July 28, 2006

Ticket to Beijing... Check
I just bought my airplane ticket to Beijing. I'm flying out on August 23rd with AirCanada, and arriving in Beijing on the 24th. It's a non-stop flight, luckily, and it's only about 11 hours long. I was actually expecting it to be longer than that, but tant mieux! Now I just have to email my documents to China, and get an offical invitation letter/permit before I can go to the Chinese Consulate to get my work visa. Buying the ticket makes the whole thing a little more real.

July 25, 2006

After a lot of dithering, I've finally chosen a Chinese name for myself. It took me a while to come up with something Chinese, related to my English name, and that had a meaning that I like. A lot of Westerners with a name related to Stephen will choose "Si1di4fen1" as their Chinese name, as it sounds quite close. However, the name has three characters, while most Chinese only have two characters for their first name, and one for their family name.
I was fliping through my Chinese text and came across the name Yi4wen2 (意文). If you think about it, my Chinese name sounds like the last part of my English one if you turn the [v] to a [w]. I also like that the name has the connotation of knowledge, books, and learning. Yi4 can have the sense of idea, meaning, and wish, while wen2 can have the sense of language, culture, and writing.

July 24, 2006

MFMF Part II...
I had an amazing weekend at the festival, despite the heat. The music was incredible, I had a fun time volunteering, and the musicians were great. I was surprised by how many francophones there were at the festival -both performers and spectators. I was able to help out a few of the musicians who didn't speak much English. It's always fun to see their reaction when they find out that I speak French and I'm not from Quebec or France.

July 21, 2006

Tonight was the start of the Mission Folk Music Festival, which I'm volunteering in this year for the first time. I'm helping out in performer services, mainly storing instruments for the musicians before or after they perform. I checked in tonight to get my ID and take a crash course in lock up. I also ended up driving Kekele, a French speaking group originally from the Congo, back to their hotel. I'm looking forward to hearing them perform tomorrow night.
There's a bunch of groups performing tomorrow afternoon that I'm looking forward to before I start my shift at 8:00PM. It should be a good weekend, despite the 35C+ heat. Lots of water, and try to stay in the shade.

July 18, 2006

Passports and Vaccines...
My new passport arrived in the mail today. The picture is awful, but who has a good passport photo (if you do, don't tell me). Now I can get a Chinese work visa, once the school in China gets the necessary paper work done.
Tonight I'm getting a few vaccines that I need before I leave. Since I'll be in the Beijing area, I'm not too worried about catching all sorts of weird jungle diseases. I need Hepatitis A and Typhoid fever for sure, as well as Polio, Tetnus, and Diptheria booster shots for good measure (two shots, one in each arm).
One step closer to leaving...

July 15, 2006

Sexy Beijing - Lost in Translation
I was reading Sinosplice this morning, and came across a really funny video originally posted on Danwei. SuFei, the host, talks to Chinese people about why some of them choose such interesting names (i.e. Samanfar). Check it out below.

July 09, 2006

The Italians just won the 2006 World Cup, and I think they deserved to win. The penalty shot that gave France a point was controversial, and without it I don't think France would have scored. Then there's Zidane, and his stupid headbutting in the last few minutes of the game giving him a red card to get kicked off. It's your last game ever, in the last few minutes, and you headbutt an opponent! Seriously, that's just bad form.

July 05, 2006

World Cup...
In Canada and the US World Cup fever isn't too strong, especially for those born here, but I love watching the World Cup all the same. My coworkers think I'm crazy, and some of the people at Sports Check know me because I go in so often during work to watch some of the games. I was hoping that Portugal would beat France today, even though I'm wearing my French jersey, but it wasn't to be. I'm excited to see the France vs. Italy match on Sunday!

July 01, 2006

Happy Canada Day!