1.Freshers’ Week 新生周
In the Departmental Reception for New Students
Dean: Erm, good evening everyone. May I extend a very warm welcome to the new students in the Department of Economics. ［to the assistant dean］ How many new students have been admitted to the department this year?
Assistant Dean: A hundred and twenty this year.
Dean: Well, that?s a very good rise in numbers; and I see we have a large intake from China and Korea this year… so a special welcome to you too. Could I just ask you to get yourselves a drink and mingle as much as possible. Make most of the free food, this is probably the only occasion where you can get something from the Department for free, so enjoy….
Zhao: Hello there, you aren’t Chinese, are you?
Jung: No, I’m Korean actually… are you Chinese?
Zhao: Yes… whereabouts are you from?
Jung: Korea. I said.
Zhao: I know that… I mean where in Korea are you from?
Jung: Oh… sorry… Busan… it’s in the far Southeast. What about you?
Zhao: Erm… I’m from Haikou, in Hainan….
Jung: Oh… where’s that?
Zhao: It is a big island in the South China Sea, between Taiwan and Vietnam. Remember a few years ago
—that American reconnaissance plane that clashed with a Chinese fighter and was forced to land in China? Hainan was where it landed.
Jung: Oh… I do remember, Hainan….
Dr. Haynes: Hello… are you two Chinese?
Jung: No. He’s Chinese. I’m Korean.
Dr. Haynes: Oh… What do you think of Newcastle so far? Are you settling in all right?
Zhao: Well, it’s very nice… I’ve already found a flatshare… and I’m quite comfortable, thanks.
Dr. Haynes: That’s good. Why did you decide to come to this part of the country to study?
Jung: Well… everyone goes to London… don’t you think? It’s full of foreign students! We’ll never get to know the real England there, and we’ll end up speaking our own languages as well.
Dr. Haynes: Well you could be right there. What do you think of the local accent here? Has it been causing you any problems?
Zhao: Well, I think it’s just a matter of getting used to it, isn’t it? I am quite surprised how different the accents are in a small country like England, but I have learnt to like them. Just like in Chinese, the northern accents are humorous, and the southern accents are, well, gentle.
Jung: Do you have problems with our accents?
Dr. Haynes: Not really… well sometimes, actually, yes… haha. Look… let me introduce you to some local students here… this is Tony Barry… he’s from Sunderland, which is about twelve miles from here… and Melanie Johnson… she’s from Washington, which is about ten miles away.
Melanie: Yes… haha… that always confuses foreigners. It’s the original Washington… George Washington’s ancestors came from there.
Tony: So, are you both Japanese, then?
Zhao: No. I’m Chinese and he’s Korean.
Tony: Oh… sorry… I haven’t met many people from your part of the world before. Do you lads like football?
Jung: I do! I love Chelsea!
Zhao: Yes… and I like Manchester United.
Melanie: Why is it that foreigners always like those teams?
Zhao: They are famous and they always win.
Tony: Yes, but don’t you think that anyone can support a winner? I mean, here in England we think you should support your home team… that’s why when people say they support Manchester United we know they are not actually from Manchester! The real Mancunians support Manchester City!
Jung: Well, we are foreigners. We don’t have a home team in the premier league. But I think you are right. From now on, we should support Newcastle. Which team do you support, then?
Zhao: I’ve never heard of them.
Tony: Well, everyone in Britain has! They have a long and proud history, even though they weren’t in the Premiership last season. That’s the point, if you are from Sunderland, you love Sunderland whether they are up or down… and not Newcastle… ［looking at Dr. Haynes］… they’re our local rivals.
Dr. Haynes: What was that you were saying, Tony?
In the Uni Bar
Jane: Hi guys… you look tired… what have you been doing?
Tamer: We’ve been playing five-a-side with the lecturers down in the gym. Mr. Foster got a team together from the staff, and I got some students together. The teachers beat us 8: 2.
Jane: But they are all old… they must be in their 30s and 40s!
Larry: They are, but they are fit! That Mr. Foster cycles to work every day… and Mr. Walker goes running every lunchtime… and that Dr. Baker plays squash, and they both must be in their mid-forties!
Jane: Yes, but there’s another thing…. you guys smoke, and the lecturers don’t. And I think maybe you’re a bit scared to tackle them hard as well because they are your lecturers… am I right?
Tamer: Maybe, but I bet on a proper football field we’d run rings round them! Do you girls play any sports, Alison?
Alison: Well, I’m in the uni hockey team actually.
Sarah: Yeah… and I play volleyball. We play tennis on Saturday mornings as well.
Larry: So, do you play against the teachers as well?
Alison: No. It doesn’t seem to be what older women want to do. I think your teachers are just trying desperately to stave off old age!
Sarah: That, or pretend they are still young!
Tamer: Anyway, I think it would be a good idea to organise a mini-league. You know, different national groups.
Larry: I think different departments would be better. It would be really good for bonding.
Loud Drunken Singing from Another Table
Larry: Oh no… it’s the rugby club having another piss-up!
Sarah: Yeah… they’re always getting drunk and singing rude songs and stuff.
Tamer: Well… it’s all part of the tradition, isn’t it… they behave like hooligans in the bar, but they’re supposed to be gentlemen outside… I mean, it’s mostly middle-class students who play rugby, isn’t it?
Sarah: Yeah… what is it they say? “Soccer is a game for gentlemen, played by hooligans, and rugby is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen.” My flatmate told me that football is a traditionally working-class game.
Tamer: Yes. Rugby is a really rough game. It looks it anyway.
Alison: What is rugby, anyway? Is it like what they play in America?
Larry: No, no… it’s only the ball that’s the same shape… basically, they have no protection like they do in American football… no helmets and padding and stuff… it looks really scary.
Tamer: Yeah… rugby players get to act out their violent fantasies on the rugby field, get drunk and behave like hooligans in the bar and then go to work as doctors and lawyers on Monday morning.
Larry: Yes… whereas when football players do that they call them hooligans!
Alison: But I guess it’s good… I mean, at least it controls their aggression.
Sarah: It’s great… all the opportunities we have to play sports here. I mean, they even have women’s rugby, football and cricket teams… did you know that?
Tamer: What are the rules of cricket, by the way?
Larry: I don’t think we should even go there! You have to be English, born-and-bred to understand them.
Sarah: Or from the Commonwealth countries. Also, I’ve heard that in India and Pakistan they are even madder about cricket than the English!
Alison: Yeah… and in Australia and South Africa too.
拉里：他们是上岁数了，但是他们身体强壮！福斯特老师每天骑自行车上班， 沃克老师每天午饭时间去跑步， 贝克博士打壁球！而他们个个都得有四十五六了。
3. 谈中国 Talking about China
Ning, Paul, Drew （Chinese）, Rachel （English） and Carlos （Spanish） Having Coffee
Carlos: Hey… look at this in the paper… it says that China has failed to meet its own targets for reducing energy consumption…. They’re saying that the Chinese government hopes to reduce China’s energy consumption by 20% by 2010… yet the country’s power consumption grew 14.9 percent in the first quarter of this year. That’s disgraceful！
Ning: That’s just so one-sided, that is! You foreigners only like to report bad things about China! The US is the biggest green house emitter in the world. You tree-huggers① are missing the point when you jump on the Anti-China bandwagon along with all the other Chinaphobes. Anyway, Australia has the second highest per-capita carbon emission worldwide and your government still hasn’t ratified the Kyoto Protocol, for god’s sake. So, just give us all a break, would you?
Carlos: Oh. Sorry for breathing②! I’m just telling you what was in the paper… it is the Guardian③ that I am reading… it just reports the facts… it doesn’t have an agenda to do China down. You Chinese are so thin-skinned!
Drew: I think it’s just that we don’t like to air our dirty washing in public… you’ll find that we Chinese are always discussing stuff like this among ourselves… Ning, don’t tell me you didn’t hate the grey sky in Beijing. We just don’t like it when foreigners talk about it, that’s all.
Rachel: Yeah… but you have to admit that these are things that people are curious and interested about when it comes to China… they don’t want to slag Chinese people off… it’s just that these issues are “newsworthy”… you should know that… you’re doing Media Studies. You shouldn’t get the hump about it or get all huffy.
Drew: That’s right! Even if the Guardian doesn’t have an agenda, it still has to dig for stories that will sell. During the 7/7 Terrorist Attack in London, I was watching BBC and CNN at the same time on my computer. They interviewed the same guy who just came out of a bombed station. The BBC used the footage where this man had already calmed down and was talking about how brave the passengers were… while CNN chose to air earlier footage where he was still trembling and crying. The BBC didn’t want to show the early footage because that would damage morale. CNN wasn’t interested in the later footage because they did want to make the 9/11 survivors look too cowardly in comparison. How would you like it if you saw the Chinese media saying bad stuff about your country?
Rachel: What? About Britain? We get it all the time! The War in Iraq, The Royal Family, the class system, colonialism, racism, Northern Ireland! We just take it in our stride. You know what, it sometimes worries me that the British now seems to feel so little for their country. Everything patriotic is turned into a laughing stock.
Paul: I think you’re right actually… but China is exactly the opposite, I think China has a chip on its shoulder too often… it may be to do with history, being colonised and all.
Rachel: Yeah… I’ve noticed that… I mean, sometimes you get embarrassed and angry when people mention, like, the Cultural Revolution, or people show images of China connected to that like those propaganda posters, and Mao’s little red book. But, in fact, many Westerners think these images of China are interesting and fascinating, not negative. The portrait of Mao was one of Andy Warhol’s④ masterpieces. The original copies of Mao’s Red Book are sold to Western collectors at sky-high prices on Ebay.
Drew: Maybe we just misunderstand what people are referring to… but sometimes maybe you Westerners are also seriously misinformed about China… I mean, look at the things you say about human rights, the one-child-policy, the Three-Gorges Dam, Tibet, Taiwan… there are two sides to every story….
Paul: Yes… and take what they say about the one-child-policy and human rights… you know that Japanese student, Mariko? She gave this presentation condemning China for the one-child policy… said it was against human rights, but what she didn’t say was that in terms of development it was necessary for China to do this… you have to have your economic needs met first. Then you can worry about individual rights.
Ning: I know, but I would really like to have a little sister of my own. We have to admit that the government made a mistake in encouraging the last two generations to overreproduce…. Western people think China going to be the world’s next superpower. I think we overseas students ought to be super-citizens first—who love and hate their country for what it is.
Carlos: Wow… this is amazing, Ning! You’re actually talking about this stuff in a dispassionate way. That’s great… actually you make me think about my own country, Spain. We like to think we are open and critical, but there seems to have been a collective amnesia about our own civil war and the dictatorship… and it’s only now that we’re beginning to talk about it.
Ning: Mmm… I guess that for some things you just have to wait until the people involved are dead and gone… then it’s easier to discuss things. I mean, my lecturer was saying yesterday that there are aspects of British history that are still not being discussed openly and honestly, like the pointlessness of the First World War, for example.
Rachel: Yes, but we are now free to beat ourselves up over colonialism and stuff….