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The Champagne Cabana / Re: Movie/film thread: resurrected
« Last post by Escaped Lunatic on Yesterday at 04:57:36 PM »
Napoleon (2023)

Not as great as some say, but not bad.  The editing looks more than a little choppy - as in someone took an ax and chopped well over an hour out of it.  Ridley Scott is already talking about a 4+ hour long director's cut.

I do think Joaquin Phoenix is a great actor, but someone he just didn't seem to fit the role.  The expression on his face during a large part of the film seemed to convey "Damn this uniform is uncomfortable!" instead of reactions more relevant to the scene.

Historians are (as usual) complaining about the large amounts of poetic license taken by the script.  Then again, Shakespeare's "historical" plays were full of all sorts of factual errors.  I think historians should chill out and advocate for making factual documentaries and reinactments instead of worrying about details in entertainment that was never billed as "the actual true story."

Oh, and one phrase that will mean little until you see the movie.  "The mating call of Napoleon."  ahahahahah
The Bar (ON-TOPIC) / Re: How Do You Guys Send Money Back Home?
« Last post by Escaped Lunatic on December 07, 2023, 03:38:13 PM »
Sending a bank card home is probably the easist.

Many years ago, I helped some friends send Western Union from both Agriculture Bank and China Postal Savings Bank.  Since I don't have an account at either of those banks, I don't know if the service is still available or not. (And, if it is, is it available at all branches?)

You might also want to check and see if external PayPal accounts are still available in China.  The external type are for sending money outside of China.

If you find out anything, please post an update.
The Bar (ON-TOPIC) / How Do You Guys Send Money Back Home?
« Last post by Ivyman on December 07, 2023, 05:25:51 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I went to my Chinese bank and wired to maximum of 500 USD to my US Citi account.

Alas, I saw they took 20 USD each time, just to receive money. This is in addition to the Chinese bank conversion and sending fees.

I may have lost up to 10% of the original pay, just to send money.

1. How do you guys send chunks of Chinese RMB to your home bank accounts?

2. In my experience, the best way is to wait until rates are low (say 6.5 RMB to 1 USD). Then, go to a bank and ask Chinese government for permission.

It's slow. But, the efficiency is high.

3. I also know of ways to send a UnionPay debit card to a family member at home. They can withdraw up to 800 USD per day, with a minimum of fees. Then, they simply deposit it into the same bank.

4. Any advice?
The Champagne Cabana / Re: What's Making Me Happy!
« Last post by never2late on December 07, 2023, 03:40:52 AM »
How time flies, my friend. Glad you're here. agagagagag
The Champagne Cabana / Re: What's Making Me Happy!
« Last post by Escaped Lunatic on December 06, 2023, 02:49:03 PM »
I glanced at my watch this morning.  Something about the date caught my attention.  Could it really have been 17 whole years ago.

On December 6, 2006, I was on a one way flight to Hong Kong, followed by a bus ride to Dongguan China.  That was the first of 3 expeditions to China before I moved here permanently.

btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt btbtbtbtbt
A list like that would change as new programs are added and old ones are dropped.  The best thing to do is run an online search for "English-speaking degrees in China" and check how recent each list you find is.  If you get some recent ones that are helpful lists instead of being pure advertising, post the links in this thread.
The Bar (ON-TOPIC) / Any Comprehensive List of Master's Programs Taught in English
« Last post by Ivyman on December 01, 2023, 03:33:19 AM »

1. My friend is from Tunisia. She did her undergraduate at North China University of Technology. She was top of her 40-person class, in fact.

2. She went back to Tunisia for COVID and regrets it.

3. She wants to come back to China for a master's degree.

4. Do we have a list of English-speaking degrees in all of China?

The Bar (ON-TOPIC) / Re: How Do Current Policies Restrict What We Can Do and Teach?
« Last post by Ivyman on December 01, 2023, 03:29:30 AM »
1. Thanks. I already have a CELTA.

For ESL people who want to be actual professionals (not backpackers or temporary workers), CELTA really is worth it.

2. I was speaking more about US or UK teaching licenses. I want to teach AP, Social Studies, etc.
The Champagne Cabana / Re: What's Making Me Happy!
« Last post by Escaped Lunatic on November 28, 2023, 04:10:44 PM »
I'm doing a separate post for this.

While I was in Xiangtan, one of my favorite sponsored students FINALLY picked her wedding date.  The wedding party in her village was held on Sunday, November 26th.  My darling wife and I jumped on a train on Saturday to attend our dear niece's wedding.  By odd coincidence, it turned out that the groom is from Xiangtan.

The groom was Han, but he couldn't escape the challenges to pass the Miao red ribbon.  (Yes, there's a red ribbon between the bride and her family and the grooms family.)  He was allowed to ask his relatives to do some of the challenges, but had to do the pushups, some drinking, handing out bribes hong bao to the bridesmaids himself.  I think he borrowed one of the bride's relatives for one of the singing challenges, since she ended a song in a way I've only ever heard Miao do.  His first cousin impressed everyone by opening a beer bottle with her teeth and chugging the whole thing for one of the other challenges. 

The bulk of the women on both sides wore traditional Miao clothing (one of my niece's family had a pile of spare outfits that were made available).  Even Mrs. Lunatic dressed up.

The wedding meals (a late breakfast around 10 and a mid-afternoon meal) both featured beer and baijiu.  Those were held in another relative's courtyard.

There was another party at the groom's house on Monday, but sadly I was on a train getting back to DG.  I needed to get back to work today.  Also, His Imperial Majesty wasn't feeling well when we left and my daughter checked him into the vet's office on Saturday morning.  Happily, the vet was ready to give him back on Monday, so we grabbed him on the way back home.
The Champagne Cabana / Re: What's Making Me Happy!
« Last post by Escaped Lunatic on November 28, 2023, 03:52:53 PM »
About the magic chop.  My first full scale kid swarm had second graders shoving notebooks and pens at me wanting autographs.  Of course, the pens were point first, so not only did I get jabbed, but I also had ink marks all over my arms.

So, I arranged to get a self-inking chop made with my name (in English and Chinese) and a short line in Chinese telling them to study hard.

Every time I remembered to have it with me, NO ONE wanted an autograph.  But, when I didn't have it with me, I'd get at least one swarm coming in for autographs.

In Xiangtan, I forgot it on day 1, so had to sign by hand the first evening.  I put it in my pocket the next day.  Several autograph-free swarms happened and finally on the last day, I got to use the chop with some high school students.

So, for good or bad, the magic chop that prevents children from wanting autographs has lost its ability (or was just overrun by so many students).

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