goodbye expo 2010

Last year at this time, Shanghai was completely in Expo mode. The Expo was inescapable. There were tourists milling about, prices were higher than normal, statues of Haibao (the blue Gumby-like mascot) were EVERYWHERE, and the news was basically constant coverage of the Expo. It got to be really annoying, but when the Expo closed in October, it really closed. It got quiet. And the Expo was never heard from again. Sort of.

The statue of Haibao that was once prominently displayed on the campus of ECNU is still on the campus of ECNU. Except that once the Expo closed, it got moved to the storage/junk yard in the back corner of the campus. Where it still is. The only reason why I know it’s there is because I take a shortcut that winds between buildings. Depressing, but despite his ill treatment, Haibao still looks quite cheerful in his bright blue.

Oh, and remember this story? At the time I thought his comment about kissing him came out of left field, but now that my Chinese has improved, I realize that he was making a joke about my dismal Chinese skills. In Mandarin, 请问 (pronounced qing3 wen4) means “May I ask?”, which sounds awfully similar to 请吻 (pronounced qing3 wen3), which means “May I kiss?”. So yeah, mystery solved. Good gosh that was a long time ago.

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visited ECNU

Today I headed over to the university campus where I will be studying. It was pretty easy to get to and everything looks like it’ll be fine. Also went grocery shopping, bought myself some pasta (aka food I actually know how to cook) and cereal. I’d call it off-brand Froot Loops, but it’s from a German company so I’m not sure if it’s necessarily “off-brand”. Still trying to figure out the whole units of measurement over here. For instance, the cereal is 250g = 1/4 kg = 1/2 jin = .55 lb. Like my Chinese, I still have to convert things into the language I already know in order to understand. After a while hopefully I’ll become more fluent.

Ah, and I have comments now on this blog. Yay! Now if only the Celtics would win tomorrow morning I’d truly have something to celebrate.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]