My life in a blog

IMBA Chinese Track student at The University of South Carolina, Moore Business School, I'm currently living in Columbia, SC and traveling all over the place

Check out my other blog: My life in pictures or better check out my Flickr account

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Great Wall number 3

Freshly published, the new 7 wonders of the world will most probably attract a great deal of visitors now. The Great Wall, seems like the only one that one can visit multiple times and every time see something different and unique.

This weekend, for the 3rd time now, i visited the great wall. Every time was a completely different experience. This time, organized by the AbroadChina company we went to a wild, non restored side of the Wall. We started early with a stop in a small Chinese village, which reminds foreign visitors how china is perceived before arriving: rural and dirty but interesting.

Considering the piles of dirt accompanied by new solar powered light poles, one got the right picture.

We had a good lunch with a Chinese family, time to socialize and talk about the cultural differences and worldwide languages.

Just after a short siesta, we started our climbing. Like no other part I've visited before, this one had no real walkway, but was just a chaotic set of stones put together with vegetation forming a 1m wide path, dangerous fall on left and right and beautiful landscape.

For an experienced hiker, this trail would be basic, but it took us some time and energy to get to the first watch tower. From there to the second watch tower one should've used a rope to go down and then climb a wall and that was considered too adventurous and was kept as secret by the organizers. As always the way back seemed to be even more difficult than the climb was.

The day ended at the same family's house with a Chinese BBQ good chicken and lamb kebabs assorted with Chinese beer.

The word of the day is: 睡觉(shui jiao) = sleep; go to sleep


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Back to some business

After spending time learning Chinese and getting accustomed to my new home, friends, place and language, there comes a time where you have to go back to business thought. For that reason, articles are a good way to catch up with the world and so, I ran into a very interesting article from The McKinsey Quarterly titled "Ten trends to watch in 2006"

Here is the link if you want to read it:

As part of the article, they put together a series of statistics, facts or predictions that will scare you, make you think or just provide an interesting read.

Total world cross-border trade as a percentage of global GDP1990: 18%2015 (estimated): 30%
Number of regional trade agreements1990: 502005: 250
Change in Germany's population over the age of 75 from 2005 to 2015: 33%
Increase in tax burden needed to maintain current benefit levels for Germany's future generation: 90%
Change in Japan's population over the age of 75 from 2005 to 2015: 36%
Change in Japan's population under the age of 5 from 2005 to 2015: -13%
Increase in tax burden needed to maintain current benefit levels for Japan's future generation: 175%
Computational capability of an Intel processor, as measured in instructions per second1971: 60,0002005: 10,800,000,000
Multiple by which e-mail traffic has grown from 1997 to 2005: 215
Number of US tax returns prepared in India2003: 25,0002005: 400,000
Combined market cap of top 150 mega-institutions1994: $4 trillion2004: $11 trillion
Total capital under management by private equity firms in 2003 in the United States and Europe: $1 trillion
Market cap of the NYSE in 2003: $11 trillion
Growth rate of the total wealth controlled by millionaires in China from 1986 to 2001: 600%
Estimated number of Chinese households to achieve European income levels by 2020 (assuming real income grows at 8 percent annually): 100 million
Total number of workers in China: 750 million
Number employed in China's state-owned companies: 375 million
Year when the income gap in the United States between the wealthiest 5% and the bottom 10% was the widest ever recorded: 2004
Part of national GDP spent on the public sector in the United Kingdom in 2004: 20%
UK public-sector spending as a ratio of GDP when transfer payments (for example, pensions) are included: 40%
Proportion of Latin Americans who would prefer a dictator to democracy if he improved their living conditions: 50%
Muslims as a percentage of the global population2000: 19%2025 (estimated): 30%
Number of major violent conflicts1991: 582005: 22
Number of coal-fired power plants China plans to build by 2012: 562
Estimated year China will overtake the United States as the number-one carbon emitter: 2025
Estimated year CO2 levels will hit 500 parts per million: 2050
Years since CO2 levels last hit 500 parts per million: 50 million
Average years it takes a CO2 molecule, once produced, to degrade: 100
Global CEOs who think overregulation is a threat to growth: 61%
Probability that a company in an industry's top revenue quartile will not be there in five years: 30%

Today's word is: 做生意(zuò shēng yi) = Do business


Sunday, July 01, 2007

English Translation mistakes 英文翻译错

As the whole world knows, China is filled with really funny English translations. When you arrive here for the first time, you start laughing at them immediately, but soon after they are just part of your life and your amusement.

Today, I put a quite a few hours studying Chinese... but when looking at a menu, I still check the English translation first, if existent.

So, while I was trying to decide what to order... I definitely tried to avoid THIS!! :) (the photo was taken inside with my cell phone, but you can still get the gist!)

Check out this one guy's website for an crazy translated menu:

Today's word is: 翻译错(fānyi cuò ) = Translation mistake