One of the things that I am really enjoying about this expedition is that half of the scientists in the science party are from China. This collaboration between China and the IODP will hopefully continue to build over the years as China builds more deep sea drilling research vessels.
On a personal note it has been a wonderful experience to learn more about Chinese culture from the scientists on board.
I am, however, a little worried that I have become addicted to the hot chilli oil and radish condiments that the the scientists generously share during meal times. I will be traveling in China after this expedition with my mother and I am happy that I am now used to hearing Mandarin and even learning a little myself. Yesterday I learned an interesting cultural point about greeting. I wanted to know what came after “Ni Hao” which directly translates at “You Good” and is used as “Hello”. In the U.S. we typically greet each other with “Hello” then “how are you?”, and then maybe talk about the weather. In China it is about your stomach and if it is full or not “Ni chi le ma?” – “Have you eaten yet?” and you reply if you have “Chi goula” or not “Mei you”.
Today I enjoyed learning how to count to 10 on one hand! This is a clever trick and can come in “handy” if you happen to have a steamed pork bun in the other.