Stay Home and Save the World

New York Hospitals need help. If you, or a cousin of a friend of a friend, have medical supplies (1 bottle of hand sanitizer, 2 sets of PPEs, 3 ventilators, etc) you wish to give to NY, please visit:

https://apps.health.ny.gov/pubpal/builder/survey/nys-covid19-tracking-offers

Please support our front line workers, which include but not limited to: Hospital personnel, grocery workers, and police. Only when they are healthy can we stay healthy.

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Side note (1): Friends don’t let friends fall victim to COVID-19 fraud. Please report the following activities to the authorities:

  1. Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud.
  2. Phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  3. Malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received.
  4. Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.
  5. Selling medical supplies and devices, designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) as scarce, for excess of prevailing market price.

Reference: https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus#reportfraud

Side note (2): Some acts of covidiots may now be a crime that can be charged with act of terrorism. Like a Missouri man who licked items in Walmart to protest the virus. Or a New Jersey man who intentionally coughed at a Wegmans employee and told her he had coronavirus. Or a South Carolina man who forged a doctor’s note claiming he was tested positive for coronavirus which resulted in his workplace shutting down for 5 days to disinfect the entire building. Or, a Pennsylvania woman who purposely coughed on food in a small grocery store and claimed she had coronavirus.

Reference: https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000171-128a-d911-aff1-becb9b530000

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As the maps demonstrate, it’s not that there are less cases in mid-west, it’s that there are less people to be infected. The reverse is true. There are more cases in NY because there are more people to be infected.

If you want to go out and have face-to-face interaction with another human being, that’s perfectly fine. Just remember to keep a social distance of at least 6 feet between you and the other person. We can hear each other just fine, 6 feet away.

My Vietnam Vacation

This is not a political site but I have to say this after coming back from my Vietnam trip: Donald Trump’s shamefully slow response to COVID-19 has killed American lives, tanked American economy, and destroyed American way of life. To Trump supporters and believers, thanks for halving my retirement and travel funds. I hope you are patting yourselves on the shoulders all the way to hell.

Trump is at fault to causing the 8,000+ new cases in US. If he had handled COVID-19 like Vietnam did since February 1, none of those people would’ve contracted the virus. Even now (March 19), he and CDC are continuing to put obstacles to prevent Americans from getting tested. First you need to be symptomatic, then you need to get doctor’s permission, then you need to make an appointment, then the clinics run out of test kits and tell you to come back later, then when you finally get tested after all the hoops you have to jump through you have to wait another 48 hours for the result. So you don’t know if you are a mildly symptomatic carrier walking around infecting people, or you are a gastroenteritis sufferer and don’t need to self-quarantine. Trump and his people are making Americans more anxious and scared than they already are. Perhaps, the recent uptick in gun purchase is a sign that Americans are preparing for the apocalypse.

Moving along. My decision NOT to cancel my long planned Vietnam vacation with mom is the best decision I have made in a long while. With the current COVID-19 outbreak raging across the globe, who knows when will be the next time I can travel without fear of sudden flight and hotel cancellations and attraction sites closures. This article is about what’s like to travel in a country where they take COVID-19 seriously by responding rapidly and aggressively to prevent community spread of the virus. In every public place in Vietnam I saw a variation of prevention message below. I felt so safe traveling in Vietnam, physically and mentally, knowing their government is doing everything they could to protect our health.

I honestly think a picture is worth a thousand words.

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Someday or One Day 想見你 Part 1

Someday or One Day (想見你) is time travel doppelganger romantic murder mystery. Even though the 1st episode is slow and the 2nd episode is confusing, they are vital to establish the characters and their starting point. Because you can’t appreciate what they have and what they lost if you don’t know who they are. To know who is who, as one youtuber said, you need to know who loves who. I’m invested in this drama more and more with each episode. I know what is coming. I know who may have done it. But I don’t know why. And I need to know. I don’t trust the trailer. I don’t believe the preview. I need the next episode to prove me wrong.

Up to ep8, the drama can be broken down to 3 parts:

1998 ~ 1999: Mo Junjie and Chen Yunru
Someday or One Day Alice Ko Greg Hsu Patrick Shih

2010 ~ 2017: Wang Quansheng and Huang Yuxuan
Someday or One Day Alice Ko Greg Hsu

2019 ~ present: Huang Yuxuan and Li Ziwei
Someday or One Day Alice Ko Greg Hsu Patrick Shih

Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.

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Chinese Lesson 3: Family

It’s that time of the year when we celebrate the holidays with our close and distant relatives around the dinner table. Yay! (Or, nay?) You look well, Uncle Tom. Hello there, Aunt Mary. What’s happening, Cousin Adam? I miss you, Grandma Jane. But how exactly are they related to us? The way we address them in Chinese will tell you exactly how.

Let’s start with something simple.

媽媽/妈妈 (māma) = Mom
爸爸 (bàba) = Dad

哥哥 (gēge) = Elder brother
嫂嫂 (sǎosao) = Sister-in-law, wife of elder brother

弟弟 (dìdi) = Younger brother
弟妹 (dìmèi) = Sister-in-law, wife of younger brother

姊姊/姐姐 (jiějie)= Elder sister
姊夫/姐夫 (jiěfū) = Brother-in-law, husband of elder sister

妹妹 (mèimei) = Younger sister
妹夫 (mèifū) = Brother-in-law, husband of younger sister

Now we move on to the extended family. These may differ depending on the part of the country the speaker is from and the dialect used. This article is based on Taiwan area, Mandarin dialect.

On your father’s side:
爺爺/爷爷 (yéye) = Paternal grandpa
奶奶 (nǎinai) = Paternal grandma

伯伯 (bóbo) = Uncle, father’s elder brother
伯母(bómǔ)= Aunt, wife of elder uncle

叔叔 (shúshu) = Uncle, father’s younger brother
嬸嬸/婶婶 (shěnshen) = Aunt, wife of younger uncle

姑媽/姑妈 (gūmā) = Aunt, father’s elder sister
姑姑 (gūgu) = Aunt, father’s younger sister
姑丈 (gūzhàng) = Uncle, husband of paternal aunt

On your mother’s side:
外公 (wàigōng) = Maternal grandpa
外婆 (wàipó) = Maternal grandma

舅舅 (jiùjiu) = Uncle, mother’s elder or younger brother
舅媽/舅妈 (jiùmā) = Aunt, wife of maternal uncle

姨媽/姨妈 (yímā) = Aunt, mother’s elder sister
阿姨 (āyí) = Aunt, mother’s younger sister
姨丈 (yízhàng) = Uncle, husband of maternal aunt

That pretty much covers most of the family elders. Next, we move on to the first cousins.

堂哥 (tánggē) = Cousin, son of your paternal uncle, older than you
堂嫂 (tángsǎo) = Wife of your older cousin
堂弟 (tángdì) = Cousin, son of your paternal uncle, younger than you
堂姊 (tángjiě) = Cousin, daughter of your paternal uncle, older than you
堂妹 (tángmèi) = Cousin, daughter of your paternal uncle, younger than you
* The spouses of your cousins, born of your paternal uncle, are addressed the same way as spouses of your siblings, with prefix “táng”.

表哥 (biǎogē) = Cousin, son of your paternal aunt and maternal aunt/uncle, older than you
表嫂 (biǎosǎo) = Wife of your older cousin
表弟 (biǎodì) = Male cousin, younger than you
表姊 (biǎojiě) = Female cousin, older than you
表妹 (biǎomèi) = Female cousin, younger than you
* The spouses of your cousins, born of your paternal aunt and maternal aunt/uncle, are addressed the same way as spouses of your siblings, with prefix “biǎo”.

And then we have the kids.

兒子/儿子 (érzi) = Son
媳婦/媳妇 (xífù) = Daughter-in-law

女兒/女儿 (nǚ’ér) = Daughter
女婿 (nǚxù) = Son-in-law

姪子/侄子 (zhízi) = Nephew, brother’s son
姪女/侄女 (zhínǚ) = Niece, brother’s daughter

外甥 (wàishēng) = Nephew, sister’s son
外甥女 (wàishēngnǚ) = Niece, sister’s daughter

So the next time you watch a Chinese drama and someone says, “zhixifu, can you pass me the soy sauce?” you know exactly how they are related to each other. (Answer: Wife of my brother’s son, can you pass me the soy sauce?)

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Quiz 1: How is 堂弟妹 (tángdìmèi) related to you?

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If you wish to know what Taiwanese propose to use for same-sex in-laws, check out the spreadsheet below. Continue reading

Make Our Days Count 那一天 Part 2

I’m not a big fan of BL dramas with clinging girlfriend, homophobic parents, and fan service sex scenes. Congratulations! Make Our Days Count had all three.

Fortunately, I like how they handled the breakup between Xiang Haoting and Li Siyu. It’s positive and soul cleansing. If you want to break up with someone, have the decency of saying it in person. Be clear and concise that it’s over between you two. Don’t ever do the fading out act. After Li Siyu shed the “clinging girlfriend” tag, she was a much better person. I nodded in approval when she declared to her friends in her messy crying state that she will get a boyfriend better than Haoting before she graduates. Thank you, girl, for not being the vindictive ex who can’t let go.
HIStory 那一天 Make Our Days Count Wang Zhen Lin

I don’t think Haoting’s mom has homophobia. She just needs more time to adjust to a new reality. I trust she will come around for the love of her son and will do anything to keep her son in the family. But dad may need more convincing. Hopefully, mom’s female persuasion will make dad more pliable to accepting their son’s intelligent, driven, self-reliant boyfriend.
HIStory 那一天 Make Our Days Count

I feel sorry for Lu Zhigang that he didn’t have a strong mom to back him up and got kicked out by his family for loving who he loved. If he can’t face his own family, I don’t think he can help Sun Boxiang come out to his family and that will not bode well for their future. But if Boxiang’s cousin is any indication of Sun family attitude, there is hope for them yet. And maybe, just maybe, Boxiang & family can help Zhigang reconcile with his.
HIStory 那一天 Make Our Days Count Wilson Liu Thomas Chang

As for the full on action scenes that served absolute no purpose except fan service, I have nothing to say. (Call me an equal opportunity prude because I don’t like it in BL, GL, or BG dramas. Though I do enjoy a good tumble when it pushes the story forward. Hats off to you, TharnType The Series.)

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Make Our Days Count 那一天 Part 1

I almost skipped watching HIStory3’s Make Our Days Count (那一天) because of how the main leads looked. Xiang Haoting’s haircut is ugly as hell. He would’ve looked 100% better with no hair. His counterpart Yu Shigu is even worse. He looks so anorexic and sallow he should be in the hospital and not the school. (I know. I’m being hypercritical.) Fortunately, I got over my bias and am beginning to see their charms.
HIStory 那一天 Make Our Days Count Wayne Song Huang Juan Zhi

Besides, I have Lu Zhigang and Sun Boxiang to lean on for my cute boy fancy.
HIStory 那一天Make Our Days Count Thomas Chang Wilson Liu

But primarily, I can always rely on HIStory’s awesome friendships. Haoting and Boxiang crack me up to no end with their worrisome logic, at the same time, make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside that they understand and accept their friends the way they are. Even when their friends are one screw too loose in the head.
HIStory 那一天 Make Our Days Count Wayne Song Wilson Liu

I am almost half way through the drama and I can say with positiveness that Haoting is my favorite character. He is an inconsiderate, self-centered, cocky horndog. He is also a nonjudgmental, supportive, generous free spirit. He may not have the mental capacity to foresee how his action will impact others, but he does have a healthy dose of conscience to recognize that he has caused harm and to try to atone for the wrongs he did.

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