Friday, December 4, 2009

Ao Ba Ma

Chinese word of the day: 奥巴马 aobama. It's the Mandarin transliteration of "Obama."

Most of you know that President Obama visited Shanghai and Beijing during a recent trip to Asia. I didn't pay too much attention to his visit, although a couple pieces of news stood out: Obama meeting with Chinese leaders to cooperate on issues of global importance, Obama's remarks against internet censorship, and Obama's chilly visit to the Great Wall. There's an interesting article at Asia Times Online about the cooperation between our two countries:

Anyway, sitting around with my teammates talking about his visit, someone wondered aloud if Obama had slid down the alpine slide after visiting the Great Wall. This began a flurry of speculation on what only-in-China experiences our President enjoyed while he was here.

Sliding down the alpine slide?
Walking through the row of vendors? ("Hey, sexy man! You need a man bag?")
Using squatty potties?
Walking arm in arm with his new friend, the premier?

Our favorite one was imagining Chinese president Hu Jintao pinching Obama's sleeve to see how many layers he was wearing. "Wear more clothes!"

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