Dreams of White Tiles . . .


Site Stuff

Filed under: Uncategorized — Roddy @ 8:46 pm

New feature up at Chinese-forums.com, Chinese-forums.com Feeds. This is an RSS aggregator which will pull in snippets from various China-related news and blog sites hourly. This is the first incarnation, I plan to make it customizable so that people can add RSS feeds of their choice and remove ones they aren’t interested in.

Something else I’ve been spending a bit of time on lately is 出语不俗 – me and a few other learners of Chinese as a second language writing in Chinese. The idea is that we wouldn’t have the motivation to run a site like this individually but doing it together reduces the workload and increases the peer pressure.


News 14th Oct

Filed under: Uncategorized — Roddy @ 8:46 pm

I used to run a site, NewsinChinese.com which aimed to give Chinese learners links to Chinese language news articles, with info about the story in English – the idea being that a lot of people can read the articles, but can’t scan them quickly enough to decide if they’re worth reading or not.

For various reasons (great cop-out line) the site stalled and I haven’t yet got around to restarting it, though I may yet do so. In the meantime I’m planning to do something similar on here now and then.


Not Talking

Filed under: Uncategorized — Roddy @ 8:46 pm

I’ve been taking a few different classes at a private Chinese language school. The idea is to spend a few days sampling different ones till I find something I like.

The school is pretty cheap, and I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular. At their prices, expecting chairs would be pushing it. However, I’d heard good things about the school and figured I’d come across a class I’d like. So far though, I’ve been disappointed.


以人 。 。 。

Filed under: Uncategorized — Roddy @ 8:46 pm


I’m always interested to see just how many grand and lofty concepts can be called on to justify the simplest of endeavours.

This starts off with ‘yi ren wei ben’ which is a soundbite from Chinese President Hu Jintao, a literal translation would be something like ‘with people as root’ – basically, put people first, or if you want an adjective, people-centered. I’ve seen it translated as ‘humanism’ and ‘personalism’ among others. I don’t think it amounts to much more than ‘think about people when you do stuff’ which is a hard thing to argue with. At any rate it’s better than the important three whatevers and is our first justification.

The next makes reference to the mental and physical health of employees. This is, of course, something I am all in favour of. The mentally and physically healthier I am, the better. I start to wonder how they will help me in this respect. Massages? Therapy?

Finally, we ‘take into consideration the company’s actual situation’. This is, also, hard to take issue with. After all, we don’t want to overstretch ourselves and send the HR department off to eliminate global conflict, or house the city’s entire homeless population in the storage room – after all, where would we keep the photocopier paper? We must work within our limitations.

So what people-centered, mentally and physically beneficial activity does the company’s actual situation permit?

Tea and coffee will be served in the meeting room between 3.30 and 4pm daily.

I’m not unused to reading Chinese officialese, but I have to admit, after all that build-up, I was hoping for a little more . . .


Lost and Found

Filed under: Uncategorized — Roddy @ 5:19 pm

Found: 1 blanket of smog, thick, gray and persistent. Stinks. Owner please collect from all over Beijing ASAP.

Lost: visibility, 15% of lung capacity and inclination to step outside. Much missed, of great sentimental value.

It’s been like this for days now. I’d like it to stop.

Update: Somebody must have been listening – the picture with the blue is the same view as the first, just 18 hours later. This also made The Guardian

“The government should take further measures to prevent pollution at the source,” Xinhua news agency quoted a Beijing environmental official, Shi Hanmin, as saying this week

As always, you can quote on Xinhua to quote an official stating the officially bleeding obvious.

What worries me is – where did it all go? I’ve got a worrying feeling it’s been filtered through the lungs of the good folk of Beijing . . .



Filed under: Uncategorized — Roddy @ 8:07 pm

The bare bones of what will eventually be PinyinLyrics.com is now online at DreamsofWhiteTiles.com/PinyinLyrics, and there’s discussion on it at Chinese-forums.com here. Watch this space (but not too attentively, I may wind up taking my usual sweet time on this one.)

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