More on superstitions despite 'net' nuisances
It’s very infuriating for us’ netizens’ in China at the moment as we are all suffering from patchy internet access. Sometimes the net is working, sometimes it isn’t, access to certain foreign websites is blocked especially those concerned with media and video clips like utube. Internet disruptions usually occur when China is in the global media spotlight in a negative way and access to global information is denied to those who reside here. I’ve been trying to post a blog since Wednesday afternoon...
Anyway, I really want to say big thanks for all the comments that you (the readers) post, it takes hard work and time for you all to do it and I appreciate it very much. I’d like to get into conversation with you all about the topics you raise and answer all your questions but I’m not able to do it as thoroughly as I’d like. Hope you all understand.
Leila, here in China the first floor is what we in the UK would call the ground floor so there is often confusion between foreigners from different countries trying to communicate in English.
Tanya, your computer told you that you made a mistake because the sentence should have been written like this ‘Especially if it carries on everyday without exception’. By the way, I understand the horror of imminent exams as I have some next month too and I’m already losing sleep just thinking about them! The best of luck with your exams.
Welcome Mina and Larisa to the blog and actually not all compounds in Beijing have such good facilities as where I live. The privileged foreigners and wealthy Chinese live in places that are well-maintained but the average low-paid Chinese family live in pretty basic and non-luxurious conditions .For example, the lady who does housework for me and babysits Teah when I’m busy lives in the basement of a high-rise building, she has 1 room which is 3 square metres. There is no kitchen and only a shared toilet, no bath or shower facilities and lots of people live in similar conditions.
Monika and Marcella spoke about superstitions in their countries as did Yanko in his last blog, the topic of superstitions seemed to spark a lot of interest even though most people said they don’t believe in such ideas.
I’ll briefly say something about superstitions in the UK so you can compare and contrast with your own. Concerning numbers, it’s 13 that is considered unlucky and Friday 13th is a very unlucky day. I once read that Friday is considered an unlucky day because it is thought that Jesus was crucified on Friday but I’m not sure that this is the origin of the superstition. Passing someone on the stairs is unlucky, so is walking underneath a ladder. In fact, lots of people will deliberately walk around the foot of the ladder rather than walk underneath it! Breaking a mirror in Britain is supposed to bring you 7 years bad luck, opening an umbrella indoors is unlucky and we should never put new shoes on the table if we are superstitious. It’s unlucky to spill salt but you can avoid the bad luck by throwing a pinch of the spilt salt over your shoulder! I’m sure there are other unlucky things and actions but I can’t bring them to mind right now-I don’t believe in superstitions although I must admit I try to avoid doing unlucky things which is a contradiction!
Moving onto things that are lucky, a rabbit’s foot(not so lucky for the poor rabbit ), four-leafed clover and picking up a penny if you find one on the ground anywhere-we even have a saying to accompany this one ‘see a penny, pick it up, and all the day, you’ll have good luck!’. We always ‘touch wood’ for luck too.
A very British superstition is regarding the tame ravens at the Tower of London. It is believed that if the ravens leave the tower, the crown of England will be lost.
Thanks for everyone’s Easter wishes, Easter is only celebrated amongst the foreigners in China and is not a Chinese festival or special occasion. Personally, Easter is not very important to me but I do miss Cadbury’s mini eggs and the myriad of other Easter eggs available in the UK at this time of year!
I'll write more and talk about Yanko's use of 'tag questions' in his last blog tomorrow(fingers crossed the internet will be working!)
infuriating (adj) annoying
netizen (n) person who uses the internet
patchy (adj) uneven
disruption (n) interruptions
global media spotlight something that is an important news story worldwide
imminent (adj) coming very soon
priviledged (adj) in a lucky situation;special advantages
well-maintained (adj) looked after well
spark (v) create or activate a response
deliberately (adv) opposite of accidentally; on purpose
clover (n) Any of various herbs of the genus Trifolium in the pea family, usually having three leaves and dense heads of small flowers
Tame (adj) opposite of wild
myriad (n) many differnet types and kinds
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