Globalization – My Way

Diesen Artikel gibt es ohne Ausschweife gegen Ende, bereits in DEUTSCH (siehe ‘Globalisierung – My Way’ vom 23.03.08). Ansonsten einfach mal Woerterbuch hernehmen und einmal wieder das Englisch auffrischen. Uebrigens wuerde ich das auch heute ueber 2 Jahre spaeter zu 100 % unterschreiben…

The other day (March 2008) the topic of our english course was globalization. Globalization – global, positive and from my point of view – we all move a bit closer together and everybody is in reach and this funny thing called Internet contributed a major part.

But hold the horses! My globalization began in elementary school. In my village ‘Rittersgruen’ (knight’s green – thank you heffi) the neighboring village ‘Poehla’ seemed incredible far away. Wow – I thought, all my friends travel a long way by bus each day and my horizon covered maybe half the village. How could I’ve known? Riding the bike to Poehla? Take the bus? Alone? It’s at least 500000 km away (in reality 5 km) that’s for sure a daytrip.
But globalization finds his way. And then somehow the day came, were I toke the bus (wait for it) – alone. I found out the world didn’t end behind the ‘Hammerberg’ (world’s end for some Rittersgruen citizens and in reality the hillside of Rittersgruen). From this moment on, the citizens of the neighboring village, the friends and their parents and all the more or less friendly busman where added to my own little world. Then you get to know the whole administrative district – an hour via bus! And then… you don’t know anyone – I mean you know people that know people from the administrative district or let’s say ‘Schwarzenberg’ or that aunt that is so nice to you every other birthday of your cousins. Then you take this giant leap and you take the bus to Schwarzenberg or (not for the faint-hearted) you ride the bike (a weekendtrip and in reality an hour). The own world grows. Then one decides to attend the gymnasium (the school – for my fellow foreign readers) in Schwarzenberg and this enormous world becomes familiar and out of the sudden – you are someone that knows someone from the administrative district.

With a lack of monetary sponsoring by your parents and the lack of a moped license this world you oblige to the things you just got to know. ‘Leipzig’, ‘Dresden’, ‘Au In Der Hallertau’, ‘Belgern’ und ‘Arendsee’? Familiar but comparable to trips that Marco Polo would do and in reality known from various vacations. Then there is the day the ink on your drivers license runs dry and you are an adult (yes, in that order, that fast)! Your world grows again, then shrinks and you can handle whole Germany as your world (for me I add the Czech Republic, at least parts of it) and you see yourself driving to concerts in Berlin or wherever and it all seems familiar.

Everything is possible. Within hours you can reach ‘Berlin’, ‘Zwickau’, ‘Leipzig’, ‘Dresden’, whatever – you name it. You are allowed to know people from everywhere, anywhere and you can visit them. What a wonderful world.
Then you get an internet connection (not your DSL or highspeed line you’re sitting in front of) a I-am-slightly-faster-than-ISDN-wireless-connection and you can talk to the world. And what does the world in the meantime? That asshole? [sic!] It talks to you – slowly or not at all. And by world, I don’t mean my world, I mean the brave new world, that is Web 2.0, facebook, StudiVZ, MySpace – you name it.

I mean there are a lot of my friends, people I know, schoolfellows, colleagues and people that are more or less worth to know them (sometimes even ‘Zombies’ – in reality people that you forgot about, with a reason and that rise from their graves to haunt your new life or ask you questions they could answer themselfs if they could read your profile page).
And what happens after a long session of being online or not being online, being visible or invisible to them? Nothing. Or let’s say – not very much. Web 2.0 you asshole, I rather visit my real life friends and stay in contact with them (even if I have to use you – sometimes) because those friends from the shiny web world don’t listen to the music their profile pages say, they don’t like everything and in real life they never quote those wise guys from their pages nor do they really know how those wise guys are.
‘Web 2.0 is to socializing what masturbation is to sex…’ (without saying that masturbation is a lot of fun, from time to time and time to time again)

Update 2010 (in addition to all the updates I hid in the translation)

And now – I find myself in China, I know people from all over the world. I am going to Canada in 2011 and I am a citizen of the world and there are only a few things that alienate me and I still use the tools that I sometimes despise, but since I know how to block or delete people or simply don’t react, without caring too much for all the Zombies…
It simply is fun and a thought from me about Globalization’.

Amen! Greeting to my friends, family and zombies…

3 Months, 3 Songs

3 months left in China, it makes me a bit sad and on the other hand I am looking forward to the old/new world that awaits me. I am curious. What has changed? What remained? Is my new ‘me’ still fitting in? Will I feel misplaced?
3 months left to get my body back in shape (and I seem to be on a good way) and 3 months left to put all the pictures in my mind and my hard drive in order. 3 months to soak all the experiences in and absorb them to create a better me.

Yesterday 3 songs made the difference between a standard show in the German pavilion and a remarkable one. Before one show, a photographer told us, the Chinese Expo is so different from the German Expo 10 years before and the people are so much easier to be impressed, he said ‘you could basically imitate a strange bird and they will laugh’ – I wouldn’t agree 100% but part of it is true and I would love to see more people smile about the little things. Yesterday the sphere didn’t work in one show and the music was missing in the last part of the show. After the awkward 5 seconds of staring at the things that go wrong, I proposed to sing a song. I sang ‘Ming Ming Bai Bai Wo De Xin’ (a really old song from Jackie Chan) and the crowd loved it and completed my missing words. They demanded another song and I sang ‘Dui Mian De Nu Hai Kan Guo Lai’ (a Taiwanese happy pop song from Richie Ren) and finished with a Chinese children song ‘Xiao Yanzi’ (little swallow). The hosts and hostesses applauded and told me that people told them it was a great show and I felt the same, although I am not willing to do that in every show.

In deutsch:

Ich habe noch 3 Monate hier in China, 3 Monate um wieder fit zu werden (und ehrlich gesagt bin ich auf einem guten Weg), 3 Monate um Fotos und Eindruecke auf der Festplatte und in meinem Kopf zu sortieren. 3 Monate um zu wachsen. 3 Monate um alles aufzusaugen was um mich herum passiert und mich zu verbessern. 3 Monate um als eine geupdatete Version nach Deutschland zurueckzukommen.

3 Lieder haben dagegen vielen Chinesen eine spezielle Show im deutschen Pavilion beschert. Ein Photograph meinte, da er auch die Expo 2000 in Hannover fotografierte, dass die Chinesen einfach leicht zu begeistern sind, man koenne einen Vogel imitieren und sie wuerden lachen, ich stimme nicht zu 100% zu, aber waere die Welt nicht ein besserer Platz wenn jeder ueber so kleine Sachen lachen wuerde? Die Kugel ist ausgefallen und hat keine Musik mehr gespielt und nach den 5 Sekunden in die Luft starren entschied ich, da ein Mangel an Hintergrundmusik herrschte, einfach zu singen. Gesagt, getan. Ich startete mit ‘Ming Ming Bai Bai Wo De Xin’ (einem alten Jackie Chan Hit), wurde aufgefordert einen weiteren Song zu singen ‘Dui Mian De Nu Hai Kan Guo Lai’ (Richie Ren’s taiwanesischen Superhit und schloss mit ‘Xiao Yanzi’ (‘kleine Schwalbe’ – einem Kinderlied) ab. Die Hosts und Hostessen waren begeistert und die Besucher bedankten sich im Nachhinein fuer die besondere Show.

Sorry Maggie Cheung

I know they promised you a highly emotional show in the German Pavilion, but we had technical difficulties in exactly the show you were supposed to see. I am sorry – I would have given my best.

In recent days I started writing in English and since I use way more English than German – I start to think different, also the case with my Chinese. I already dream English and I allow myself to speak a bit slower in English than in German. I love English – very much and I will miss the 24/7 use in Germany, but why do I write about that?

Germany is the country of dubbed movies, everything is dubbed and some series and movies are superb dubbed (House MD, The Dark Knight) and some are okay dubbed and some are badly dubbed, without reaching the point of dubs in (let’s say) Egypt (one guy speaks all the roles and explains on top of the original voices).

A guy in the comments of the movie review blog www.fuenf-filmfreunde.de said something pretty clever (I find). He says, as much as he likes the German language (I also like it) it’s not a living language. All the strict rules and the urge to definitely not include youth language or the antipathy towards all influences from the foreign languages. And yes, when I watch House MD, as much as like his German voice, there are things that get lost on the way and in English it feels more lively. I can’t imagine a doctor in Germany using the same kind of language House uses to colleagues and patients. Without boundaries they make use of their language and it feels different. In that case better and since I heard some English dubs on Chinese or Hongkongnese movies, I am glad that there is still the option to watch the movie in the original language with subtitles (and there I don’t care if it is English or German – depends on the people I watch it with).

Just my two cents and again ‘sorry Maggie Cheung’.

The Day My Friendliness Comes In Handy

As you know, or may not know I am working in the German Pavilion at the 2010 World EXPO in Shanghai. I’m doing a show inside, wearing an ugly shirt. So far some of my friends saw me and the show is pretty impressive. The third protagonist is a big sphere (1,25t in weight) with 400 000 LEDs all around, that reacts to sounds. Anyway, today the German president is visiting the German Pavilion, it is the German National Day at the EXPO, when the president is here, I have a break and I was asked to do the show, but since it is my break, I don’t really want to, it is not that the president is a close friend of mine. I hope he enjoys the show. I am pushed right now, I had a great show with a lot of kindergarten kids – I love kids, they screamed there hearts out and I apologized for speaking English all the time after the show – just great.
The show before was even better and something happened. There is a moment in the show, when a huge eye appears on the screen and it chooses the loudest group in the room, after that the audience (with our help) brings the sphere in a swinging motion chanting ‘he’ and ‘ho’ and in that very moment I heard someone shouting ‘SeDe’ again and again (SeDe is one of my Chinese names) and I took a quick glance and noticed a familiar face, although I didn’t know exactly where to put it. That women tried to give my something, but I had to go on with the show, so I just did what I learned to do, acted my way through the show and whilst thinking about where to put that known face.
After the show the women came to me and I knew where to put that face, it is a women that works in the Fake Market at Nanjing East Road and I brought all the friends that visited me here to show them her little shop. She paints fans and carves names in stones or stamps and knows a little English. I don’t have to bargain in her shop and she made beautiful pieces for my friends and last time she told me that she likes to visit the EXPO and she knew I am working there.
She thanked me for the show and handed me a fan with my chinese name, flowers and a poem – I didn’t know what to say besides ‘thank you very, very much’ and honestly that touched me way more, than the german president.
This was so random and so touching that I just have to tell it my dear readership… Thank you for that coincidence and thinking about me. Wow! I feel amazing…

Uebersetzung mit Verzug:

Bundespraesident Koehler war da, in China, in Shanghai und im deutschen Pavilion – ich sollte die Show machen, war mir aber nicht so wichtig weil vorher was viel besseres passiert ist, ist ja nicht so, dass ich den Koehler persoenlich kenne, ich hoffe er hatte trotzdem viel Spass. Vorher war eine deutsche Kindergartengruppe da und ich habe Zwerge noch nie lauter schreien hoeren. Normalerweise treiben wir die Leute an ihre Energie zu geben und all diese kleinen Menschen haben einfach soviel Energie erzeugt, dass wir total gehypt waren. In der Show davor passierte etwas noch Interessanteres, denn hinter mir erschien ein bekanntes Gesicht (welches ich nicht gleich zuordnen konnte) und mein Name wurde gerufen (‘SeDe’), was den Zufall etwas verstaerkt ist, dass es eine Show war, die garnicht mir und meiner Partnerin gehoerte, denn wir waren etwas zu frueh und nett zu unseren Mitprotagonisten. Das bekannte Gesicht versuchte mir etwas zu geben, aber ich hatte ja meine Show zu spielen – es gelang mir trotzdem ab und an zu winken und zu zwinkern. Nach der Show kam die junge Frau auf mich zu und es viel mir wie Schuppen von den Augen – die Fakemarktverkaeauferin aus der Nanjing East Road, zu der ich alle meine Besucher gebracht habe und die wunderschoene Faecher bemalt und Stempel graviert und 10 Sekunden spaeter hielt ich einen Faecher mit Blumen, einem Gedicht und meinem Namen in den Haenden, mir fiel nicht mehr viel ein ausser ‘Danke’ zu sagen. Ueberwaeltigt von der Power der Kinder (bei denen ich mich nach der Show entschuldigte nur englisch zu sprechen) und dem zuckersuessen Geschenk, war mir das alles mehr wert, als ein Besuch des Bundespraesidenten (Entschuldigung Herr Koehler, wenn ich sie persoenlich kennen wuerde waere das anders und ich hoffe Sie hatten Ihre Freude, meine Kollegen zeigen die Show nur geringfuegig anders als ich und meine Partnerin).

Songpeople And Albumpeople

I just read that with all the mp3s, iPods, digital music culture or let’s call it music 2.0 we lose the sense for audio quality and when schoolkids listen to their mp3s with high pitched handy speakers, I could go apeshit. If you like music, no – let’s say you love music, you can’t bear this shit quality and you rather wait for the moment you can listen to your favorite tunes on a reasonable stereo or maybe your car radio. I can wait for my music and I sometimes listen to a full album, I like to collect albums and listen to them as one big song – sometimes it is easy to tell if a artist is really good, if there are 16 songs on a album and just 2 are good, it is most likely a shitty artist, if all songs are just average, then it makes him (in my eyes) a better artist the the 2 hit artist. I can’t understand why people can’t find time or even try to listen to a whole album. Let’s compare it to a good meal, 2 weeks ago I had a huge (medium-rare) t-bone steak, potatoes, beans and salad – the whole meal is the album and there are parts (let’s face it) no one can eat – bones (yeah, yeah – there are people eating lightbulbs, airplanes and shit, but for my metaphor, please ignore those people) and there are things that some people don’t like as much as others (me, I like the meat, salad, beans, potatoes – in that order) a vegetarian would have a different order and so on. If I would be a song person, I would just eat a small part out of my steak and the rest I can’t even smell, taste or look at, I ignore it, that’s what a lot of people do, with songs, not meals. Song people, can’t you even try the rest of the meal and then say you don’t like the cook? I never understood the fact that there are Singles, I mean, yes, ‘2 Unlimited’ repeated the same song over and over and if you know ‘No Limits’ you know all there work, but consider at least, that if you like this particular song, maybe there are songs you like as much as this on there album and that’s easier then looking for a similar artist.

And… people that like everything – fuck you! (excuse my explicit language, I just watched the documentary ‘FUCK – The Documentary’ – i like the sound, the word and all the different meanings it can have)
Are you trying to tell me you like Dave Matthews Band, Lady GaGa, Despised Icon, Waking The Cadaver, Manowar, Explosions In The Sky, Slipknot, Leonard Cohen, Suicide Silence, Marc Cohn, Mercenary, East 17, Bach and Heaven Shall Burn? Then you are very close to my taste in music and you are honest (East 17, Manowar, Bach and Waking The Cadaver in one sentence), but you (- for fucks sake – ) don’t like everything.

If you still think you like everything, then never complain about music anywhere – you just lost that right, if you are a song person – please tell me why – I’d love to learn something.

Nachtrag: hab ich doch glatt die deutsche Kurzversion vergessen…

Es geht mir um Leute die entweder einzelne Songs moegen oder komplette Alben anhoeren (zu letzterer Gattung zaehle ich), sei es weil Ihnen die Zeit fehlt oder die Geduld. Ich meine nur einzelne Songs anzuhoeren ist nicht die Wuerdigung die bestimmte Kuenstler verdient haetten, wer nimmt sich den noch Zeit und hoert ein Album eins Gesamtkonzept, denn auch wenn manche speziell als solche gekennzeichnet sind, ist doch jedes ein Gesamtkonzept und Kunstwerk. Ich bin dafuer sich mehr mit Musik zu beschaeftigen und ruhig einem Kuenstler einen mit einem Song begeistern kann, die Chance zu geben das mit anderen der seinigen genauso zu tun.
Dann hab ich noch ein bisschen rumgemeckert wie doof (ich hab ‘fuck’ verwendet – gibt leider kein schoenes deutsches Aeqivalent) ich Menschen finde deren Musikgeschmack aus: “ich mag alles” besteht, hab dann diverse Kuenstler die ich mag aufgezaehlt die unterschiedlicher nicht sein koennen und dich ich doch alle mag und ich wette, jeder Alleshoerer findet mindestens einen Kuenstler der meinigen, die derjenige nicht mag!

Happy Mothersday

Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake would call their idea for mothersday, their ‘second best idea that they ever had’, me, I wouldn’t pull something like that off. Mr. T would sing ‘treat yo’ momma right’ and so everyone tries to express their version of love. I love my mother too and hereby: ‘Happy Mothersday! I love you!’, time flies by and soon we can see us and talk without a skype-connection that (somehow automatically after 10 minutes) gets worse and worse (probably because the Chinese officials are so into our ‘this and that happend in the meantime’).
Chinese Mama: ‘Happy Mothersday!’
Mum II: ‘Happy Mothersday!’
Susan: ‘Happy Mothersday!’
Celebrate the day, feel kissed and hugged and thank you. In 3 months I could use Ozzys words (‘Mama, I’m coming home’) but home is where heart is and my heart can teleport pretty fast. If you ask me where my home is, I would now say – Shanghai, China, in 4 months it will be *hmprf* Zwickau (I will probably say Rittersgruen) and in 10 months from now it will be Montreal, Canada and there are already people waiting (thank you for that).

Sorry for all my friends on facebook, I can’t send friendrequests, can’t write on walls, can’t read or answer messages. Thank you People’s Republic Of China, you just lost a shitload of face.

Treat your mother right and stay tuned…

Alles Gute Zum Muttertag liebe Mutti, Mum II, chinesische Mama und Susan!
(Haha! Die deutsche Version wird sogar die Lesefaulen bedienen.)

Expo And Cultural Differences

As you all should know – the Expo did start and I am a proud member of the gang with the greencard (by greencard I mean the green participant-card). This card allows me to walk through the staff entrance, stand longer in line than visitors and thanks to my caucasian look it allows me to enter the American and Canadian Pavilion without standing in line.
The German Pavilion is all about content, art and cities in balance and balancity (self explanatory not a huge difference to the second last point). There are famous products, brands, all the states of the Federal Republic of Germany and all the way through – Jens and Yanyan, a couple that is to be seen throughout the pavilion and explains and introduces their cultures to each other. I’m one out of 5 Jens’ and it’s fun so far. In the final room the visitors (justice isn’t absent, cause in front of the German Pavilion they have to wait longer than me) can see Jens and Yanyan in persona and watch a show in which they can interact with a 1,25t ball that hangs from the ceiling and shows movies with it’s 400 LEDs. Fun! And I am part of it.
The U.S. of A. uses a different approach they lead visitors through 3 cinemas that show (perfectly done) videos. First video is Americans trying to speak Chinese. They fail in a cute way and get better and better and gather all the sympathies that a 5 minute video could gather – there’s also Kobe Bryant and Tony Hawk and you enter with a warmhearted the second cinema. There are kids, Hilary Clinton, kids, teacher, people from Pepsi, people from GE, kids and Obama. The kids do what they can do best: being cute and come up with boundless, funny and innovative ideas. We should learn from the kids (true story – I consider myself one of them) and Obama is happy if the Chinese and there families come to visit the U.S. of A. Third cinema starts with a funny American guy that speaks a good Chinese and jokes around. An inspirational and well done (actually – again perfectly) video starts and people should make there cities greener. I left with the impression that Americans love cinemas and are perfect in presenting, filming and put on 5 minute shorts. Nice, but I would have loved to have a bit more content.
My future homecountry – Canada did also a good job and all the videos, installations and especially the huge screen with slowly changing scenes of Canadian cities, landscapes and streets came over me like a warm summer rain and I left with excitement and the impression that the Pavilion was indeed pretty small (it didn’t look like that from the outside) and Canadians have people dressed like beef-eaters with panda masks and clown make-up that you can have pictures with and there colorful plastic guns are only for show. More from the Expo later, now I’m getting people to shout at a huge installation that does unexpected things.

for my fellow German-only friends:

Ich hatte heute zum ersten Mal die Gelegenheit mir ein paar Pavilions der Expo anzuschauen. Bisher muss ich jeden morgen laenger anstehen, als das Besucher der Expo muessen – macht Sinn, denn ich denke die Pavilions starten mit ihren Shows, Imbissbuden und Shops auch ohne Personal. Im amerikanischen Pavilion sieht man sich 3 Filme an – Amerikaner die versuchen Chinesisch zu sprechen (sehr sympathisch), Kinder, deren Ideen, Obama und amerikanische Firmen die, die grenzenlose Kreativitaet der Kinder einzufangen versuchen und ein Video ueber ein Maedchen, dass den Hinterhof in eine Gartenoase verwandeln moechte. Alles auf Hollywoodniveau (ist untertrieben) nein, wirklich perfekt inszeniert, gefilmt und produziert. Ich haette mir gerne mehr Inhalt gewuenscht, aber was geboten wurde war perfekt. Mein zukuenftiges Heimatland (Kanada) hat schwer gepunktet – kreative Installationen und ein Riesenbildschirm der Szenen, Stadtreiben und LAndschaftsbilder Kanadas visualisiert. Ich ging mit Gaensehaut raus und vielleicht konnte man das Fragezeichen ueber meinem Kopf sehen. Denn was machen die Bobbys mit Pandamasken, Clownschminke, bunten Plastikgewehren im kanadischen Pavilion? Ich lass mir das mal erklaeren. Die U.S. of A. kann also eines: Filme und Kanada kann tolle Installationen und der deutsche Pavilion strotzt nur so von Eindruecken, Kunst, Jenses und Yanyans und mir.

As excuse for mistakes in grammar and writing – I am the one to blame. I write without double-check and straight from my heart – this explains my distinctive writing style. If something is completely incorrect – feel free to tell me and comment.

Warum hier nicht viel los ist.

Warum eigentlich? Ich arbeite auf der EXPO, ich bin gezwungen eine Feldstudie zu erarbeiten (und ich bin noch weit bnoch weit weg von einer Idee) und dann steht noch ein 25 seitiger Praktikumsbericht an. Studium is a bitch!
Nichtsdestotrotz habe ich Spass! Eine Menge. Heute ist der erste offizielle Tag der Expo, der gestern mit dem groessten Feuerwerk in der Geschichte Chinas gestartet wurde. Wer sich jetzt wundert warum ich ploetzlich keine Umlaute und Sz’s schreiben kann – dem sei gesagt, ich benutze den Computer auf der Expo und der spricht Englisch und Chinesisch und mir fehlt die Geduld die Umlaute und Sz’s zusammenzufinden.

Ich bin jetzt schon mehrfach darauf hingewiesen worden, dass mein Englisch das Gegenteil von “under all pig” ist und desshalb sollte ich auch Englisch bloggen – werde ich in naher Zukunft auch tun, jedoch werde ich die Beitraege nochmal deutsch zusammenfassen oder nochmal kurz etwas Deutsches schreiben. Ich verbessere somit mein geschriebenes Englisch, meine internationalen Freunde koennen mitlesen und die deutsche Leserschaft darf die grauen Zellen auch anstrengen und wenn es nicht geht – wird halt der kurze deutsche Abschnitt gelesen.

So long and thanks for the fish…