Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bad English Signs In China

It's Sunday.  I appreciate Sunday's more now than ever before.  I had a few offers to go out and play, but I said no in order to allow myself some time to upload my latest video, write this blog post, and watch the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour.

In China, on Sundays I rest from the world.  Back at BYU, on Sundays the world rests with me.

On certain mornings the subways give out free newspapers, therefor everybody reads them.

Audition 3 of 4 for The Voice (China)

Hua Song and Delia, the cute Chinese family I live with.  They are so great, it's ridiculous.  How on earth did I end up in the most ideal of living conditions?

Several aspects of my experience this time in China differ greatly from my last visit to China.  I see children wearing diapers, as where before the kids would just do their thing anywhere, and it was gross.  I will actually see toilet paper in some public restrooms.  The English that I see on signs is actually a lot better this time.  However, I am still able to find some bad English occasionally, so here are a few.

Work is great.  You never know what weird thing you'll end up doing any morning you walk into the office.  

Danica, me, and Sisi riding on Kayaks in China!  This place is called 牛仔俱乐部。


I love being in China so much.  I feel like I fit right in.  The fast paced lifestyle, the high number of people, the opportunities around every corner, and now an internship that allows me give back.  I need to graduate and get out of that place.  Having said that, I know that I was supposed to be there.  BYU was the only university that would hold my transcript for 2.5 years after high school graduation, so I had no choice, but am truly grateful for the experience I've had there and for the stellar education I have received.  It's almost time to move on though, and I'm getting anxious.

Latest Video

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sick At Home, But I'm In China, So It's OK (^_^)Y

So, I'm home sick from work today.  A few days ago my voice was getting really dry and it hurt to sing, let alone talk.  I figured it was allergies, which didn't make me happy.

The Voice Update:
Well, symptoms worsened gradually, my head began to ache a bit and I began to feel a bit tired.  "It's just allergies" I said, or rather “只是过敏的效果吧。” But alas, today my throat is very swollen and I feel very tired.  Now, I have an audition in two days for The Voice in China.  I'm not too worried.  Not because I think I'll get through, but really because I don't see myself going through even without being sick, so yeah.  Saturday they'll narrowing the top 160 in my province (Jiangsu 江苏 population 78,659,903) to 30 people, then on Sunday they're narrowing it down from 30 people to 5.  After that it's the TV rounds.

I live with a Chinese couple!
Me and the fun couple I live with!  (Me, Hua Song, and Delia)  They have a kitten named Gulu.  I like to blow on its face.
I just moved in last night.  I'm still unpacking and stuff.  I'm waaay excited to get to know these two more over the next few months.  What a golden opportunity!  I'm still getting over it.  A woman at work hooked me up, so I jumped on it.  Previously my commute to work was biking or busing, which wasn't ideal.  But now I take the subway, which is great because I can read on it!  I read 3 Nephi 12 while riding it today.  In China we can't proselyte, so never before has verse 16 meant to much to me.  It reads: "16 Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

This month's Beatles album is "The Beatles (white album)" AND a bonus album, "The Magical Mystery Tour".  I love them both!!!  Listening to them now :)  OK, back to China.

I haven't taken my DSLR out yet; I still have a lot of time.  I'm come here often and people watch.  People approach me and get their picture with me.  Then after I speak Chinese to them we exchange numbers a BAM, more friends.  I love this picture.  Not to sound dramatic, but it tells quite a story.  The two walking together, and then the person  who is responsible for casting the shadow and taking the photo, perhaps to capture a feeling of yearning and to illustrate what it is he is lacking.
You know you're in China when...

OK, below you see a panorama.  It was literally taken across the street from where I live.  Every night there are TONS of people here.  I LOVE it!  I love seeing China become more developed.  For instance, the big thing right now is rollerblading.  Many people rent roller blades here and ride around.  They usually not very good.  I love seeing it though.  Chinese people are so cute.  Also, I'm finally beginning to see Chinese people go running.  YES!!!  While many still run in jeans and regular T-shirts, it's a great start for Chinese people.  I run around this lake and pass through this part of the trail.
The building on the left is pretty cool.  We call it 裤子城 which means "Pants City".

I love music.  I don't love Chinese music.  I feel China's music industry just hasn't taken off yet, but it's getting there.  People are starting to recognize what music is good and what music isn't good.  It's normal to hear absolutely terrible music being played on the radio, and no it's not just my opinion.  The instruments and the singers are often waaay off pitch, bad rhythm, etc..  That's why when I saw this guy (see pic below) I was excited.  He was really good!  Also, for a young Chinese person to tell their parents that they want to pursue music is most likely the worst thing that person's parents have ever heard.  This guy is a pioneer for China and I'm proud of him... and his hair rocks.

In China there are HUGE shopping centers everywhere!  I love them all!  Shoot, I love big cities.  Sometimes I'll go to one of the shopping centers and just walk around.

For just $2.44 USA dollars I eat myself full at this great outdoor/indoor massive shopping center.  That big bridge thing behind me is the worlds largest LED screen.  At night it lights up and they show various things on it.  People lay down on the ground and just watch it.
I like where I work.  I get my own desk space and computer.  I have my little work card that I wear around my neck all the time.  I have to swipe it in the elevator in order for the elevator to do anything.  Also, wearing it causes local Chinese people to stare even more, for seeing a foreigner with a local workers card thing is unheard of.  It also says where I work, so they can stalk me if they'd like.
The tall building behind me is the building I currently work at.  Here I am just waiting for the bus to take me home.
My coworkers are so much fun.  They're all Chinese with an exception of myself and two other interns.  The guys in the picture below are all IT guys, so I work with them.  They are so nice to me and always happy.
Left to right:  Coco, Joey, Winnie, Oliver, Vivian, me, Ricky

Before Photoshop
These were taken with my phone.  On Sundays I'll go out and go people watching.  I was peacefully sitting on a bench when I took this picture.
After Photoshop

The first (and only at this point) obviously gay Chinese couple I've seen.  Going out like this is quite a bold move here in China.  I feel bad for them, for it's especially difficult being gay in China.
I got a hair cut.
I find myself taking more videos than I do pictures.  In this day and age I think that's OK, but I still should take more pictures.  I plan on shooting a video with my DSLR at one point, but I'm not sure what it's going to be yet.

Everyday is seriously a new adventure.  I NEVER know where I'll end up or who I'll be with.  I meet strangers all the time who I end up having dinner with and what not.  I love it.  I love people.  My future is still a huge mystery to me.  I have no idea where I'm headed in life, but it doesn't worry me, it excites me.

More adventures to come!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Living In China Part 1 - "The Voice" Second Round! Please Vote!!

I made the next round of "The Voice" here in China!  

list of chinese names 
(copy paste)

Please go to THIS link and vote by following the above instructions :)

So this is what I know.  There is another round this Saturday, but the person who gets the most votes doesn't have to audition, but rather goes straight to the next round, which I believe is on TV.  I doubt I'll get the most votes, for voting is kinda difficult for non-Chinese people.  I'm preparing a song rather.

Now the Chinese love songs that are high and big, even if it's not all that good.  So I'm preparing a song I'd never sing in the states at a competition simply because I don't have the pipes to own it, but I think they'll like it. I'm not going to tell anyone the song I'm singing, but those close to me can probably guess.  

Excuse me for being a diva.  I'm happy to say that I have terrible allergies here.  Worse than Utah.  I'm happy because I'm glad there is enough vegetation here in this huge city to give me allergies.  Luckily I'm used to having allergies, so hopefully I can just sing through them.  We'll see I guess.

That's pretty much it.

Here is a brief video of my beginning adventures here in China :)

 If you'd like to see an episode of The Voice in china from last year then click on THIS link. If you see a smiley face, just wait for the counter in the top-right to hit zero :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

China & My Audition For "The Voice" or 中国好声音

I'm in China again!!!!!  It's still a bit surreal, but I'm loving every second of it.  Chinese people are so much fun!  I'm making friends wherever I go.

View from my current apartment
Once in China I met Ee Chien, another intern at the company I am interning at.  He is way cool!  We're together 24/7, so I've been calling him my 同伴 (companion).  He's from Singapore.

Me and Ee Chien.

I'm interning at the company called Micro Benefits.  They do lots of stuff, but in a nutshell I do this:  Work on smart phone applications that are fun game-like learning activities that will allow factory workers become educated in a certain field enough to leave the factory and find better work.  There's a lot more to the company, but that's the part I work on.
Me at work.

Just after they made the new interns do push-ups.  The two young guys on the right were doing a job-shadow thing.  They're from a local international school.

Tina is a very tall Chinese girl.  She is also a model.  She works at the front desk in our office and does a lot for us.  Ee and I have spent a lot of time with her riding bikes all over the city getting this and that.  She doesn't speak English, so occasionally Ee will turn to and tell me in English how much he wants her all while sitting right next to her.
Tina and I somewhere.  Apparently she has a huge following on Chinese social media.  She posted a few pics of us together and the comments underneath them were many.

She buys flowers for the front desk.
At Micro Benefits we only have about 20 people working or so, and they're/we're all pretty tight.  I absolutely love my co-workers.  They're all Chinese, with an exception of the three interns.  Friday night we went out to karaoke.

Micro Benefits interns and employees.

After finishing karaoke we were leaving the massive shopping center, we saw a large sign:
Me in front of "The Voice" sign, or "中国好声音“的海报。
It was a sign advertising for auditions for "The Voice", (中国好声音).  Ok, something you must realize.  I discovered the Chinese version of the show last year and watched EVERY episode.  I love LOVE it!  Auditions were the next day.  I didn't think much of it.

The next day came.  I'm still getting over jet lag, so I'm waking up at ridiculously early hours.  I woke up and went running around the lake.  I listened to Kelly Clarkson the whole time, it was awesome.  Ee was still asleep, so I set off to do stuff.  I ate breakfast at the bakery, walked to get a bike card, but after waiting in line for a while left because I was bored and I had no money.  I went to a bank, withdrew money, then ate lunch at a mall.  It was the same mall I saw the sign for The Voice.

It was then I decided to audition.  'What should I sing?'  I pulled out my phone and started memorizing the lyrics to David Tao's 暗恋,but quickly realized I didn't have the time to memorize them.  I decided I'd sing Hallelujah.  Most people know that song, and it's a song you can do all sorts of fun things to, so I chose it :)

Auditions started at 1:00, but it was 10:45 and people began lining up.  I jumped in line too.  Behind me was a very cute Chinese girl named Angie who spoke great English because she studied abroad in Georgia.  She hates Georgia.
Angie and me getting ready to audition!

The place began to fill up very quickly.  I had several people taking pictures of me.  I was the only non-Chinese person there.  I honestly didn't care at all about the audition because I didn't see myself making it.  Despite such a mindset, I started getting a little nervous.  So did Angie.
People waiting in line for auditions.  This is but a fraction of all who auditioned.
You would stand in front of two judges and sing.  You would sing until one of the judges held up a sign saying "Yes" or "No".
One of the judges holding up the "No" sign.  This guy through a little fit after he didn't make it.  I have it on video.

So I auditioned and got the good sign.

While filling out the necessary paper work after getting through I was told that I was the first person to get through that day.
I have another audition on May 18th, but that's all I know.

Things are great here in China!  I'll post more later about my work and my living conditions.  I'll edit a video of the footage I've gathered so far, so watch for that.  I'm going to bed now.  See ya!