Tag Archives: chinese

gan lan xu

One day last month or a few months ago, Jenny and I were in her car and she said “Judy, do you know what genre of music I just discovered? Taiwanese folk music. I really like it.” I thought she meant like… OLD folk music, like the stuff we used in chinese dance, but she meant the folk movement in taiwan in the 70s and 80s.

So she played me this song:

don’t ask me whence i came
my home is far, far away.
why wander so far?

for the little birds flying carefree in the big sky
for the small streams flowing clear and blue from the mountaintops
for the grass fields swept across the wide steppes
i wander so far.

and… also…
for the olive trees in my dreams.
don’t ask me whence i came…
my hometown is far, far away.

why do you wander so far?
for the olive trees that i see in my dreams.

I love this song very much. Here are the lyrics in chinese after the jump. Lisa, I’m thinking of you when I do this detailed writeup. Continue reading gan lan xu

note-taking: chinese soap operas

I am looking for the chinese soap opera that everybody’s parents watched when we were in elementary school/jr high. It was a historical one, about a princess whose name sounded vaguely like “2nd fish” and had an old guy with a moon on his forehead. Please. One of you has to know what it’s called and how I can get it. Please?

And then there was one where there were these torture scenes where a dude had bamboo sticks stuck through his fingers and then they were laced together, crushing his fingers.

And then there was one where there were all these devices to behead someone, like those scary paper cutter things except a lot bigger. And there were ones shaped for different animals. I asked my mom wtf was going on and she explained that like tiger was for a certain level of official and then this other animal (dragon? i dunno i can’t remember) was for beheading the emperor. I asked my mom why the crap someone would have to behead the emperor and didn’t get an answer. This is why I would like to watch this series again.

And then there was another one that we watched in Taiwan one summer. It was a modern one. It had this angel, who came down from heaven, and she fell in love with this dude, and she worked some kind of miracle or someone worked some kind of miracle and first she was blinded, and then she was unblinded. And there were two guardian-type angels that were responsible for the young woman angel’s behavior, and they were punished by the scary heaven gods for letting her fall in love with the human man. Anyway much later they got married and had a baby. And then an evil woman-god came in the guise of a human woman and put a blanket on the baby and suffocated it, making it look like the human man’s older daughter killed the new baby (she did nothing of the sort) to breed discontent in the family.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Pearl is totally one. I remember the name “something something ge ge” because I was so confused because “ge ge” sounds like “older brother” but in this name they were different words, that meant princess or something. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMm… that’s a start

intensely fascinating article in ny times magazine about chinese gold farmers in world of warcraft.

Interesting tidbits:

Nick Yee, an M.M.O. scholar based at Stanford, has noted the unsettling parallels (the recurrence of words like “vermin,” “rats” and “extermination”) between contemporary anti-gold-farmer rhetoric and 19th-century U.S. literature on immigrant Chinese laundry workers.

Min’s English is not good enough to grasp in all its richness the hatred aimed his way. But he gets the idea. He feels a little embarrassed around regular players and sometimes says he thinks about how he might explain himself to those who believe he has no place among them, if only he could speak their language. “I have this idea in mind that regular players should understand that people do different things in the game,” he said. “They are playing. And we are making a living.”

I spoke to someone in Chinese once, over a year ago, in Winterspring. He lived in China and had been “playing” for a year. I assume he was a gold farmer, but he didn’t say so explicitly. He did say that he was 22 and was trying to get money because he’d just spent a year in jail.

And last week I killed an orc fury warrior who I’m sure was a bot 10 or more times. It was farming motes of water. It finally hearthed.

Blizzard cracked down on goldfarmers, banning 50,000 accounts belonging to farmers, bringing “the exchange rate rocketing from a low of 6 cents per gold coin last spring to a high of 35 cents in January.” On banning farmers’ accounts rather than the buyers’ accounts:

As Mark Jacobs, vice president at Electronic Arts and creator of the classic M.M.O. Dark Age of Camelot, put it: “Are you going to get more sympathy from busting 50,000 Chinese farmers or from busting 10,000 Americans that are buying? It’s not a racial thing at all. If you bust the buyers, you’re busting the guys who are paying to play your game, who you want to keep as customers and who will then go on the forums and say really nasty things about your company and your game.”

So what do you do, as a player? Mock people who buy gold? Refuse to associate with them? Someone once told me, “All the guild hunters have bought gold at some point.” Sigh.

And the most fascinating part of the article: on page 6, where a farming company trained 40 employees to go through raid dungeons. The business model was to bring paying players on their runs, and sell the loot for real money. It failed due to lack of customers. Reasons for this would be obvious: the raiding elite is just that… elite. Everyone knows each other, knows the guilds that are making endgame progression, knows where everyone stands. If you weren’t in a raiding guild and had a chromatically tempered blade, everyone would know you’d bought it from the chinese farmer raid guild, and everyone would mock you. And there’s no point for raid epics if you’re not skilled or dedicated enough for a raiding guild… you get better gear from raids for the sole purpose of being able to do harder raids. Hahahaha. You do raids for the sole purpose of fun: it’s fun to hang out with these people you’ve befriended over the internet, it’s fun to learn the boss fights, it’s fun to take part in something that was a group effort and achievement.

What a bizarre “play meets work” dynamic. Everybody already says things like “WoW is like a job that you don’t get paid for,” and there are legendary raid leaders from other servers that are cruel, cruel taskmasters. Imagine having a raid leader like that, except he’s also your boss and giving you a wage. How bizarre.