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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Learning about China (part 2)

chinamapOk, here 'tis. Part 2 of my efforts to learn about China. This one focuses on the technical details, so I don't embarrass TubaDad by saying things in public like "Singapore is in China, right?" He's much better about that than I am. But what the heck, I can't be the only person who doesn't know this stuff, so here goes. What Is Or Isn't Part of China: Hong Kong is part of China, and so are Tibet and Inner Mongolia. (Can you even imagine getting an adoption referral from Inner Mongolia?! It happens...) Singapore is not part of China. What Happened with Hong Kong? In 1982 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Britain, met with Deng Xiaopeng, leader of China. They signed an agreement to hand Hong Kong from the UK over to China. The people of Hong Kong were never consulted about their future. Yeesh. Bonus Trivia Question #1: China is bordered by 14 countries. How many can you name without reading any else's guess? Distance: China is located on the opposite side of the World from the United States. (Digging to China -- get it?) It's 5938 miles from San Francisco, CA to Beijing according to this web site. (When I was trying to look up the distance, I asked TubaDad what I should search for on Google, and he said with a straight face "just put it in MapBlast." And I almost did. Doh! What a smartass.) Bonus Trivia Question #2: What fun treat was invented in China around 2000 BC? (Remember, don't peek at anyone else's guess until you've entered yours.) Capital: Ok, you might think it's Shanghai, but no, it's Beijing. (I actually would have gotten that one right in Trivial Pursuit, but it's still worth mentioning.) Naming: China was named by Europeans for the ancient Ch'in Dynasty. Bonus Trivia Question #3: Do you know what any of these popular Chinese proverbs mean? 1. No wind, no waves. 2. A tiger's head and a snake's tail. 3. An inch of time is an inch of gold but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold. 4. Aged ginger is more pungent. Time: China, the fourth largest country in the world, is big enough to have several time zones, but only has one. (Funky -- can you imagine if the U.S. did that? I've added a clock in the gray sidebar up near our picture to show what time it is in China right now.) They're Not Just Called Cities: TubaDad keeps insisting on this, so I looked it up, and he's right for Pete's sake. Administratively, China is divided into the following:
  • 22 or 23 Provinces: Administrative divisions of China. * Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunan, Zhejiang, and, depending on who you talk to, Taiwan
  • 5 Autonomous Regions: Province-level divisions with a designated ethnic minority and more rights than provinces. * Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Tibet (Xizang), Xinjiang
  • 4 Municipalities: The highest-ranked cities in China. * Beijing (Peking), Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin
  • 2 Special Administrative Regions (SARs): Based on the concept of "one country, two systems," completely different social systems (socialist and capitalist) and ideologies can coexist. * Hong Kong, Macao
Bonus Trivia Question #4: China is the world's number 1 producer and consumer of what edible item? Presidential Info: You knew they had a president in China, right? (Of course, um, me too.) In China, the president is appointed for a 5-year term by the Parliament. The govt is formed by the Zhongguo Gongchandang (The Chinese Communist Party). On 15 March, 2003 Hu Jintao became the new president of China, relieving Jiang Zemin. Well that's all for now. There will be a quiz later. ;-) The update on the ankle is that we went to the hospital yesterday and got it x-rayed (after MAJOR cajoling by TubaDad and mom and despite the fact that dad agreed with me that it was unnecessary since no bones were actually protruding from the skin). So the good news is that it's not broken anywhere, but the bad news is that it's sprained, which the doctor said is actually worse in terms of pain and healing time. Bleh. They did give me a futuristic-looking aircast, which keeps it from twisting the wrong way, and that's nice. And they were so incredibly nice there, every single person that we worked with, from the front desk to the xray technician to the exceedingly cute male nurse (a murse! hee!) to the doctor. Wow. If you live in the Bay Area and get hurt, slip the ambulance driver a twenty and tell him to take you to El Camino hospital. ***To see the Bonus Trivia Question answers, highlight the following blank lines with your mouse. Make sure you don't peek at these answers until you've made at least one guess in the comments section. You won't be able to live with yourself if you don't. *grin* Highlight from here: #1: China is bordered by Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. #2: It's believed that a kind of ice-cream was invented in China very early on when a milk and rice mixture was frozen by packing it into snow. #3: "No wind, no waves" means if there's no smoke there's no fire. "A tiger's head and a snake's tail" means a good beginning but a bad ending. "An inch of time is an inch of gold but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold" means that time is more valuable than money. "Aged ginger is more pungent" means that older items and people are more valuable. #4: China is the world’s number 1 producer and consumer of pork! to here.