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Posted on: When to Travel to Tibet
June 23, 2017, 11:23 PM

I just returned from a tour to Tibet (among other locations). We were also advised not to shower on the first night. I thought it was probably an "old wives' tale" but didn't want to risk it, so I just soaped up a washcloth to freshen up. The altitude hit everyone. I recommend getting a prescription for altitude sickness before you go. With regard to the language spoken, most people understood Chinese. However, we visited a small village and I asked one of the ladies "keyi ma?" gesturing to my camera. She shook her head. I thought she meant she did not want me to take a picture. Our guide said to me, "Oh, they don't speak Chinese." So the next time, I just smiled and motioned, and they nodded, posed and smiled for me.

Posted on: He Won't Carry My Handbag
July 05, 2015, 12:33 AM

I'm glad you included the cultural note at the end! I thought the girlfriend was the strange one until you explained that carrying her purse would be a symbol of his affection for her. 

Posted on: Using a VPN
June 06, 2012, 04:12 AM

This is very timely. I was thinking about purchasing a VPN subcription for my upcoming trip. Does anyone have a company that you particularly like/recommend?

Posted on: Hospitality Series 6:Buying a Handbag
March 19, 2012, 06:40 AM

I'm getting used to 小的 and the dropping of 包 in 小的包 but what about the 的 in 好的? Is that 的 indicating an omitted word, or is it some other grammar structure I haven't learned yet? Thanks.

Posted on: Serving Tea
March 19, 2012, 06:12 AM

Consider though, that the tea served to you at a restaurant is almost always cheap tea, in the US and in China. I did order tie guan yin 铁观音 at an airport restaurant in Shanghai right before returning home. It cost more than my food did!

Posted on: ChinesePod Hall of Famers
January 08, 2012, 04:45 AM

That was really sweet.  I really like that they are both semi-retired professors who want to keep learning for the love of it!

Posted on: Character Amnesia
November 28, 2011, 04:38 AM

Our professor told us that when she forgets a character, she tries to write it and it often comes back to her in the muscle memory.  That can only happen if you practice writing a lot! 

A question about the two words for "to forget" 忘 and 忘记:  Is there ever a case where one would be the wrong choice or are they perfectly interchangeable?  

Posted on: Invitation to Dinner
October 14, 2011, 03:18 PM

Thanks Connie and kong-yi!

Posted on: Invitation to Dinner
October 13, 2011, 05:23 AM

When you say, "I have nothing happening" 没事 (méishì), is the 有 (yǒu) implied? So, what would be the usage of 没有事 (méiyǒushǐ)?

Edit: In the mdbg dictionary it defines 没有事 as "not a bit / nothing is up / nothing alarming is happening" and 没事 as "to have nothing to do, it's nothing," etc.

Are they interchangeable? How different does it sound to a Chinese speaker if you use one or the other?

Posted on: The Glorious了(le): Part 1
October 09, 2011, 07:33 PM

It sounds like 了 is more like the Preterite tense and 以前 indicates the Imperfect. Does that seem about right as a general way of remembering things?