BUT!!!!!!!!

“可是”, which means ‘but’, was my filler word in Chinese, until Eva started making fun of me I started to change it. Every time I said 可是 she screamed “BUT!!!!!” Like: “It’s not perfect 可是 we can still go there” “BUT!!!!!” “This thing is that 可是 that thing is this” “BUT!!!!!” “It’s raining 可是 it’s […]

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My first speech in Mandarin

My first speech in Chinese after learning for 3 years with GoEast Mandarin! I didn’t speak perfectly, but I’m pretty satisfied! It’s a bit above my language level, and I rehearsed pretty hard for this, the new vocabulary and sentence structures. This speech was given Saturday 4th of December 2021 in Shanghai — during the […]

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An interview with Shanghai artist Banana

Together with art collective RunShi (润识), GoEast is exhibiting Banana Wang (王香蕉)’s colorful bulldog paintings. Here we sit down with Banana to ask her about her work. Jaap: Do you think art should have a higher meaning or purpose? 你认为你更高的艺术理想是什么? Banana: Hmmm. I want to put myself in the history books. As for the message, […]

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Description + telephone number

Description + telephone. In our increasingly complex society, I really like this type of simple advertising. Three numbers for a 船中介 (Shipping company) in Kunshan — all sorts of things in Beijing — and 有事买 & 打深井 & 卖空调 (Stuff to buy & dig deep & sell air conditioners) in Nantong.

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I’ve seen the future of China and it’s in Kunshan

Kunshan is where the high-speed way train stops to unload passengers, where people refuel their car, or where an English teacher first starts working in China before realizing there’s nothing to do there and moves to a better place. Kunshan’s biggest benefit is often described as; “well, it’s close to Shanghai”, or; “yeah, there is […]

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Spitting on the ground

Most talk about cultural differences is pretty superficial. So in the Netherlands, it’s rude to keep your coat on while visiting people’s home, while Chinese people don’t like to shake hands as much as Dutch people do — let alone how French or Italian people touch cheeks. You should not wear a green hat in […]

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Three language poem

I was watching Scott & Ella from Fragrant Mandarin in this video where Ella speaks Mandarin and Scott simply replies in English. It felt so natural. I looked for multi-language poems but could find nothing. Then I used the article ‘Heem‘ because it’s short, simple sentences and the meaning fits this nicely. I tweaked it […]

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God and Three architectural committees

When I pushed open the gate he said the church was closed, but when I replied in Mandarin he became more welcome to me: “Ok, have a look”. We spoke about churches in the Netherlands, and I told him that in the middle of every Dutch village, no matter how small, stands a church. I […]

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Writing on China

Most sports journalists ask dumb questions, like they’ll ask an athlete “Do you look forward to the match?” — and travel writing often lacks specifics, stacking superlatives: “The waterfall was amazing, and the forest stunningly beautiful.” Each way of writing or topic has its own problems. China writing is often caught in one of two […]

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Champions Day review

This book is insane. It tells about the races held at Shanghai in the 19th and 20th century, even going into details of which specific movies played in which cinema and at which time, and what specific people wore at days of the races. Yet it is not all fluff; the overload of details’ purpose […]

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