The small things

It’s the small things that matter, and its these things we’re least likely to remember or realise. Not sure how one can make sure they always remember these little things, that’s probably an ask too much, but at least we can be understanding and more conscious of these.

I was sat there in a cafe having my chicken fillet and rice when an elderly lady on the table behind me loudly complained to one of the staff.

– Has the spaghetti been cooked?
– Yes, it’s meant to be ‘bounce teeth’ (think this means al dente in English)
– NO! You haven’t cooked it at all, it’s still raw!

It was a pretty innocuous, maybe 20 second, exchange. But I think it stuck in part because I had a similar situation on a recent trip to an Italian restaurant while on holiday with the grands.

Although I gave the same resolution to make sure the pasta is boiled more soft next time… I’m honestly not sure I would even remember before hand. So I guess understanding and in the moment cognisance is all we can ask for.

Speedy Mass Transit Railway

I really like this video, and I think it’s a reasonably accurate reflection of how efficient the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) can be. Essentially it’s someone trying to see if they can get from one station to another faster on foot than via the MTR. In short, they don’t beat the MTR, but even then only by the sink of their teeth.

There’s a UK version of it for the tube, which has the result going the other way.

Obviously both are a bit contrived, but still a fun experiment, not that I’d want to do the running myself anytime soon.

Hong Kong’s Tiger Tutors

Lots of people have probably heard me joking about the asian stereotype of studying all the time. If you’ve got some free time, then I’d encourage you to watch this documentary.

Admittedly it is somewhat exaggerated and of course this sort of experience isn’t universal (so don’t go around talking to everyone from HK as if they did go through all those), but certainly it’s representative of the experience of lots of people. It also gives you an idea why I dislike the tutorial system in general. It’s not that it doesn’t help people, but rather that it should be a necessary component of the education system.

All that said, having not been through this system myself, my own experiences are only peripheral.


Top 20 English as a Second Language speakers following the 8 preliminary rounds.

Note that this is different both to those announced at the Grand Finalas well as the subsequent list posted earlier. This is becaues a number of issues arose in the calculations of the scores and the CAP have had to continiously update this list as this information becomes integrated. This post is accurate only as of the time it was udpated {4pm 14/2/2013}

Position. Name (Country) Debates – Average
1. Diego Cepeda (Mexico) 7 – 72.667
2. Siddarth Shrikanth (India) 8 – 72.521
3. Jose de los Heros (Peru) 6 – 72.417
4. Aaron Luke (Malaysia) 6 – 72.222
5. Ariel de la Garza (Mexico) 5 – 72.000
6. Dhruva Bhat (India) 8 – 71.979
7. Shriya Suriyanarayanan (India) 4 – 71.917
8. Kaan Ülgen (Turkey) 6 – 71.722
9. Luis Enrique Zela-Koort (Peru) 7 – 71.619
10. Yerin Yang (South Korea) 6 – 71.611