Well, I’m finally home from my 18 day tour of China with the students from my school. Another great experience. Not only great because I had the opportunity to immerse myself in another culture, but great because I had the opportunity to see the students in a different light. When you essentially live with one another for an extended period of time, you forge lasting links. That’s special and something that I value.
One of the linking experiences we had in China was our shared amusement over signage. Despite the best efforts of the English Language teacher in the above video in the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese just can’t seem to get it entirely right at times. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a deep respect for the Chinese people. They are friendly, engaging people who work very hard in trying conditions. You would think, however, that there were some fluent, english speaking people in the country who could vet the signs before they were displayed prominently or etched into concrete. One of our students took nearly 2000 photos. There would have to be 100 or so that are signs displaying English translation that cause much mirth.
My amusement was heightened because I was reading David Sedaris’ latest compilation of essays throughout the trip, ‘When You Are Engulfed In Flames‘. If you’ve never read anything by David Sedaris then you really need to treat yourself and get a hold of one of his books. He writes about the ordinary and not so ordinary things in life and his observations are often laugh out loud funny. In this book he describes his experiences in Japan and he makes comment about English signage there. Very close to our observations I may add as we would pass yet another highway sign reading ‘Do not follow clowsly other drivers’.
Have a great weekend. Recovery is on my agenda before the start of the next week and my return to the demands of classes, correction and running the Library.