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Word of the Day - "數饅頭"

weather: partially sunny
outside: 8.8°C
mood: ...
Most men in my userinfoHusband's family and circle of friends in the generation above us have served their mandatory training/service in the Taiwan military. Everyone hates it with a passion, it's seen as a necessary thing that no one wants to do. It's a waste of time and a waste of youth. To avoid military service is one of the biggest motivators to get into University. Everyone, who has sons and has the ability to do so, will emmigrate so that their sons won't have to participate when they grow up.

For those stuck with it, though, looking forward to the end has become so ceremonious that it has its own name.

數饅頭 (shǔ mán tóu), literally "to count the steamed buns".

Every week, each person is allocated food and other supplies for the week. One of the things you get is plain steamed buns. In the last week or two before discharge, the boys have made it a ritual to count down the days by eating one a day until they leave.

As a joke, we have started using this phrase to mean "counting down the days" for any event that we're looking forward to ending, like graduation, meeting a deadline on a project, last days/weeks of work before going on holidays, etc.

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
airy_
Apr. 7th, 2006 09:53 pm (UTC)
weird parallel:)
same situation in Russia - going to University or to another country to avoid military service, and counting down the days till "dembel" (informal word for "demobilization").

Can't remember how I found out about your blog (must be through interests) but find it interesting. Must be your username - I added you as a livejournal friend right after my own wedding:)
bride
Apr. 8th, 2006 05:42 am (UTC)
Re: weird parallel:)
Hi there, welcome and congratulations =)
airy_
Apr. 8th, 2006 10:18 am (UTC)
Re: weird parallel:)
thanks:)
node_ue
Apr. 7th, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC)
couting down the steamed buns until they bust their steamed buns for the military

srsly lol
bride
Apr. 8th, 2006 05:45 am (UTC)
Hahaha!! XD

BTW, just out of curiosity, are you the fellow who made one of the Gothic fonts? Is that how you found me? =)
node_ue
Apr. 8th, 2006 01:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, I made the Gothic fonts, and no, I found you because we have mutual friends -- I did this thing to find LJ users by how many of your friends have them listed as a friend and you had 4 I think -- I think we both know pach00ey, uglyboy, tisoi, bokane, or something like that.
bride
Apr. 9th, 2006 04:20 am (UTC)
Ah, cool, well welcome =)
sophia
Apr. 8th, 2006 03:19 am (UTC)
are boys that get into university not required to serve?
bride
Apr. 8th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC)
I should find out for sure, but I think if you're enrolled full time at a University, you can delay your service until you graduate.
ugly_boy
Apr. 9th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
Fascinating… I always enjoy your Chinese language/culture posts.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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eLouai
bride
The Bride of the First House

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