Romook, ectoplasme bloguique

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samedi 15 septembre 2007

I'm arrived in Shanghai

I'm arrived in shanghai today. Weather is a litle bit hot (around 27°C), but that's ok. All is perfect : my flight neighbor was a spanish woman, who didn't speak french, neither english or chinese... Unfortunately, she stank a lot and didn't understand she and her child needed to sleep to be dynamic at the arrival. So, I couldn't sleep. That upsets me a lot because I would have the reste all the afternoon... But, essential is I'm arrived. So, you know the true. Don't be surprise if I blog something about China.

lundi 30 juillet 2007

Complementary reflexion about driving behaviours

Yesterday, I told you about specific unwritten rules in Poland. So, I could give you an explanation found in a book called "Watching the English", from Kate Fox (I liked this book). In page 7, the author explained in a paragraph titled "Trust me, I'm an anthropologist", something very interesting. All the book is interesting and amuzing, so you need to reach it if you haven't.

"Trust me, I'm an anthropologist

By the time we left England, and I embarked on a rather erratic education at random sample of schools in America, Ireland and France, my father had manfully shrugged off his disappointment over the chimp experiment, and begun training me as an ethnographer instead. I was only five, but he generously overlooked the slight handicap : I might be somewhat shorter than his other students, but that shouldn't prevent me grasping the basic principles of ethnographics research methodology. Among the most important of these, I learned, was the search for rules. When we arrived in any unfamiliar culture, I was to look for regularities and consistent patterns in the natives' behaviour, and try to work out the hidden rules - the conventions or colective understandings - governing these behaviour patterns.

Eventually, this rule-hunting becomes almost an uncouncious process - a reflex, or, according to some long-suffering companions, a pathological compulsion. Two years ago, for example, my fiancé Henry took me to visit some friends in Poland. As we were driving in an English car, he relied on me, the passenger, to tell him when it was safe to overtake. Whithin twenty minutes of crossing the Polish broder, I started to say : 'Yes, go now, it's safe.' even when there were vehicles coming towards us on a two-lane road.

After he had twice hastily applied the brakes and aborted a planned overtake at the last minute, he clearly began to have doubts about my judgement. 'What are you doing ? That wasn't safe at all! Didn't you see that big lorry ??' 'Oh yes' I replied, 'but the rules are different here in Poland. There's obviously a tacit understanding that a wide two-lane road is really three lanes, so if you overtake, the driver in front and the one coming towards you will move to the side to give you room.'

Henry asked politely how I could possibly be sure of this, given that I had never been to Poland before and had been in the country less than half an hour. My response, that I had been watching the Polish drivers and they all clearly followed this rule, was greeted with perhaps understandable scepticism. Adding 'Trust me, I'm an anthropologist'. probably didn't help much either, and it was some time before he could be persuaded to test my theory. When he did, the vehicles duly parted like the Red Sea to create a 'third lane' for us, and our Polish host later confirmed that there was indeed a sort of unofficial code of etiquette that required this.

My sense of triumph was somewhat diluted, though, by our host's sister, who pointed out that her countrymen were also noted for their reckless and dangerous driving. Had I been a bit more observant, it seemed, I might have notices the crosses, with flowers around the base, dotted along the roadsides - tributes placed by bereaved relatives to mark the spots at wich people had been killed in road accidents. Henry magnanimously refrained from making any comment about the trustworthiness of anthropologists, but he did ask why I could not be content with merely observing and analysing Polish customs : why did I fell compelled to risk my neck - and, incidentalluy, his - by joining in ?

I explained that this compulsion was partly the result of promptings from my Inner Participant, but insisted that there was also some methodology in my apparent madness. Having observed some regularity or pattern in native behavioour, and tentatively identified the unspoken rule involved, an ethnographer can apply various 'tests' to confirm the existence of such a rule. You can tell a representative selection of natives about your observations of their behaviour patterns, and ask them if you have correctly identified the rule, convention or principle behind these patterns. You can break the (hypothetical rule), and look for signsof disapproval, or indeed active 'sanctions'. In some cases, such as the Polish third-lane rule, you can 'test' the rule by obeying it, and note whether you are 'rewarded' for doing so."

So, I need to add I haven't seen these flowers bordered the road. Thus, You need to know these rule is not apply on every road. The main road - national perhaps - have some urgent lane. So, the roads are more bigger than ours. It could explain this particular rule of driving behaviour.

Romook, ethnologist driver ?

mercredi 3 janvier 2007

The chinese letters

One chinese friend said to me : "I'm shocking by french people. During the holidays, there are many pets which are abandoned. I think it's not worst than eat them."

Isn't it ?

Today, I will go to China. I don't know if I could have Internet and update my blog. In this respect, I close now the functionality allowing to post comments. I'm so sorry : I have no choice. (but I know a lot of visitors can't remark that because they don't know they could post comment in my blog... Hey, Rico, isn't it?).

I hope I can open it again very quickly.

Have an happy new year !

Romook, travelling around the world

vendredi 20 janvier 2006

Yukari !!

Hey! It was a really good party! Thanks to you yukari! I've met some friendly and interesting persons (4 new phone numbers in the same evening!!)...

Now, I understand all foreigners study English here. "What do you make in London ? I'm study English"... That is one part of discussion between two foreigners at the first meeting. This evening : 2 south korean women, one turkish woman, two venezuelians (male and female), one japanese woman, one from slovakia (with french kiss to say "hello" (I've just seen a little fox in my street and, sure, i'm not so drunk), one from czekish republik and 2 others from I don't know because i could speak with every body. Just one last thing, one said to me I have a lovely french accent Thanks to her. And, in the same time, everybody ask me to know why I want study English because I don't need that. 2 choices :first, i'm so bad and it's unuseful to try to learn English... Second, I speak so well with my lovely french accent... I'm not sure for the good choice between the both...

OK, now, I must go in my friendly bed, alone, of course, else, tomorrow, I will be so tired in the course.

Oh! Last news! Jun Yin, pretty south korean woman, will go in Beijing from March to July. I will have one friend China, met in England. Very funny. She speaks well chinese (she lived for three years in China). Hmmmm... It's all for this night.

See you later, dear reader

Romook, bla- bla- bla