When reading or studying, I sometimes come across a word that I don’t know or have never even seen before. Of course, I look it up in a dictionary so that I understand what it means and so that I’ll remember for next time I come across the same word. Today I read a fabulous sounding word which is ‘echolalia’!! It’s my word of the day and means 'the exact repetition of others’ speech'.
Well we are in mid February now; Chinese New Year and Valentines Day are over so what is there to look forward to now? It’s all a bit flat with no holidays or special days on the horizon until Mothers day in March and then Easter. Are there any holidays or celebrations coming up in Russia Nastya? On Thursday, it’s my Nan’s 85th birthday. I’m just deciding what to send her for her birthday; I usually order something for her online and get it delivered. I have to rack my brains this year to think what present she would like, what do you need or want when you are 85? That’s a ripe old age isn’t it; hope I make it that far! I’ll write more about my Nan on her birthday later in the week. Do you have grandparents Anastasia? You haven’t mentioned much about your family so far.
Whilst crawling around Beijing in a taxi over the weekend (traffic jams and congestion everywhere again), I precariously hung out of the window to take a couple of photos to show you all the developments taking place here. Even though the Olympics is very close and starts in August, the city is still half building site. Construction is taking place everywhere and it’s been like this for years.
Old buildings have been razed to the ground of late to make room for new super-buildings and skyscrapers. The face of Beijing had changed dramatically and is still changing. There are some really unusual, amazing and beautifully designed buildings around and everything is on a grand-scale. The phrase ‘concrete jungle' is apt when talking about this city.
Although progress and development are good, I often reminisce about the sights and sounds of Beijing when I first arrived in 1997. It had a much stronger ‘Chinese’ ambiance back then and a lot more character; there was something interesting on every street corner. Although it’s more foreigner-friendly, modern and similar to other Asian capitals now, I feel it has lost some of its charm. I’m not so excited to see the spread of Starbucks and McDonalds across the city and the gleaming, up-market shopping malls selling Gucci and Prada as these things seem so bland. It was Beijing’s uniqueness that I used to love. On the flip side, many people prefer the modernised Beijing so it’s all a matter of taste I guess.
Anastasia, the Yamal peninsula where you worked, looks like my idea of hell! Bitterly cold, snow everywhere and totally isolated, that description sends a shiver down my spine! That kind of place would be a total culture shock for me and having no shopping possibilities whatsoever is unimaginable for a shopaholic like me! I think the seclusion and quiet would be nice for a week or two but after that I would go stir crazy!!
That’s all folks! (for today)
PS. So glad we discovered that we are both hairy armpit girls!
a bit flat not very exciting
on the horizon coming in the future
rack my brains think really hard
congestion (n) full, overcrowded with traffic
precariously (adv) unsteady, unsafely
razed (v) completely destroyed
apt (v) suitable, fitting
reminisce (v) recall past experience and events with pleasure
ambiance (n) atmosphere
to lose its charm to lose the interesting features and attractive qualities
gleaming (adj) shining
bland (adj) uninteresting
on the flip side on the other hand
shopaholic (n) someone who really loves shopping and goes often
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