Monday, 17 January 2011

A Saturday Meeting. In Chinese.

No, not dead yet, just crazy busy writing my thesis. And then I get interrupted to go into college on a Saturday as some Chinese sponsors are coming to visit. Chinese sponsors who don't speak English, which makes my attendance a waste of time of chocolate teapotish proportions.

The meeting was taking place all in Chinese
The English girl agonised "just help me, please!
I'm now suicidally, desperately bored
I need a white knight with bright armour and sword.
A rescuing hero to help this fair maid
To storm this interminable meeting, invade
And take me away for adventures unique
In a world filled with magic, exciting mystique"

Just then there flashed lightning which blinded their eyes
The meeting erupted to panic and cries
The speaker now paused to ask "what's going on?
Quite where has this terrible light show come from?"
It seemed someone answered our heroine's prayer
To disrupt the talks and remove her from there
But after the delegates regained their sight
Presentations continued and on went her plight.

The scientists wittered in jargonish speak
Still mumbling in Chinese (or possibly Greek)
Our girl still presented a keen outward face
While silently begging to leave that grim place.
Then out rang a shot, all was chaos once more
And as all others ducked our girl turned to the door
But instead of her hero in armour so bright
Loomed a villainous creature in black dark as night.

"I'm sorry my angel," he said with a sneer,
"You're knight's battled monsters quite fierce to get here
But thanks to my tricks he'll arrive much too late
Instead it's in my hands that now rests your fate.
The lightning which earlier made the room shake
Was caused as he fought into this world too break
But I'm by far better at magic, you see
So I was the victor, now you'll come with me."

Surprisingly, though, she was hardly dismayed
Her total demeanour was calm, unafraid
"If you've come for me I'll go with you right now
I'm desperate to leave here and not fussy how.
Whoever you are you'll remove me from here
Remaining behind is my heart's darkest fear.
Wherever you take me [here granting a kiss]
My hero, your world must be better than this."

Monday, 4 October 2010

London Tube Strike

As each side the other condemns
We're tired of "it's not us it's them"s
To make London go
Let's lock up Bob Crow
And chuck Boris into the Thames

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

3WW: MTV Attire

When aiming to join pop’s elite
Avoid gowns demure and discrete
But rather offend
Those of volatile trend
By sporting a frock formed of meat

3WW:demure, offend, volatile

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Lost in Translation 2: Mildly Astray

Following from my last post, while I'm blogging about Chinese/English mistranslations, I might as well post this photo I took of a notice in the hotel where I stayed in Beijing.

Sometimes, you just don't want to know the reason...

Friday, 3 September 2010

Lost in Translation

So, my supervisor took my whole research group out for a drink in the Student's Union. Talking to him in a noisy setting can be an ordeal, as he's Chinese and his accent is quite strong. Cue a very stilted conversation, and then this happened...

Him: So what’s different now you’re living with your parents again?
Me: Well, I don’t get to do as much cooking as I used to. It’s a shame, I really enjoy it.
Him: What?!
Me: Yes, but now my mother does far more than I do.
Him: Your mother? Well. Wow. I’m shocked. Really?
Me: Oh yes.
Him: And is it a common thing to do in England?
Me: Yes, of course, though not as much as it used to be. And I expect it is in China as well, surely? I take it you don’t do much yourself?
Him: [Splutters into beer]
Me: [Aware there's been a language issue, but not sure where it happened so struggling on] Does your wife cook instead? Does she tend to make Chinese food or more Western dishes?
Him: Cook? Cooking? Wait, you’re talking about cooking? As in, with food?
Me: Well, yes, isn’t that what we were discussing?
Him: Oh. Oh, I see. Yes, that makes more sense.
Me: So, what did you think we were talking about?
Him: Ah, well, you see, when you said cooking, I thought you said cocaine.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Sunday Scribblings: View

On a glorious day at Corfe Castle
We set out to the hills for a hike
When through all of the touristic bustle
Came a butterfly riding a bike

(In the works of mythologic masters
Think of Titian or Watts or Van Dyke
Is there such a surreal disaster
As a butterfly riding a bike?)

So we walked with all Purbeck before us
To the cliffs where the waves pound and strike
And the breakers themselves beat a chorus
Of a butterfly riding a bike

Now in Dorset pubs often they mutter
Of the legend all swear by alike
Maybe one day you too will hear flutters
Of that butterfly riding her bike

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Ballad of the Dispirited Research Student

There was a girl who lost the will
Her research work to do
Although she had the brains and skill
Her apathy just grew

Deep down she loved her project
The science in her bones
Ideas and problems to connect
Find truths about unknowns

There was a time when she would sell
Her soul to get this break
But now her dream has turned to hell
It's all a big mistake

It matters not how hard she tried
She can't debug her code
Her confidence, morale and pride
Continue to erode

She seems to achieve less each day
She's tired all the time
Her thesis stress won't go away
There's such a hill to climb

A mountain that she still must scale
It's peak still lost in mist
Her futile efforts can't prevail
No reason to persist

The funding deadline's just a joke
She's human after all
But missing it would leave her broke
Finances at a stall

And as she hates to ask for aid
Her problems just get worse
But all her troubles she'll evade
By writing foolish verse