Friday, January 26, 2007

The Sound of Music and China

Many Chinese people that we have met have a huge fondness for the movie "The Sound of Music". We are not exactly sure where this comes from but we have seen it in action. Last year at a Christmas party for Michael's language class we were treated to lovely duet of Edelweiss in English and Chinese.

So today, when I (Cara that is, Michael has not yet heard this story) happened to be listening to the radio in the car, I was startled but not surprised to hear a pop mix version of "Lonely Goatherd" which is from the Sound of Music. This is exactly the kind of song I would expect to hear incorporating the musical and new Chinese singers. Which is why I was surprised to discover it was not a Chinese pop song but instead Gwen Stefani's "Wind It Up". I guess American's might also really still like "The Sound of Music".

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Manhole covers

On the 1.5 blocks, 15 minute walk to from our apartment to his office, Michael passes 114 manhole covers. And yet the city still can't figure out how to build a sewer system that can accept toilet paper.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pictures from my MBA class

Main lobby
Originally uploaded by shamrockjews.

Today I finally managed to get a bunch of pictures loaded onto flickr - yay! These are pictures from my first MBA class earlier this month. There are pictures of the campus, the building, and my classmates. This picture is of the lobby of the building where I take my class. Pretty nice huh? Apparently they recently renovated this building. I look forward to telling you about the joys of the lovely classroom and the shocking bathrooms. If you would like to see more pictures than please follow this link to our photos in here

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ultrasound photo

Baby 2007-01-15 all three
Originally uploaded by shamrockjews.

Here you can see the ShamrockJew Baby's 2007-01-15 three photos. If you go to our flickr page at this address you should be able to see at least one of these all zoomed in.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

ShamrockJew Baby has arms!

Yesterday we met our obstetrician at the Beijing United, Dr. Warren Brooks. He is from Australia, very easy to talk to and pretty much everything we were looking for in our baby doctor. Since this was our first official checkup he did all the usual tests including our own very exciting ultrasound! So we were able to see our little ShamrockJew Baby on the computer monitor and watch its little 2.5 inch long body arch up every so often. We also did the math and counted:
1 head
2 arms
2 legs
so we're feeling pretty good right now :)

We are trying to get the ultrasound pictures up, but it seems to be a losing battle with the downed internet cables.

Our next regularly scheduled checkup is in a month - we'll keep you posted!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Oh whatever shall we do?

Its been over a week now, and while some internet connectivity is back (we have email! unreliable email but it is still very very exciting!) this web thing is still pretty slow and unpredictable. The prediction is that it will take at least another two weeks before we are back up to pre-earthquake levels.
We have heard that a new line was already in process of being laid from Verizon but it will probably take at least another few weeks to complete (or another few months or years. If we had internet we could check.) In the mean time we are struggling on with the rest of China in this cold dark age of slow internet.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Started Class

Cara started her MBA class on Thursday (re: excuse). This first class is Business Ethics and so far it has been a very interesting class and Cara has been excited to come home and talk to Michael all about it.

For instance, did you know that there is a Chinese Constitution? And even more interesting, it talks about freedom of speech and religion? Here is a copy of the appropriate articles

Constitution of the People’s Republic of China

Article 35. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.

Article 36. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. The state protects normal religious activities. No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the state. Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination.

For comparison's sake, here are the similar US Amendments

US Bill of Rights, the Amendments of the US Constitution

Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, 12/15/1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

One of the big differences is that the US Bill of Rights is a trump card in the US legal system, but in China, well... not so much. Still, it is pretty exciting to even see it written down. As a further point of interest, in my small discussion with the 3 Chinese nationals in my group, all 3 of them thought that having a functioning democracy is extremely important for China and other countries and they seem to be confident that China is moving in that direction.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

In honor of the approach of January 1st, we've had our first snow in Beijing. The streets city looks great while the snow is still white and it is exciting to see how all of the new Beijing drivers deal with the road conditions.