Dirty Words

dirtywords.jpgHey! Since Wikipedia reappeared for those of us on the mainland (it was gone for so long!) life has been pretty good. In fact Mr. Out of My Face showed me a handy entry today: Mandarin Slang.

Yes, maybe if you don’t like to use dirty words, it’s not very interesting. But I think it’s a great way to make yourself feel more Chinese. (I’m always searching for ways to feel more Chinese! Who isn’t, really?) Swear like the locals!

In fact, the Wikipedia on Mandarin Slang has plenty of terms that aren’t curses. And might be quite useful:

  • gǔndàn (Simplified Chinese: 滚蛋; Traditional Chinese: 滾蛋) = get lost!
    –> this one literally means “roll egg,” so it’s means like “roll away like an egg”
  • wōnang fèi (Simplified Chinese: 窝囊废; Traditional Chinese: 窩囊廢) = loser

Charity Case

Sarah JenkinsHey, did you know that my sister is a charity case? Yep, the media is even covering her sob story:

Fundraising via the internet is being touted as the future of charity. At realitycharity.com, you can share your ailment online and see who feels sympathetic.

Not all appeals are successful: McCann-Swanson, a 30-year-old from Wisconsin, has more than met her target in just four weeks, but countless others – such as Sarah Jenkins from Chesham in Buckinghamshire, looking for $60,000 (£30,000) to clear her student loans – have yet to raise a penny.

“Hey brother, can you spare a few grand?” (Mike Peake, _The Guardian_ – July 9, 2007)

Oh, it’s so sad. If you would like to donate to help her out: go here.

Another Birth Control Pill: Minulet

minuletToday I went to buy birth control pills (避孕药 bi4 yun4 yao4) and the pharmacist tried to sell me a different version of the pill called Minulet, 敏定偶 (min3 ding4 ou3).

I decided to buy my regular pill, Marvelon (吗富隆, ma3 fu4 long2) because it’s not a good idea to switch birth control pills just like that. But anyway I did a little research into Minulet when I got home. Like Marvelon, Minulet is mono-phasic, meaning each pill contains the same dose. This kind of pill is also called a “combination pill” because it contains a combination of estrogen and progestin. (It’s not the “minipill,” a progestin-only pill.) (Source: Go Ask Alice)

Anyway, I don’t see any reason to change what I’m taking. They look pretty comparable, but if you’re looking for an alternative to Marvelon, maybe you should try it. I did find one person in the UK that was convinced Minulet was a pretty bad pill causing dangerous blood clots and another report of someone experiencing extreme mood swings and depression, but who knows. You can compare these to the reviews of Marvelon here. For what it’s worth, I haven’t experienced any noticeable side effects with Marvelon, and I’ve been taking it since Sept. 2006.

Comparison of Birth Control Pills Available Over-the-Counter in Kunming, China

brand name Minulet Marvelon
hanzi 敏定偶 吗富隆
pinyin min3 ding4 ou3 ma3 fu4 long2
price per month ~24 rmb 16-20 rmb
pharmacies in Kunming that sell it
each active pill contains
  • 30 micrograms ethinyloestradiol
    (AKA ethinyl estradiol, ethinylestradiol)
  • 75 micrograms gestodene
  • 30 micrograms
    (AKA ethinyl estradiol, ethinylestradiol)
  • 150 micrograms desogestrel
company Wyeth Organon
pill website(s)
reviews Minulet Good or Bad? Marvelon Good or Bad?
other pills with same active ingredients Femodene, Femodene ED, Femodette, Tri-Minulet, Triadene Mercilon

HEY! Before you start taking any birth control, you should consult with your doctor. Side effects can be severe and people with certain medical conditions should avoid taking the pill. And remember, the pill can prevent pregnancy, but it CANNOT PROTECT YOU AGAINST SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES INCLUDING HIV/AIDS.

Marvelon on MedBroadcast.com
Marvelon on netdoctor.co.uk
Minulet on Wyeth.com.cn
Minulet on netdoctor.co.uk

Previous Posts About Birth Control in China:
Birth Control in China (September 15, 2006)
Birth Control in China – Update (November 13, 2006)

If you have questions about birth control in China, feel free to contact me!

Bent Out of Shape

Online now getting ready for the holiday, searching flights on Ctrip.com and browsing photos on flickr. So many beautiful places!

This week my bike got messed up. Argh!

It wasn’t quite this bad:

photo by Dave Pullig

It was parked outside Salvador’s Coffee Shop on Wednesday night (while we were having July 4th festivities) and someone managed to smash into it, bending the front tire to hell. Since it wouldn’t turn, I had to lift the front end and wheel it home on the back tire. Bruised my arm up in the process. Thursday I took the bus, and then Friday morning I dropped the bike off at the fancy bike shop on 一二一 (Yi1 Er4 Yi1) across from main gate of 师大 (Shi1 Da4). I ended up paying an exorbitant 50元 for the repair, but oh well. Anyway, it’s fixed now.

Well, next week is the end of classes. Sounds like our remaining class time will be used learning Mahjong and discussing some Chinese history. Only two of us are taking the exam, so our teacher sent it home with us to complete at our leisure. Yeah, 东方 (Dong1 Fang1) isn’t exactly the pinnacle of rigorous Chinese language learning institutions.

一块 Maaaaadness!

Miraculously, Jeremy not only healed my iPod, but also poisoned the cockroaches. Yes, things are looking up!

Speaking of that miraculous man, Jeremy has totally out-blogged me lately! His latest: Our friend Beth in Washington D.C. went to an exhibition at the Smithsonian yesterday which featured a Yunnan cultural extravaganza. Pretty cool. She was especially excited because she’s planning on visiting us in August. They even had Pu’er tea!

Jeremy also has a nice story about how he caught a pickpocket. Very dramatic.

Yesterday, my friend Jessie introduced me to a secondhand clothes market here in Kunming. I hesitate to mention it, because everyone I tell seems to be totally grossed-out by the notion of secondhand clothes in China. Even (maybe especially) Chinese people. Anyway, I recommend it. It’s very similar in quality and cleanliness to most thrift stores in the US. It’s set up as a cluster of small storefronts. Everything is on hangers and organized by style or size. Mostly out of style, slightly strange clothing. The best part, though, is that it has a surprising amount of Western brands and (more spectacularly) sizes. I have Western hips, and so it can be frustrating trying to find a good fit. But really it was not an issue at this market. They even have some vintage stuff, which is fun! Prices are incredible. A few stalls had a pile of clothes for 1 yuan: “Yi kuai maaaaadness!” A lot of stalls had racks of clothes — skirts, shirts, jeans — for 5 or 10 yuan.

How do you get there? Hmmm… northeast of the intersection of 人民西路 and 二环西路, it’s on 茭菱路 (jiao1ling2 lu4) just west of the slightly smaller drag 近华浦路 (Jin4hua4pu3 Lu4). It’s on the 85 bus line. I think the bus stop is called 丰宁小区 (Feng1ning2 Xiao3qu4).