Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Favourite posts from the 1st quarter of 2011

Time for another 'best of' roundup from last year...

Pick of the Archives:
Favourite Posts, January-March 2011

1)  A Sunday poem  -  2nd January 2011
I see in the New Year with an excerpt from Eliot's Four Quartets.

2)  This country is driving me crazy  -  6th January 2011
After 17 months without a holiday, my tolerance of China is severely depleted. Here is just a small representative selection of common Chinese behaviours which can drive a foreign resident in the country MAD.

3)  Subconscious Homesick Blues  -  8th January 2011
Perhaps my favourite post of last year: a celebration of the things I'd started to miss about the land of my birth (England)... and an indirect gripe about how conspicuously absent these pleasures are in China. [This post was also notable for drawing in two of my most entertaining new commenters, Chewing Words (although she didn't stay with us for long, alas) and Cedra (who still looks in once in a while).]

4)  The weekly haiku  -  14th January 2011
Yes, in case you hadn't realised... I am ragingly bi-polar.

5)  The interconnectedness of everything  -  14th January 2011
Some reflections on the unexpected camaraderie of the blogging world (prompted, unfortunately, by a 'cyber-friend' being one of the victims of a very public tragedy).

6)  Nicely put  -  17th January 2011
One of my tedious academic editing jobs is redeemed by introducing me to this magnifcently barbed observation on the expat community in turn-of-the-century Shanghai.

7)  Imaginary conversation  -  18th January 2011
An example of how remarkably obtuse Chinese academics can be in handling sources. I found this hilarious, but I fear the point went over some people's heads.

8)  Everything happens for a reason  -  21st January 2011
Remembering two of the most inadvertently insightful Chinglish errors I have ever encountered...

9)  My Fantasy Girlfriend: The Template  -  22nd January 2011
Taking a break from the usual format of my monthly 'Fantasy Girlfriend' selections, I analyse - in some detail - what I'm looking for in an actual girlfriend.

10)  That really ought not to be a word  -  27th January 2011
For perhaps the first time in years, I discover a new word - and a fascinating concept attached to it, involving the scientific examination of why the Chinese eat so many disgusting foods.

11)  Film List - catching up...  -  29th January 2011
A recent splurge of DVD-watching enables me to offer some pocket reviews of several very fine recent - and, er, not so recent - films.

12)  Year of the Rabbit Rebellion  -  3rd February 2011
I mark the Chinese New Year with an animated 'greetings card' from Taiwan that had just started to become a huge hit on the Chinese Internet - a gruesome little satirical cartoon which predicts/incites an insurrection against the rule of the Chinese Communist Party. It will come one day, I think. [See also this interesting but unfortunate fact about rabbits, and about the Chinese word for rabbit.]

13)  Haiku for the week  -  4th February 2011
Why I hate the Chinese New Year so much...

Probably my longest ever post title, irresistibly fitting to my topic: the chronic verbosity of Chinese academics. [Here's an illustrative example.]

15)  Midweek silliness  -  16th February 2011
A musical video tribute to Star Wars composer John Williams, featuring the splendidly named Salt Lake City a capella group Moosebutter.

16)  My Fantasy Girlfriend: Judge Anderson  -  19th February 2011
Judge Dredd's lissom red-headed sidekick becomes my first cartoon 'Fantasy Girlfriend'.

17)  Disturbing neighbour(s)  -  4th March 2011
An observation from my recent holiday in Malaysia. 
[You could also check out the view from the window of my budget hotel in Kuala Lumpur.]

18)  A travel bon mot  -  7th March 2011
My first 'exotic' holiday in many years inspires this reflection on the appeal of travel.

19)  I am going to try to be a better person  -  9th March 2011
Because a visit to the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China has given me a rather too vivid foretaste of Hell.

20)  The Chinese way of doing things  -  14th March 2011
A good illustration of why it is so frustrating to try to work in China... and why I am so relieved to have got away from the country. [More job frustration here.]

21)  Salt of the Earth  -  21st March 2011
Overheard in a Chinese supermarket, during a spate of panic buying in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

22)  Film Quiz: Taglines  -  26th March 2011
An end-of-the-month quiz and an amusing video of one of the great Hollywood trailer voiceover artists - double happiness! [The answers to the quiz were posted here.]

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