Archive for September, 2010

Gulou Dajie LIVES!!!鼓楼大街不会死了!

Posted in Beijing, Beijing Yuantel Internship, Musing, Photo, Study Abroad China 2009-2010 with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2010 by foundmeinchina

This makes my day month year. I was in the early stages of writing a lament about how one of my most beloved places in Beijing, Gulou Dajie 鼓楼大街, was soon to be no more. Gulou Dajie is one of the oldest of the remaining traditional hutong 胡同 neighborhoods that made up imperial Beijing. It is named after the Drum Tower (pictured above), that along with the Bell Tower 100 meters north, looms over the neighborhood, due north of the Imperial City 故宫. The two buildings were originally used as instruments, and later to tell time in the city. Here’s a link to learn more about the Drum Tower and Bell Tower’s history. Gulou Dajie used to be the home of ministers and nobles in Beijing, though now it is home to both poor and very wealthy, the former who have no money to move out of their generation-old homes, and the latter who want to hold live in a chic, fashionably traditional space (with all of the modern 21st Century accoutrement, of course).

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Photos of My Weekends

Posted in Beijing Yuantel Internship, Photo with tags , , , , , , , on September 4, 2010 by foundmeinchina

I rarely get time to take out the Canon on the weekdays, so most of the photography I get to do is on the weekends or after work. Here’s a selection from the past few weekends/weeknights.

First, the view from the front porch of my aparthotel–yes, I live next to a smokestack; Welcome to China.

View from the Front Porch

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Yuantel Promotional Video

Posted in Beijing Yuantel Internship with tags , , , , , on September 4, 2010 by foundmeinchina

One of the projects I worked on over here at Yuantel was a promotional video showcasing some of the uses of Yuantel’s Meetingtel product. It helps if you can understand Chinese, but I am sure you can figure out which one I am. It’s kinda cool–I’ve never been a (flash)movie star before!

I would post the video directly here, but for whatever reason I cannot get it to convert from a .swf file to any other format, so you’re gonna have to view it on the Meetingtel website. It will most likely take a bit to load, because it’s hosted in China. I’m still trying to figure out how to convert it, but for whatever reason every converter I’ve tried comes up with an error. Also, the video’s kinda weird, kinda slow, and it seems like it’s broken or something for the first minute-ish, but eventually the voices continue.

提笔忘字

Posted in Beijing Yuantel Internship, Musing with tags , on September 3, 2010 by foundmeinchina

Wired youth forget how to write in China and Japan

Like every Chinese child, Li Hanwei spent her schooldays memorising thousands of the intricate characters that make up the Chinese writing system.

(Via Ouija’s Beijing Zeal)

As Ouija stated, during my high school Chinese years Zhou Laoshi was a longtime proponent of this trend. We never had dictations, instead focusing on character recognition and pronunciation. I am sure that this is why my speaking and listening, and to an extent my reading ,is so much better than my writing. In my time in Beijing I have seen several of my friends, most of them Chinese teachers, forget how to write characters. I’ve even had the embarrassing (for them) pleasure of correcting their characters, though I must admit this is a pretty rare occurrence. Still, it is disheartening when you have to correct your teacher’s characters, as much for the students as for the teacher. I’m curious as to how this phenomenon evolves. I do not think that written Chinese will be replaced by an ‘alphabet’ or anything like that, but I definitely see a degradation in the knowledge base of written characters for people my age versus people of older generations. Ah well, as long as the waiters don’t forget how to write my orders down correctly, I’m okay with it.

Some More iPhone Photos

Posted in Beijing Yuantel Internship, Photo with tags , , , , on September 2, 2010 by foundmeinchina

Like the last phone photo post, the post-processing on these is more for sun than for anything else. Though I personally tend towards more natural looking photography, it’s fun to mess around with the post-processing that iPhone apps have to offer.

All of these were taken on my walk home yesterday, except this first one, which was taken last week right before a lamb skewer dinner.

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Little Slices of Life

Posted in Beijing Yuantel Internship, Musing, Photo with tags , , , , , on September 2, 2010 by foundmeinchina

After a grueling battle, I finally beat my ailing macbook into submission and was able to get a few minutes of stuttering, 207°F CPU-temp OSX beachball editing in Lightroom before it started to freeze up. But it was enough to edit and convert some of the photos I’ve taken while here.
This post is a nostalgia post, and it is dedicated to Scott, Bob, Benny, Robert, and Lee, as these photos will mean the most by far to them. It is also in memory of my ‘son’ 烤串儿Kaochuanr,who thankfully was adopted yesterday by a milk-white lady from San Francisco who speaks fluent Mandarin. I’m so happy that he found a loving home. As of this morning, they’re doing great together, except for Kaochuanr, who doesn’t know he’s about to be neutered in a day or two.

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iPhone Photo 01

Posted in Beijing Yuantel Internship, Photo with tags , , , on September 1, 2010 by foundmeinchina

I’ve gotten sick of lugging around my dSLR everywhere I go, but I’ve discovered that with a little bit of ingenuity and a host of sometimes-hokey editing software, I can take some interesting photos with the iPhone. Granted, they definitely have this iPhone photo editing app look to them, but I appreciate them for what they are. Here’s one of my favorites so far–it was taken outside an Irvine apartment complex. One of the many wealthy brats’ cars. Made for an interesting snap, though.