beijing time

Sometimes hard to believe, if you live in Beijing or Shanghai, that 10 or 15 years of life in a Chinese city was very different from today, more like a village, where much of modern life that today are taken for normal nonexistent.

English: Beijing CBD 2008-6-9 Jianwai SOHO, Yi...

English: Beijing CBD 2008-6-9 Jianwai SOHO, Yitai Center, CCTV ‪中文(简体)‬: 北京中央商务区夜景(可见央视新址、建外SOHO等) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I took a few years in Beijing, so it’s hard to imagine the city as it was then. But there are things that provide clues. One, for example, is that most people my age (20 or 30) can not swim.

In Spain, there are many people 40 and older who can not swim, but young, everyone to some extent, we’ve all had a swimming pool and a school workshop to learn. These are things that have to do with the development of a country, right? In most developed countries, people learn to swim for fun, while those in developing roads, only learn those in need. In southern China, where there is more water, more people who can swim, but are those who have lived all their lives the rice fields, rivers from overflowing, or seas.

In China, by the way, who can not swim are called “Hanyazi”, which literally means “upland duck”.

Another fascinating expression just taught me: to say “frac” the Chinese say “fu yan wei”. Yan is translatable as “swallow” wei is “tail” and fu is “costume”. So it’s a “swallowtail suit.” Someone should make a book with expressions how are you, and encourage many people to learn Mandarin.

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