HSK6 preparation with Zootopia’s support

Learning Chinese & HSK, 中国 Mainland China No Comments »

16th February 2017

Last night I was in Shenzhen’s bookcity* -which claims there are the largest bookstore in the world –  in order to buy HSK6 appropriate reading books. I prefer to have the books in hand, have a close look inside and read a bit before I buy, rather then buying online. Some of the literature are labelled with the language level, including a vocabulary list and some exercises to check my reading comprehension. I really love these books. It is simply a great way to improve Chinese by reading!

Frankly speaking, I was a bit disappointed. Compared to the other levels like  HSK3, 4 or 5, the choice of the books for HSK6 is not that wide or … maybe it was sold out and I just had a bad timing. I am not very sure about this point, but I was sure that I did not want to go back home with empty hands.

When I was strolling around the book shelves – in a hope, there might a suitable book, wrongly sorted in the shelves – , one book drew my attention: “ZOOTOPIA”! Did you watch the movie? It is one of my favorite movies in 2016! I watched at least 3 times!  And should you not have seen it, watch it!   “Try everything!”,  “Anyone can be anything!”,  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” are few quotes out of many others, which touched my heart.

I got so excited, that I started to sing the song quietly “Try everything!” from Shakira ( ˘ ɜ˘) ♬♪♫:

” [..] I won’t give up, no I won’t give in
Till I reach the end
And then I’ll start again
No I won’t leave
I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail […]

Oh oh oh oh
Try everythi~~~~ng”

Yeah, why not give a try! I grabbed the book – wohoo nice soft cover  and very handy in my hand- . I found out that is an English learning book made for Chinese students. That’s why it has a  Chinese text, too. I guess, in case the students may not understand the English part, they may have a look at the Chinese text as well. Additionally, English vocabularies are explained in Chinese!

RESULT: I bought the book not for learning English, but Chinese. For around 35 RMB (!!). How it can supprt me for learning Chinese?

  1. Learn new vocabularies.
  2. Practice  writing summaries. (HSK6 includes a writing-summary-exercise without having the text in front of you.
  3. HSK6 is more less native level. And this book’s Chinese is “brutal” real Chinese regardless any HSKlevel.
  4. High motivated simply because I love “Zootopia”.

Try everything, right?

“这里是动物城,所以每个人都有无限可能!- This is Zootopia, and anyone can be anything. ” quoted by Zootopia

“这是我人生,所以我有无限可能! This is my life, and I CAN be anything.” quoted by myself (^_-)≡☆.


*How to go to bookcity (Chinese: 书城) in Shenzhen:

  1. Should you come from HKG, cross the boarder in Lok Ma Chau.
  2. Walk over to the  FUTIAN CHECKPOINT metro station (Chinese: 福田口岸站). It is around 5 minutes walking distance.
  3. Take the metro, line 4 (or also called red line or Longhua Line).
  4. Get off at the 4th station called CHILDREN’S PALACE metro station (Chinese: 少年宮站).
  5. Exit D or follow the signs.


中国 Mainland China 8 Comments »

18th June 2015

Recently I am into selfies (= taking self portraits by using your own phone’s camera). I have the feeling the selfie-culture is  booming especially in China. Beside of mobile phone with great cameras, there are a lot of selfie touch up apps. Most common one among my friends is “Meitu Pic“, which offers retouch, a lot of editing options as well as different filters.

A selfie is not just a selfie, if there werent “rules”. The key point of a selfie is looking extremely good! My friends from the Mainland let the cat out of (her) bag:
1) hold the phone higher than the head. It makes me slimmer
2) look from position 1) with only your eyes up. My eyes looks bigger
3) Hv a duck smile. It would make me sexy.

Magic selfiesI followed these rules for the selfies in the lower row, each left and right, the other pictures are “Nobu’s free style”.Afterwards I retouched them slightly and used “pic collage” to create this collage.

Do you have any  further secrets of taking nice selfies? *grin*

Is this really you?

Entries, 中国 Mainland China, 中文 Bilingual entry No Comments »

2013 / 05 / 23

在中国的海关又出问题了。海关员觉得护照里面的照片不像我。他问“这个人是真的你吗?!” 我就点点头了。好像他不相信我。他继续说“不可能吧!”他叫他的同事。突然我很惊慌,因为以前我在差不都一样的情况。那时候他们的态度对我非常不好。他的同事到,看我护照里面的照片,跟他同意, 这个护照可能有问题。我很怕。他的同事说“Follow me!” 我心里觉得,我不想跟他,不想去那个房间。我说 “这张照片是真的我。是五年前拍的。” 他们惊讶我说中文。他问我 ”那,为什么这张照片不像你?“ 我回答 “因为我每天跑步,所以越来越来瘦。没剪头发。而且今天化妆了。今天比五年前漂亮,对不对?!” 他们大笑了,然后说“漂亮得多!” 我“。。。那没有问题吧,请换给我护照。”他的同事说“等一下儿,还有问题。”  我”。。。有什么问题?“ 他回答”你很可爱。你有没有男朋友?”


Let me share with you my experience at the Chinese boarder, where so many “problems” occurred due to my passport, e.g. in 2011 “Where do you come from?”.This is just another story.

I left HKG and I was going to cross the boarder in China. The officer took my passport and found out that photo does not match to me at all. He asked me “Is this really you?!” I just nod my head. Obviously he did not believe me and continued roughly  “No way!” He asked his colleague to come for further study this case.
Suddenly I got panic, because I have been in this kind of situation before. At that time I had been interviewed by several officers in a separate room. Although I did not do anything wrong, the feeling was not that good and I really did not want to experience that again.
However, his colleague came,  took my passport, first looked at the photo, then me and then the photo again. This passport might have some problems. Finally he ordered in English (!) “Follow me!” Frankly speaking, I did not want to follow him. I did not want to go to the separate room be interviewed by strict, emotionless officers.
Therefore I decided to speak out in Chinese (!) in order to emphasize “THAT photo is really me. It has been taken nearly 5 years ago!” Both officers were surprised about the fact that I DO understand Chinese. Then one of the officers asked me “Then, why this photo does not look like you?!” I needed to explain “Because I was jogging every day, lost weight, get slimmer and slimmer. I did not cut my hair during this period. Besides that, I am wearing make up today! Today I am more beautiful than 5 years ago, you do not think so?” Both officers laughed and agreed “Ha ha ha, much more beautiful!”
I felt so relieved “… then there is not any problem, right. Could you return my passport to me, please?” His colleague answered “One moment please, there is still a question.” All the problems should have been solved, so I felt uncertain “… what kind of question?” He answered “You are so cute! Do you have any boyfriend?”

How a cookie box influences my life

Thoughts, 中国 Mainland China, 香港 HongKong 2 Comments »

2012 / 01 / 06

Was it fate or coincidence? People love to discuss about this topic. Well, I believe neither in fate nor coincidence. For my definition happenings of fate have been determined already.  They cannot be changed. Happenings of coincidence are just there, maybe without any meaning, but everything is not fixed yet. In fact,  I do believe that what’s happening has a meaning. This meaning I have to find out by myself. Further on, it is up to me whether I see an opportunity, grab the chance or wait for the next one. This – I do not how I can call it – is more flexible. Maybe it is a mix of both.

Before I decided to go to Xiamen during last Christmas something happened, and this is what I would like to share with you today.

My destination during Christmas holiday (4 days) should be definitely China. But where should I go? Actually there are a lot of places I would like to go as Hongshan, Lijiang, Zhangjiajie, Huanglong, Jiuzhaigou, Guiyang. They all appear in my TOP 10 travel destinations. Even two weeks before Christmas I still had not set my mind where to go. I was still thinking e.g. are 4 days enough to go to Lijiang, do I need to buy more winter clothes for Hongshan, is the landscape of Jiuzhaigou during winter still beautiful.

My neighbor Daisy went to Xiamen in autumn. After she came back, we met several times and she shared her experience and she showed me some photos, but I was not that interested that I want to go by myself. One day during a December’s evening, I asked Daisy to come up to my flat for daily chatting as we have not talked for a while. She brought a gift – it was durian short bread from Tulou in a box wrapped in a plastic bag, which has been printed with a map of Fujian. On the gift box there was a picture showing a round shape building with a hole in the middle. “Daisy, what’s that?” “This is a Hakka Round house called tulou.” To be honest, I never heard about it, although it is a world heritage as I found out later. And then she started to tell me about the history of Tulou. I was impressed. But at that time I have not considered yet that this could be my travel destination.
Daisy asked me to eat this shortbread with my flat mate, who was currently not at home. So I placed the cookie box on the table. Days later the cookie box was smiling at me. Usually I hear that the cookie says “Eat me, eat me.” But this time was different. It was begging me “Visit me, visit me.” Without hesitation I grabbed the box, and checked the manufacturing address. As I could not read it, I needed to count the strokes first, check the pinyin in the dictionary and then I found out: Manufactured in Nanjing, Fujian province. According to the map printed on the plastic bag, Xiamen is not that far away. Then I decided: During Christmas I will go to Xiamen and Nanjing, for sure! This was 7 days before Christmas.

It is amazing that I “met” this cookie box otherwise I have never ever known about tulou and never ever travelled to there! Further on,  I never ever thought that this cookie box will be leading me to such an exciting trip! It is “just” a cookie box – with a great impact. Thank you to Daisy!

This is just on example, but I do believe in life there are  lots more of small matters, which may influence our decision, plan and route of life. Because they are so small and seems to be unimportant, it is easy to overlook them. Just open your heart and mind! Sometimes happiness is just nearby, sometimes there is no need to go far away. My happiness during Christmas was just 9 hours away by bus from Hong Kong, instead of 2 hours by plane.

Where do you come from?

Entries, 中国 Mainland China, 中文 Bilingual entry 2 Comments »

2011 / 06 / 21

在中国的海关官员觉得我是一个日本人有一张德国的假护照,因为我不像德国人。我说“不是。我是德国人。我是真的德国人。。。可能我不是真的,因为我本来从日本来的。。。”我让自己和官员非常乱T__T。他问我“你从哪里来的?” 我马上回答”从香港来的!” 官员真的很乱“你不是从德国来的吗?”我给他说我的简历”我在日本生,在德国长成,在香港工作,想去中国出差! 而且我妈妈是日本人,我爸爸是德国人。最后他相信我以后,他开看我的护照的话再问我”你可能泰国人吗?去中国找老公。“我想哭!
At the immigration in China the officer suspected that I am a Japanese with a fake German passport,because I do not look like a German, not even as an European. I tried to persuade him “No, I am German, I am really German… but might be not really, because orginally I come from Japan.” I started to think loudly and not only confuse myself, but also the officer. Then he asked “Where do you come from?” I immediately answered “I just came from Hong Kong.” Now the officer was really confused and did not believe in me at all “You are not coming from Germany?” I decided to give him a brief introduction of my life and my purpose “I have been born in Japan, grew up in Germany, currently working in Hong Kong and I would like to go to China for business trip. Further on, my mom is Japanese and my father is German.” Finally(!) the officer opened my passport and looked at my photo “You are not a Thaigirl…? Looking for husband in China?” Sigh, I wanna cry!!!!

Welcome to Neverland

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2011 / 05 / 21

Yesterday I saw a name card of our supplier on my colleague’s table, which is special for me as the name of the contact person is Patric Pan.
Whenever I see this family name, I remember my meeting with Peter Pan (this is his real name!) in the train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong. He has just attend the Canton Fair same as me. I met him already on the way to the Canton Fair, but we did not talk. So when we met again on the way back to Hong Kong, we need to laugh and talk.
“Nice to meet you, I am Peter Pan. I can fulfill all your dreams. But please do not tell it to my wife.” he introduced himself and pointed on his wife, which was showing me proudly what she has bought at the Canton fair: Pearl necklaces. When I saw this scene, I was wondering, if he is really Peter Pan, then she must be the pirate James Hook. I wanted to know her name immediately and started to talk, but then interrupted by Peter Pan “And you, young lady, what is your name?” I answered with a big smile “I am Tinker Bell. My first name is Tinker and family name is Bell. I am so glad to meet you, Peter Pan.” His wife suddenly stood up and showed me her huge amount of white pearl necklaces “By the way, I am Captain James Hook!”

好玩的卡拉OK Enjoyable KTV

Entries, 中国 Mainland China, 中文 Bilingual entry, 香港 HongKong No Comments »

2011 / 02 / 27

When I came to HKG 5 years ago, I did not like KTV/Karaoke at all.
朋友们问我 ‘Nobu,今天晚上我们去卡拉OK。你想参加吗?’的时候,我一定回答 ‘对不起,我已经有别的安排了。’ 但是这是借口。
Whenever my friends asked me “Nobu, tonight we are going to KTV, would you like to join?”, I always answered “I am sorry, I have already an appointment.” But this was an excuse.
I still do not like to go to KTV, but I often go with friends, because it is a lot of fun.
Although I cannot sing very well, my friends do not mind.
When I am singing Chinese songs, they support me or singing together with me.
Most of my friends sing very well. They are singing and dancing.
Watching them having fun, is fun as well. I like the atmosphere.
We are all happy.
From my point of view, THIS is most important thing!

“Outbreak” w/o Dustin Hoffmann

中国 Mainland China, 香港 HongKong No Comments »

07/ 05 /2009

On last Thursday’s evening my friend K. and I have started our tip to Shanghai. While everyone was talking about the swine flu, all of us were thinking “Touch wood, no confirmed case in HKG.” But to be honest, this is just the matter of the time, we cannot run away and we also cannot avoid it. The only thing is to be good prepared.

During our wonderful stay, everyday the day has been covered by these news: H1N1 (but in Chinese).

On our flight back, we have been asked by the flight attendant to fill out the form where we have to mention our travel history of last 7 days as well as our recent health condition. This is the first time I have filled out the form and this was also the moment I have realized how serious the situation have been turned. Not only this. Even the temperature measurements has been stepped up. Really everyone needs to take off his hat. And we were not allowed to go through in bulk through the conrtrol. It seems that everyone needs to be seen clearly on the screen. Further on there are much more officer than usual – and all were wearing masks.

After I passed the passport control and picked up my luggage, an another officer with mask gave me an mask, another officer was distributing flyers with information about the swine flu.

Once I got into the departure terminal, I guess 90% of the people were wearing masks. This was a like a movie!!! I could not believe. But unfortunately this IS REALITY: The situation of swine flu IS INDEED VERY SERIOUS. It was a scaring view. I could not take a photo.

I am not used to it wearing a mask, so shortly after I was out of breathe and felt dizzy….

While my friend and I was in SH. SOMETHING has been happened. But what? We should know soon…

The next day my friend and me’s health condition turned worst. We got sick. We got a flu(?).

“On May 1, one case became the first confirmed case of swine flu in Hong Kong and also the first in Asia after being tested positive by the University of Hong Kong and the Department of Health of Hong Kong. The Mexican patient, who travelled with two companions from Mexico to Hong Kong with a stopover in Shanghai Pudong Airport, arrived in Hong Kong on April 30.” By Wikipedia, for more info, please refer to “The Standard”.

We got scared and decided to check with the doc, since we flew from HKG to SH Pudong Airport on April 30. Our doc mentioned that there is a low risk, that we get in contact with the mexican swine flu. But for precaution we need to stay at home and observe ourself.  My doc rang me up several times per day to see how I am. I packed my back pack, in case I need to go to hospital, I can go immediately…

I always see similar cases and situation on TV, as a movie e.g. Outbreak with Dustin Hoffmann. But this is reality. This is not controlled by a director planning a happy end…

So what can we do?  Please check the to do list by WHO.

UPDATE 2009-05-12
– Buttons of the elevator of our building will be disinfect every two hours
– Buttons of the ATM will be disinfected regularly.
– My friend and I am recovered

Guess, what I am looking for…

Body language/word battles, 中国 Mainland China, 中文 Bilingual entry 4 Comments »

As I have mentioned I have been in Guangzhou during new year.  I was looking for CD in a CD-shop, but unfortunately I could not remember the singer’s name.  Well, in school I have learnt to describe things, if I do not know something. So I use this method to explain the shop assistant – she speaks only Putonghua – what I want. So I also do!

Can YOU guess, who I am looking for?

“我 找 一 张CD.
I am looking for a CD.
我忘了歌手的名字, 我忘了他的汉字.
I forgot the name of the singer, I forgot how to write his name.
但是我记得他是男人, 他是台湾人.
But I remember he is a man, he is Taiwanese.
His songs are in Putonghua.
他的名字有三个汉字. 一 个汉字是”绿”.
His name contains 3 Chinese Characters; one of them is “green”
My Friend told me his songs are good.”

The shop assistant did know immediately who I am looking for and offered me following CDs.  (-^〇^-) If you also want to know, please click here.

Happy Chinese

中国 Mainland China, 中文 Bilingual entry 2 Comments »

At the moment I am happy.

During New Year I went with my friend to Guangzhou (China).

She is half Chinese and half German.

她说德文, 英文和粤语一点儿.
She speaks German, English and a little bit Cantonese.

I am half Japanese and half German.

我说德文, 英文,日文和普通话一点儿
I speak German, English, Japanese and a little bit Mandarin.

In Guangzhou I talked a lot in Mandarin.

服务员(中国人) 常常听的懂我说什么和我明白他们.
Sales assistant (Chinese) often understand me and I understand them.

Therefore I am happy.

I have heard the sales assistant talked to the other one, that my Chinese is not bad.

Therefore I am happy.

In HKG I seldom talk Mandarin, because the national language here is Cantonese.

我希望有更多勇气说普通话, 我想说普通话更多, 我要学习普通话更多!
I wish I have more courage to talk Mandarin, I would like to speak more Mandarin and I will study more Mandarin!

Thank you to my big sis and my friends, who always practice talking to me!

One day I would like to speak Mandarin fluently.

这是我的梦想. 可以一天成真 !
This is my dream! One day it comes true!

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