Sunday, November 25, 2007

Point Out Those Differences

The scary thing to me about China, is its potential. Currently it leads the world in manufacturing but just wait until it becomes a service oriented economy because that is when the money will be made. If you want to read an article that articulates the difference in economies it is this one here in the NY Times. The story is a simple compare/contrast on the music industry. It is something that is so puzzling to me, the popular musicians here literally all sound the same. If you were to close your eyes you would think that they only release one album about "love".

When they decide to respect intellectual property law you will see this economy explode (as if it is not already).

Good Night and Good Luck

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Update on MSG

(This counts as the first post for the week the last post was just an admission of guilt)

So I needed to buy salt for cooking. Pretty simple right, I mean salt is salt however when all of the minerals are in clear plastic bags on a shelf and you have no idea what the character in Chinese means it can be pretty daunting. So I went online and found the character for salt (yan, 盐). Perfect I thought the mission is now set and I will be able to go get some salt. I go to the store find the shelf and grab what looks like salt it has the character on it and everything. I get home and just to make sure I was correct decide to taste it.

Low and behold, what I had bought is not salt and it tastes nothing like salt. I couldn't believe it the thing said 盐(salt) so why didn't it taste like salt.

After further inspection of the packaging I found that next to salt was a mysterious character (无) what was this about? I went online again and found that this meant wu or (not). So on the packaging it literally said wu yan (无盐) or not salt. Great what is this crap then. I find the characters look it up and what had I bought you guessed it MSG.

So I can say that I have bought crystalline MSG and now have a lifetime supply of the stuff.

Peace and Love



So I have been slacking recently, in more ways than one. For some reason I have a hard time finishing things; don't know why that is but I do. This blog is a prime example, I should be updating it more often not for the readers but for myself. Alas, as is obvious from the posts I have not been doing that.

Why is it so hard to change what seem to be like simple aspects about yourself? Is it because changing is hard or because we don't really want to change and just lie to ourselves about wanting to change. I started this blog with the intention of keeping people updated on what was going on so I didn't have to have 20 of the same conversations. If people could read what my experiences had been then they would know and I wouldn't have to explain everything.

However, I think that the essence has changed and the reasons for keeping what has become a journal are now more apparent. Have you ever read an essay or letter or anything you wrote a long time ago? I mean so long ago that you forgot you even wrote that essay about Napoleon's conquest or the recipe for chopped liver that Aunt Hilda gave you. It is really bizarre (at least to me) to read your own words and I think that this experiment in journal keeping has proved that to me. To read what my thoughts were 2 months ago has been a really positive experience.

What is cool is that I have been getting mostly positive comments, reviews etc. So I am now excited to write this stuff down. I will try my best to be less of a slacker for that reason, problem is that I am so good at slacking. I wish I could retrain myself to not procrastinate.

So that is what I am going to attempt to do, retrain myself, and the first step is to update this blog at least twice a week and pay my bills on time, return my students papers on time, hell even not be late to things for a week.

Anyway sorry for the long rant but sometimes it is important to be honest with yourself, and so now I am going to be, "I Riley Edan Gelwicks, am a slacker". There now I hope I can change that aspect of myself and stop underachieving.

P.S. the chips were cucumber, I will try to show you more bizarre flavors from your favorite American brands.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy birthday to me, today is my 24th birthday, however I don't really know what hour to celebrate it. Is it the east coast time? Or is it the date? Because I am 13 hours ahead of the east coast of the US, when does one actually celebrate it? I was actually born at 12:01am November 6th, 1983; so it is kind of a tough question to answer.

Anyway I wanted to do a tribute to American-Chinese brands today. These are some familiar brands you might all be used to. Tell me if you can guess what flavor those chips are in the middle. I bet you would never guess that they would make chips of that flavor.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cultural Misunderstandings

So when three cultures clash people tend to step on each others toes. It is hard to keep from offending people when it is just your culture but when you have to take into account three it is just bad news. There were 3 cultures that were mixing last Saturday, for our annual Halloween festivities. I would say they were western, African and east-Asian. I will come back to this point in a bit don't forget about it. It started out festive enough with everyone showing up in their respective homemade costumes. There was punch and h'ors derves and it was like being back in the west if only for an hour or two. Maybe about 9 o'clock two hours from the beginning of the party the two African guys decided they were going to be festive too, by sacrificing a chicken. You read that right sacrificing a chicken!!!! They did not realize that it was possibly not that good of an idea to do this but they started to go through their whole ritual. Meanwhile, no one is actually thinking they are going to kill this chicken they would just to do a little dance say some chants and that would be that. Next thing you know this chicken has its head off and there is blood all over the floor. Needless to say that this was an instant buzz kill and about 5 people immediately left the party. I was kind of indifferent/drunk and stayed because I figured there would be more booze for me, but nonetheless when these cultures mixed it did not turn out very pretty. And I can now say that I have seen a chicken with its head ripped off (disgusting by the way).