November 12, 2008

Quantum of Solace

So probably blocks over 90% of the hit movies that come out in the United States. I'm talking strictly about the blockbusters-- it's damn near 100% if you want to include Indies, which actually seem to be gaining popularity in recent years.

Anyways, the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace was released in China a week ago. The only Hollywood film that I will probably see this semester and I got to see it before the US. I have no idea why the rest of the world is seeing it before the US, but I don't really care. That, and the fact that it played in HD were bonuses. I'm just thankful it came out in China at all.

For those of you who plan on seeing it, watch Casino Royale first. I was thoroughly confused until midway through the movie because Quatum of Solace is a direct continuation. The first scene literally picks up maybe 30 minutes after the last film ended. Overall I was entertained, although I am pretty sure scenes were cut out of the Chinese version. Whatever, Daniel Craig is sexy-- just in the general James Bond sense, way better than Pierce Brosnan. I'm kind of liking the deeper darker character that Daniel Craig portrays. I think it was a much needed change to the whole James Bond series.

As a supplement... Here are my observations on Chinese Movie Theaters:
- Assigned seating, like in Korea
- Flat soda and no ice-- maybe that was just were I went
- Tickets are priced differently for EVERY SHOWING TIME. (My 10pm movie was 10RMB cheaper than the 10'20pm showing... weird.)
- They show one or two movies all day and night in a theater/cineplex. You don't have 10 different options to see a movie like in the US.

Two Healthy Weeks... What a Tease.

So as most people who have been keeping in touch with me know, I spent the first month and a half sick from all kinds of ailments. It was one after another and I didn't know if I was going to see an end to it. Mid-October, I finally started to recover without developing the next thing, just in time to settle into classes and prepare for midterms.

As a result of the healthiness, I managed to get out and about more and that's when I started checking out Shanghai restaurants and tried to familiarize myself with the city a little. After 6 weeks, I felt like I hardly knew anything about the places I was living in. That began to change.

Unfortunately, my lucky streak came to an end right when midterms hit... horrible timing. I developed another skin infection, the 2nd of its kind since I've been in Shanghai, this time in a different area. I went to a different hospital, much further away East of the river, and much more expensive. But the doctors were so much more professional and knowledgeable, the money didn't seem to matter. They had to cut the infection open and drain it. I was prescribed antibiotics, which I turned out to be allergic to, so I was given a different one that is working beautifully. The procedure happened last Thursday. It's currently Wednesday morning and the wound no longer hurts and has pretty much closed up from what I can tell.

Hopefully I won't have anymore problems because if I continue to be sick, this one-year journey of mine may very well be cut short.

November 2, 2008

The "No Name" Finger

Random, yet interesting fact.

So in English, we have names for each of our appendages. We have the all important Thumb, the Pinky, Index Finger, Middle Finger, and then that odd fourth finger which we call the Ring Finger because for some reason that has become the one designated to display our symbols of eternal matrimony.

In China:
Thumb = 大指 (dazhi-- literally "big finger")
Pinky = 小指 (xiaozhi-- "small finger")
Index Finger = 食指 (shizhi-- "food finger")
Middle Finger = 中指 (zhongzhi-- "middle finger")

Pretty standard.. except for the Ring Finger, which in Chinese is 无名指, the "No-Name Finger".

I thought that was interesting, maybe it's just me. I don't know much about traditional Chinese culture, but maybe the wedding ring (specifically on the "No-Name Finger), is part of it?

Anyways, I recently started having circulation problems, at least I hope that's all it is because otherwise I could be experiencing the early stages of carpel tunnel. In any case, I have recently removed the Tiffany's ring that I've been wearing since the 8th grade off my No-Name Finger. I think it's helping.