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Beijing Scene, Volume 5, Issue 14, June 25 - July 1

The Comrade's Final Exam  
High time you took the test to see if you've learned anything from the Comrade. This "Final Exam" for 1999 is meant to evaluate your Chinese language ability and mastery of Middle Kingdom culture. Good luck!

Part I. 单词 (Vocabulary)
(Choose the closest meaning)

1. 老百姓 lao bai xing
a) a sexually transmitted disease
b) a city in Northeast China
c) a lumpen proletariat
d) an ancient Chinese philosopher

2. 白酒 bai jiu
a) white wine
b) a derogatory term for a Caucasian
c) a biological weapon
d) backyard-still moonshine

3. 休息 xiu xi
a) what you do all day if you work for a 国企 guo qi (state-owned enterprise)
b) news
c) a small rodent-like animal eaten by the Cantonese
d) to urinate in public

4. 半天 ban tian
a) what Chinese women hold up
b) slang for making love
c) to show off
d) a long, long time

5. 大山 Da Shan
a) Mark Rowswell
b) a fool
c) a sellout
d) all of the above

6. 老外 Lao wai
a) friend
b) foreigner
c) sucker
d) foreign sucker

7. 小皇帝 Xiao huang di
a) a loose woman
b) a spoiled brat
c) a disgruntled postal employee
d) a miniature collectable porcelain emperor doll

8. 穷 Qiong
a) destitute and impoverished
b) can't afford a Rolex
c) the name of a popular magazine for men
d) Beijing slang for "OK!" (pronounced "Qiong!" and said loudly with a thumbs-up)

9. 麻将 Ma jiang
a) a game played for the sake of fun and sportsmanship
b) a rotting corpse
c) a drug sold in discos
d) a way of life and sole source of 收入 shou ru (income) for growing numbers of Chinese

10. 下岗 Xia gang
a) an ancient Chinese board game
b) unemployed
c) to voluntarily leave one's job in order to save one's company money
d) to talk a lot of nonsense

Part II. 填空?Ttian kong (Fill in the blank by choosing the best answer)

11. She placed her finger on her _________, raised her eyebrows and asked, "me?"
a) breast
b) toe
c) nose
d) belly button

12. After being diagnosed with high blood pressure, he went on a strict diet of _________, determined to beat the affliction.
a) hog's maws
b) celery juice
c) putrid tofu
d) vinegar

13. Without _________, there would be no New China.
a) Chairman Mao
b) the Communist Party
c) a lot of foreign investment
d) the bicycle

14. The newly arrived foreign students were easy prey for the _________.
a) Siberian tigers
b) taxi driver
c) lawyers
d) visa officials

15. The old cadre lived to the ripe old age of 108, thanks to _________.
a) 红塔山 Hongtashan cigarettes
b) excitement at the return of Macau to the motherland
c) a bet
d) his lucky "little red book"

16. According to the ancient Chinese saying, "If you've got power and you don't use it to make money, you抣l regret it for _________."
a) one hundred years
b) one thousand years
c) ten thousand years
d) half a day

17. The eager passengers leapt from their seats and began fishing for their luggage __________.
a) only after the aircraft had come to a complete stop and the captain turned off the "fasten seatbelts" sign
b) after the aircraft had come to a complete stop but the captain had not yet turned off the "fasten seatbelts" sign
c) as soon as the plane had slowed down to a reasonably moderate taxiing speed
d) the instant the plane's landing gear touched the runway

18. Although she washed with __________ every day for many years, her face never got any whiter.
a) vinegar
b) milk
c) food coloring
d) eye of newt

19. When invited to a Chinese person's home for dinner, you should always show up __________.
a) fifteen minutes early
b) right on time
c) fifteen minutes late
d) drunk

20. The more __________ the main course, the better.
a) well-cooked
b) expensive
c) endangered
d) oily

Part III. Read the following paragraph and then answer the questions below. (Choose the best answer)

别墅 Bie Shu (Villa Homes)
If you think "conveniently located" means 30 kilometers from the city and "affordable prices" means paying more in the Third World than you would in the First World, then these villas are for you! It is generally understood that big multinational companies are the ones actually paying for these homes. You'll have to be crazy (or a rich overseas Chinese) to buy one of these places as an investment or pay the rent out of your own pocket. These homes are ideal for expats who want to fool themselves into thinking they're not in China. Accommodations are small by Western standards, but communal "yards" and "playgrounds" afford a place for the kids to 玩 wan (play). Make sure your company provides you with a car and/or driver if they expect you to live in the boonies. You抣l need them!

21. In the above excerpt, the author's overall tone can be described as:
a) informative
b) condescending
c) sarcastic
d) concerned

22. Why would a rich overseas Chinese be likely to buy a villa home in China as an investment?
a) because they are not only conveniently located, but also affordable
b) out of a deluded sense of obligation to the "motherland"
c) out of some desperate faith that China will somehow prove to be the investment chance of a lifetime
d) because there are no more villas left in Taiwan and Hong Kong

Click here for the answers


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Using Your Electric Brain

Traditional Holidays

Little Emporer Syndrome

Henpecked Husbands

To Own Real Estate is Glorious


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