10 Facts about China.

map_of_china

Ta Da: here is my blog about China.

1. One in every five people in the world is Chinese. China’s population is estimated to reach a whopping 1,338,612,968 by July 2009. China’s population is four times that of the United States

2. Giant Pandas (“bear cat”) date back two to three million years. The early Chinese emperors kept pandas to ward off evil spirits and natural disasters. Pandas also were considered symbols of might and bravery.

panda

3.The custom of binding feet (euphemistically called “golden lilies”) began among female entertainers and members of the Chinese court during the Song dynasty (A.D. 960-1279). Tightly wrapped bandages gradually broke the arch of the foot and caused the woman’s toes and heel to grow inward toward one another. Her leg muscles would also atrophy and become very thin. Bound feet were seen as highly sexual.

feet

4.Historians speculate that as the Chinese population grew, people had to conserve cooking fuel by chopping food into small pieces so that it could cook faster. These bite-sized foods eliminated the need for knives and, hence, chopsticks were invented.

5.The name of China’s capital has changed over the centuries. At one time or another it has been known as Yanjing, Dadu, and Beiping. Peking or “Beijing means “Northern Capital.”

6.It was customary for wealthy men and women in the late empire to grow the nails of their little fingers extremely long as a sign of their rank. They often wore decorative gold and silver nail guards to protect their nails. It is sometimes still seen today.

7.China’s “one child” policy has contributed to female infanticide and has created a significant gender imbalance. There are currently 32 million more boys than girls in China. In the future, tens of millions of men will be unable to find wives, prompting some scholars to suggest that this imbalance could lead to a threat to world security.

8.In some parts of China, “pigtails” were associated with a girl’s marital status. A young girl would wear two pigtails, and when she married, she would wear just one. This may have contributed to the Western view that pigtails are associated with children and young girls.

9.China’s national flag was adopted in September 1949 and first flown in Tiananmen Square (the world’s largest public gathering place) on October 1, 1949, the day the People’s Republic of China was formed. The red in the flag symbolizes revolution. The large star symbolizes communism and the little stars represent the Chinese people. The position of the stars represents the unity of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party.

china

10.China invented ice cream, and Marco Polo is rumored to have taken the recipe (along with the recipe for noodles) back with him to Europe.

Aisling.

I hate you.

At the moment I have a very special girl who I teach. She is such a sweet girl….. I WISH. She is just over 4 years old, and I am constantly bombarded with ‘I hate you’ during class. She says it in Chinese, but I understand her.

If she asks ‘méi yŏu xià kè?’, which translates as ‘is class finished?’. I reply no…then I hear ‘wŏ hèn nĭ’. (I hate you). She then pouts her lips and folds her arms.

If she is doing something wrong and I sternly say no, I hear ‘Wŏ hèn nĭ’

If she gets annoyed with me, she looks for something near her and tries to hit me with it. I tell her she’s not allowed to hit me and I hear ‘Wŏ hèn nĭ!!’

The thing is, I did the demo for her, and she was the nicest wee girl. So clever for her age, and I actually thought I wouldn’t mind teaching her. If I knew now what she would be like I would have said ‘bù yào’ – don’t want.

She’s my worst class. I don’t know, I just feel like I’m just not good with babies. I have one 3 year old and he is great, really is. I love that class because I just play with him while teaching him English. But with my other classes, they just don’t go so well. Maybe I’m just not suited to 3-4 year olds I don’t know. I tell my PA’s, don’t give me any babies, so they know not to.

I’m better suited to teaching older students. I suppose I know now what my strengths and weaknesses are.
Last week I also had a Reading class. It was for 5 students for 6 days, 2 hours each day. On Saturday I was so tired after it. We had to do an act out, so a little play.

I made the small script, everyone had a few lines, and I thought it would go well. I was wrong! The boys had no charisma whatsoever. They didn’t know their lines and they didn’t want to learn their lines. The girls were good. They put effort into it and I was proud of them. However it just didn’t go well. We were meant to take a video of it but because the boys had no desire to do it, the video didn’t go so well.

But I suppose from every mistake you make, you realise how you can rectify it for the next time.

Also, the wedding that I am going to is getting closer, and I have yet to find a dress. Hopefully I’ll find one this week. Then myself and my boyfriend are taking a few days off after the wedding so we are planning on going somewhere. We still haven’t decided where to but I’m looking forward to that.

I have also got my bike fixed. It is great! Also I realised my fitness has gone down-hill since so I will have to start building that up.

Aisling.

Slowly but surely.

Slowly but surely I am getting through my list of jobs/things to do. Literally just bought my travel insurance, my dilemma being whether to buy insurance for a year. I have no idea what I’ll be doing after the internship, but I know for a fact Ireland will be the exact same way as I left it, meaning STILL no jobs. So I said to myself, I may as well get it for a year, at least then if I decide to stay then I’ll have it. Its good knowing that I’m covered for any mishaps that might happen me, for a whole year!

Also made an appointment for my eye sight. Lately my eyes have been very sore so I decided to check if I need new lenses. Fortunately my eyes didn’t change, so I’m guessing it was the sun doing the damage. I’m pretty sure after this week of glorious weather my eyes are over-sensitive to the sun. 😦

The visa’s should be arriving early August too, so that’s a trip up to Dublin, twice. Hopefully it won’t be late and rushing to get it.

Also heard that during our orientation week we will be heading to Harbin for a couple of days as well which hopefully will be great. We are checking into Beijing for 2/3 days, then travelling North to Harbin for 5 days, then back to Beijing. I’m sure the journeys will soon grate on me but I’m excited that I’ll be able to see a bit more of China.

Still debating over whether to get a Kindle though, those journeys would be rather boring without a couple of books.. I don’t plan on bringing many over so I might invest in a Kindle.

Aisling.