art space with some big sculptures.
Yesterday we walked up & down Anfu Lu & Wulumuqi yesterday. We bought some very good value DVDs. We went around looking for cupboards 70cm wide, we measured every cupboard we saw. I also measured a shop.
We also went past some interesting shops and signs.
No markets in the last week.
List of items that Dad has fried: Pancakes & onions.
Fun Facts: Topic – Pinyin (with thanks to Dad for the research – this is a complicated topic!)
Pinyin (or Hànyü Pīnyīn) is the official system for transcribing Chinese characters into Latin script. Hànyǔ means the spoken language of the Han People and pīnyīn literally means “spelled sound”. A long succession of scholars have tried to develop a way “spell” the Chinese language. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi qiji (The Miracle of Western Letters). His work was more a way to help western people. It was not until more than two hundred years later that the concept of spelling planted in China by the Jesuits had sufficiently matured for the Chinese themselves to begin proposing its application for the design of new and more efficient scripts. The first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu. Song had been to Japan and observed the stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there but it took many more years before the idea was officially adopted as a way of trying to unify the way the language was spoken across China. The first edition of Hànyü pīnyīn was approved and adopted at the Fifth Session of the first National People’s Congress on February 11, 1958. It was then introduced to primary schools as a way to teach Standard Chinese pronunciation and used to improve the literacy rate among adults. Since 1958, Pinyin has been actively used in adult education as well, making it easier for formerly illiterate people to continue with self-study after a short period of Pinyin literacy instruction. Pinyin has become a tool for many foreigners to learn the Mandarin pronunciation, and is used to explain both the grammar and spoken Mandarin.
First week at School – My first week at school was brilliant. My small bus is number 4, & a lady called Smiley makes sure that all 7 children on my bus are collected – I am second on the bus. There are 48 school buses! My new teacher Mr Grimwood had to go to hospital on day 3, but nothing to do with me. School lunches are the best ever. I played tennis in PE & 2 mandarin lessons. This is me on my first day.
Delivery pizza from pizza marzano (a lot like pizza express)
Lost Heaven – Best roast chicken ever! According to the app Smart Shanghai “it specializes in the tribal cuisine of China’s Yunnan province” & it has great cocktails like this one – called Thaizeed – Dad said it was the best cockail he had ever had & very spicy.
Seeing this overloaded bike on the way to Wagas for dinner – the rider was stopped by the police – Look at it!
Nightmare of the week: BEEP BEEP BEEP
The landlord didn’t pay the phone bill for the month of May – so our phone was cut off. Unfortunately, the phone is connected to the security system – and the Internet – and the TV! (So if someone cuts the phone line, none of these works). And we had to endure an every-thirty-second BEEP! (Until the landlord paid the phone bill & the system was reset). That took more than 24 hours & a lot of phone calls (poor Dad). In the end the best idea was just to cellotape a pillow to the alarm to muffle the noise.
Official State News of the week: This was on the front page on Tuesday! -sorry it is sideways
Word of the week (in Chinese, of course): Please – Qǐng (pronounced tshing)
Rough translation: DO NOT STEP ON THE GRASS, THE GRASS IS GROWING
That’s all for this week – thanks for sending me comments/more comments – from Thomas