Tuesday, October 3, 2006

The Business of Business Cards...

...or The Importance of 名片(Ming2 Pian4)

Once again we are complying with the local customs: after buying our bike, we had Business Cards made. Well actually I made them but I did it the proper way: Chinese on one side and English (in fact pinyin, which is “the Romanization or phonetic notation and transcription to Roman script of the Chinese characters”*) on the other side. Since everybody is handing out their business cards to everybody, we just HAD to have some too. It's even better if you can add a little map of how to get to your place. Finding an address in Beijing is not an easy task!!
Yes I know it is not technically a BUSINESS card…'cause who am I kidding, going around having tea with friends does not qualify as business....or does it? In fact, this is where I meet with potential clients (read: friends), exchange business plans (read: clues to the best bargain places, how to live here, etc) and I sometimes even have business lunches when we discuss potential outsourcing (read: finding the best ayi -babysitter/maid- in town) or where international expansions (read: the next must-do vacation) are debated. Maybe I should rethink my business plan and introduce myself as CEO™ (Chief Everything Officer) for a multinational company (French, American, Argentinean and Scottish) searching for new ventures (expat’ lifestyle) worldwide (North America, South America, Europe and Asia already accomplished so far). What do you think, should I have them remade with my new title?
So anyway from now on we are known as the 苏特, with daddy 杰夫瑞 "jiefurui", maman 西琳 "xilin", big sister 克洛伊 "keluoyi" and last but not least, little brother杰瑞米 "jieruimi"
On a funny note my nickname could be "Sushi"…. Let me explain myself. Chinese last names (always listed first rather than last) are only one character and Chinese first names are either one or sometimes two characters. Therefore my Chinese name (not the full translation of my western name) is su (pronounced 'soo') 西xi (pronounced 'she')

* To give you an idea of what we have to go through to read pinyin go check it out here