The Most Beautiful Miracle

Not much is new this week, folks, so I thought I’d share a picture from a couple weeks ago. It’s of the ancient Chinese character for “giving birth,” and it just struck me as revealing how beautiful and magical–it’s a miracle, really. Just how miraculous birth really is.

Here we go:


It’s just … it’s goddamn beautiful is what it is, and anyone who says otherwise is a philistine.  A philistine!

Here’s another version … just so you understand how beautiful it is:

I hope the Chinese understand which part of the female body the baby comes out of.


I Read a Sign!

The heavens part and drums roll like thunder …

Animals bow and the baboon steps forward …

Behold …

Here stands before you a man … who would read characters.

And I did! It was at a supermarket that opened up today(!), which meant that every person in the province wanted to stop by and check out the low low prices. Christina’s and my tutor, Cathrine, and her ever-present friend, Lucy, gave us a call to tell us the good news (that the supermarket was opening), and Christina and I decided to see what all the hub-bub was about, seeing as we our out of rice.

The place was mobbed. The only thing missing was the rage virus. But. But! That isn’t what’s important. None of this, in fact, is important. What’s important is that this guy [*twiddles thumbs at self*], this guy is the guy who finally read a sign in Chinese. The sign—that magical, literacy unlocking sign—read this:


Ha HA! I know, I know—not exactly Earth-shattering. But I’ll take it!

For those who are character-impaired, allow me to explain what this wondrous sign is saying. The characters read as thus: xiao3xin1 you3 dian4. 小, you may recall (if you’ve been keeping up with your studies), means “small,” and 心 means “heart.” However, when they are crammed together, they form a compound character that means “Caution.” Don’t ask why. The next one, 有, is the verb “to have,” but it can also mean “There is” or “There are.” I learned this character this week, I believe. The last one, 电, means “electricity.” I shouldn’t know that one but I do because I kept seeing it around and finally asked one of my students what it was on one random occasion.


Following from the characters, I correctly read the sign as saying: “Caution, Electricity”


So what I’m really trying to say is:

1) I saw the sign.
2) It did, indeed, open up my eyes.

And now it’s like a whole new world has opened up before me. A whole new world! Hit it, Nick!