Confession time. When we were at Tianjin University the other day, some students had a big white banner with something written on it, and student signatures were scrawled all over it. When we walked by one of them approached us: “Excuse me. We now are having this activity. Can we have your autograph?” They were celebrating the 30th anniversary of the re-opening of the university (the restarting of the national entrance exams I think) after the Cultural Revolution. Since we’re big fans of education we said OK, but I signed it Wayne Gretzky.
Today after a culture lecture in the morning I went for a haircut on a street corner. It was actually a lot of fun. The guy was really friendly and talkative, and the 7 or so people that gathered around to watch and chat were really friendly, too. It’s a good deal; language practice and a haircut for 39 cents! He had more English than the average Old Hundred Names, and claims he learned it
from the radio. He officially welcomed me to China in English — it was kind of cute. It got funny when he started replying to the Chinese speakers in English: “You are right.” “Three yuan.” “Excuse me.” It got even funnier when they started teaching me old slogans, like: “Study hard for the revolution!” and “The working class is the highest class!” The haircut itself got a mixed review from Jessica, but I gotta go back to that guy. The photos are of the people who stuck around to watch the 老外 get his hair cut. It felt kind of weird that they didn’t ask my name and so I didn’t ask any of theirs, especially with all the questions flying around in the conversation. I’ll make a point to ask him next time I go by.
This weekend’s slogan comes with a bonus Inspiration Thought, which I found on a fish tank in the lobby of our old apartment building:
Yearning for the ocean, sailing to the ocean and embracing the ocean, Enriched concentration shapes a wide expanse of Secret Ocean and forms a vast land of fortune
I think Koreans made the fish tank… here’s the photo.
And here’s this weekend’s slogan. This weekend would’ve been a twofer, but no one, including our teachers, knows what that last character is in yellow. These banners are right near the JHF office.
zūn shǒu shè huì gōng dé, wéi hù gōng gòng wèi shēng
“Observe social ethics, uphold public hygiene!”