Just the other day, my father and I were riding bikes by Wenzao, the local University when all of a sudden we saw the strangest thing: A man was riding a motorcycle followed by a goat, and a woman had a goose on her motorcycle.
When the man and the woman got to the same stoplight that we were waiting at, the man got off his bike to try to coax the goat to get on the motorcycle too. Naturally, the goat was not thrilled by this idea and took careful measures (mostly just running and bucking) to avoid the man.
At this point, the woman decided to get off her motorcycle to help the man, but as every body knows, one should never leave a goose unattended. So the goose, suddenly free, raised its wings, hissed, and headed strait for the goat.
Not wanting to get in between two "domestic" animals, my father and I rode away, but not before noticing that the goose had Mickey mouse socks on.

Happy New Year!


Today in calligraphy class I was talking to the kid next to me (Kevin) about his cell phone. The phone, like all modern telephones this device could type and send written messages, and in order to create Chinese characters it had ju-ing fu-hao, essentially a "Chinese alphabet". This series of sounds is used to teach children how to read the characters, and in this case it is utilized to type them.
"Be, pe, me, fe, de, te, ne, le," I read across the line of buttons and getting stuck, looked at him.
"I forgot them," he said.
I was momentarily shocked, these ju-ing fu-hao are the equivalent of our Latinate alphabet, and in the minds of Indo-European language speaker, the letters of the alphabet came almost as naturally as speaking. Not only would it be a calamitous inconvenience to forget one's script, it would be nearly impossible to do. This moment of surprise quickly evaporated when I realized that once a child learns a certain number of characters, the ju-ing fu-hao suddenly become irrelevant.
Now, in retrospect, I regard my surprise a being fairly stupid. But it did teach me something: two cultures are not necessarily parallel. As I stated earlier, I regarded the ju-ing fu-hao as being parallel to our Latinate alphabet, but the former as no practical purpose other than education.
After my original comparison for Chinese and Western writing systems was proved to be inadequate, I wonder how many other comparisons people have drawn may be equally so...