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 Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 10:31 am 
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Kea, I'm surprised you didn't black out and wake up in an alley, having left your knitting needles in that woman's leg. I don't think you're jerky for seething about that woman, no matter how many good intentions she has (remember what the road to hell's paved with, after all). She's my least favorite kind of person - ignorant, and perfectly content in her ignorance. Double minus points to the rest of the group for blithely carrying on the idea that all people with little money also don't wash themselves or their clothes.

The expat/immigrant difference sounds about right to me. Ridcully has a hard time hanging around other college-educated immigrants, because a lot of them have the expat mentality (Americans are stupid, the culture is lame, I hate the food, etc.). Other Russians can be particularly bad.

The guys he works with, most of whom came here after high school, are far more laid back about where they've chosen to set down roots (though they bust the balls of the guys who are second gen when they claim to "go back home" when visiting family in Mexico. "What, to Oklahoma City?" said one first gen immigrant). I hate to make the divide along the lines of education, but pretensions do seem to rise with that piece of paper that says you've attended more schooling.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 11:00 am 
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drachefly wrote:
I think she'd be trying to make a difference at home too. Job fulfillment can be important.

In the local terminology, a "local school" refers to a school where ordinary Chinese kids go to get educated in the local education system. As opposed to an "international school" which follows the curriculum of another country, such as Canada, Australia or France. These schools cater to the children of expatriates from those countries, as well as the kids of Chinese parents who aspire for their kids to go abroad for university. So when she said that she wanted to make a difference in a "local school", she was assuming that a regular Hong Kong public school needed her help more than an international school. I mean, the local school system has a lot of problems, but what makes her think that she knows better how to improve it than anybody else?

I actually thought I was being most unfair about her MSG sensitivity, since nobody gets to choose their allergies.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 12:25 pm 
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I just had the sensation of realizing that I am surrounded by a fluid - that I am, at all times, touching something.

I got the heebie jeebies.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 1:22 pm 
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Spring is in full force here. The humidity is like a damp blanket and everything feels sticky. Breathing is like trying to inhale thick smoke...thank you, asthma. Next thing you know I'll be having panic attacks again and I'll remember what soda feels like in the can.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 2:36 pm 
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I've got blisters on me fingers. And my palms. Several trees around the property died of some kind of plague over the last couple years (including my favorite apple, peach, and pear trees), and I've been busy over the past couple weeks chopping them down and busting them up into firewood (logs) and composting material (twigs and branches). I never thought I'd actually be able to cut a tree down with an axe.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 6:00 pm 
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You were wearing gloves, I hope? They really really slow down the rate that you get blisters.

And chopping trees down with an axe is much harder if the axe isn't sharp.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 6:02 pm 
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I don't have any gloves. And I sharpen the axe with with a file before and after each use.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 7:59 pm 
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Kajin wrote:
I don't have any gloves.
Tisk, tisk, Kajin. You should wear gloves. I've taken down a few full sized trees -with chainsaws- and ended up getting some small blisters even though I was wearing leather gloves. And to think what my hands would of been like if I didn't wear any. Oh right, you already told me.

For what I do, I wear gloves all the time. Feels strange if I don't.

Kajin wrote:
And I sharpen the axe with with a file before and after each use.
Here I am, imagining you swinging the axe, removing it from the tree, then sharpening it...

Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.

Over and over again, until you end up with this razor sharp nub of an axe.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 8:06 pm 
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Kea wrote:
Zillatain wrote:
I'm sorry, but in this case, I think you're being pretty fair actually.

Stab away.

Yeah, but the woman obviously means well. Seems kinda jerkish of me to hate people who are trying to do the right thing.


I'm sorry, it is her fault for not mixing with the local culture. Honestly it is one of the problems I have with groups here in the US from foreign countries.

Believe it or not the US has a culture. Coming here and not recognizing that is rude to us, just as much as if I were to go to another country and expect to be treated special because I am an American. I am not suggesting that you give up your cultural identity, but how about a little bit of respect coming here.

Also for those of us Americans going to foreign countries, do the same flipping thing. You are in someone elses homeland. They have different laws, rules, customs, etc. The US Constitution does not apply to you in Otherlandia. Learn a bit about the place you are visiting. Try to learn some of the language. Put forth an effort.

Sorry. a little ranty there and not on the thread topic, but having spent about 8+ years in foreign countries certain things irk me.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 8:17 pm 
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Zillatain wrote:
Kajin wrote:
And I sharpen the axe with with a file before and after each use.
Here I am, imagining you swinging the axe, removing it from the tree, then sharpening it...

Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.

Over and over again, until you end up with this razor sharp nub of an axe.


At one point in my life I actually was that OCD.

REGARDLESS! Would anyone find it amiss if I started a thread for coming up with ideas for stories, just for the fun of it?

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 Post Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:21 am 
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Jorodryn wrote:
I'm sorry, it is her fault for not mixing with the local culture. Honestly it is one of the problems I have with groups here in the US from foreign countries.

To be fair, I think she's actually made more effort than most people to learn the local language. It's a very hard language. Most people give up some point after "Where is the bathroom, please", so I'll give her credit for that. It's the insufferable snobbishness that drives me up the wall, the way she acts like nothing here is good enough for her.

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 Post Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 3:36 am 
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I really don't understand people who travel to another country and don't make any effort to learn the language. If you're only going to be there for a short time (a vacation, for example), at least learn survival stuff instead of just being put out that nobody's around who speaks your language.

The way I see it, there are several things that you absolutely must know how to say in the local language, no matter how brief your stay:
  • Help me!
  • Where is the bathroom?
  • Do you speak English? (or other language you prefer)
  • I didn't do it.
I speak Spanish, so here are translations and phonetic pronunciations (although the latter will make you sound extremely gringo):
  • ¡Ayúdeme! /ah-YOO-day-may/
  • ¿Dónde está el baño? /DOHN-day es-TAH el BAHN-yo/
  • ¿Habla usted ingles? /AH-blah OO-sted een-GLAYS/
  • Yo no lo hice. /yo no low EE-say/

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 Post Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 4:40 am 
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Kajin wrote:
Zillatain wrote:
Kajin wrote:
And I sharpen the axe with with a file before and after each use.
Here I am, imagining you swinging the axe, removing it from the tree, then sharpening it...

Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.
Swing.
Remove.
Sharpen.

Over and over again, until you end up with this razor sharp nub of an axe.


At one point in my life I actually was that OCD.

REGARDLESS! Would anyone find it amiss if I started a thread for coming up with ideas for stories, just for the fun of it?



Don't you mean CDO? And I see no problems with that. Although I've got ideas, it's just my characters who aren't introducing themselves.

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 Post Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 9:29 am 
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AlternateTorg wrote:
I really don't understand people who travel to another country and don't make any effort to learn the language.

Well - combine a difficult language (among top 5 most difficult in the world for English speakers, according to the US State Department) with the fact that most stuff is bilingual here, and you get a lot of people who stop trying. The road signs are in English, the shop signs are in English, a lot of menus are in English, there's newspapers and radio and TV in English. Many shop assistants and taxi drivers speak at least some English. You will never integrate into local society and you'll live in a sort of parallel universe, but you can live a perfectly functional life without learning a word of Cantonese.

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 Post Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 10:32 am 
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AlternateTorg wrote:
I really don't understand people who travel to another country and don't make any effort to learn the language. If you're only going to be there for a short time (a vacation, for example), at least learn survival stuff instead of just being put out that nobody's around who speaks your language.

The way I see it, there are several things that you absolutely must know how to say in the local language, no matter how brief your stay:
  • Help me!
  • Where is the bathroom?
  • Do you speak English? (or other language you prefer)
  • I didn't do it.


I'm not sure these are the most important things to learn, since in many countries these are the sort of things locals will understand in English. Your priorities should be more about useful things that are a bit more obscure in the Queen's, like describing special dietary requirements, or anything you're picky about. Learning how to count is also very useful when it comes time to pay.

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