Can stand vs. Cannot stand

In China, I can stand...
  • Lack of personal space - this is the number 1 thing you'll notice in China. In the West, your personal space is basically beyond arms length. In China, it's your shoulder length. Thank God HK is considered in between.
  • Spitting - I've mastered the skill to know when and where the spit is coming from... and ignore it. Trust me, these people have spit in public for decades and they won't miss their target - the ground. Your shoes will be fine, don't worry. Just ignore it.
  • Smoking - most of Chinese men are going to die of lung cancer. I am sure of this. While I do miss the nice clean air in HK and US clubs, it really doesn't bother me that much. And somehow, they don't blow the smoke at you. I'm still perplexed.
  • Drinking games - I'm not sure why the Chinese insist you must get piss drunk to prove that they are good hosts. Since I can act drunk, along with my bright red face, I've been able to duck the most ridiculous drinking games
  • Pushing - see lack of personal space. A side product is where everybody just pushes you all the time when you are lining up (if there is such a thing as a line... most of the time its a mob). I'm not ashamed that I've landed a few special elbows to the groin to those who push me. And my suitcase serves as a good divider in taxi lines. They hit my suitcase with the legs, and I turn around and push the suitcase right up their calves. It'll hurt.
  • Speaking loud - Apparently, they understand "Shut the fuck up"... or maybe it's just my angry tone with a finger on my lips.
  • Squat toilets - no problemo. I can hold it.
  • Attitude - most service industry people don't care about you. All you have to do is yell at them and curse. It works. (Loving the big city, eh? I've been reassured that away from Shanghai, it's much better)
  • Inefficiency - I guess coming from Hong Kong, we can never be satisfied. Luckily, I lived in Chicago and brought expectations to a new low. You see, it's all relative!
Only one thing I cannot stand in China:
One more, actually:


Life after Lost

I finished the ridiculously good season 4 (I do not like the Hurley episodes) of Lost... and am at a loss afterwards. What do I do in my very little spare time at night?

Considering that DVDs are $5 a piece, maybe I'll just buy all the sitcoms. Imagine that.

By the way, I had a very interesting insight today... in China:
  • $ double stroke is US dollar
  • $ single stroke is Hong Kong dollar
  • ¥ double stroke is Japanese Yen

  • ¥ single stroke is Chinese Yuen, or Renmenbi, or RMB

Upon knowing this, my analyst asked why the Japanese copied the Chinese symbol... (um, no dear, the Chinese copied the Japanese symbol.) anyway, not quite a LTFU (lunch time follow up, for those of you who aren't from AG - Analysis Group, for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about)... but I dug in to these symbols of currency:
So the Americans copied from the Spaniards, and the Japanese copied from the Europeans... although the name yen comes from a Chinese character meaning round.

That's enough learning for the morning.


Mother of all cliff hangers...

My god Lost season 3 just ended on a ridiculously good cliff hanger. I've tolerated the show through its first 2 seasons because of the Momento similarities and the generally okay plots. But Season 3 has just turned the whole show around. Wow.

Anyway, I wanted to make a quick comparison on why I like Lost much better than other conspiracy dramas such as 24, Prison Break, and Heroes (Note: I'm still in love with Law & Order, CSI, and other gruesome detective shows).
  • 24 was novel for the 1st season. Real time TV! Who would have thought. Anyway, by season 2 the side plots and general stupidity among CTU agents, government bureaucracy, and bad guys was just too much to overcome. At the end of season 2, when President Palmer was poisoned through a handshake (Note to bad guys: there are much better ways to assassinate a president if you are that good at it already), I lost interest.
  • Prison Break. First season was phenomenal. I did wonder outloud though: once they break out, there wouldn't be a season 2 or 3... and of course the producers had it in for us: we'll put them in another prison! Season 2 (the escaping act) deteriated quickly as all the characters started to drop like flies. Season 3... I won't dignify it with more than a sentence. Ops, I almost did.
  • Heroes. Save the cheer leader, save the world. Great plot to bring different fractions of the story together and having the audience put the plot together for them and keep everybody's attention. Season 2 was a downer due to the strike, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in season 3.
However... in the mean time, Lost Season 4!!!