So the yuan has finally been revalued. I thought I’d missed something big when I got the Economist pop-up this afternoon, but it took place only yesterday. Thank goodness. I get so immersed in activities here on the ground that I don’t always pay the attention I’d like to the wide world. (The BBC’s news alerts help.)
BTW, the yuan is also called RMB, the acronym for the Chinese words for “the people’s currency.”
China’s relationship with the US and the rest of the world is one of the topics of greatest interest to me, especially because my son Tom (19) is in Shanghai right now. I called him this morning and he said, “I can’t believe I come home in 2-1/2 weeks–there are so many things I want to do. I just want to live here.” He was in Beijing last spring studying Chinese but this trip is very different because he’s there thanks to arrangements made by one of our editors for the Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, who comes from Shanghai. Tom’s been with Chinese people the entire time and is getting to know Chinese life in a completely new way (and loving it). He says that everyone is talking about the London bombings, that they are not feeling friendly towards Japan, and that girls are scared of him (he is 6’2). Until they get to know him, that is. He had been treated with wonderful hospitality, and his job–teaching English–has gone well (and is much easier, he says, than the customer service work he was doing at Berkshire Publishing!). His Chinese is much improved, too, apparently, which will be a help when he goes back to college next month. And we’ll certainly put it to good use if he comes back to work for us.
Meanwhile, I am trying out a wide variety of Chinese language tapes and CDs; I’ll be able to put a critical review online before long. I am making slow progress, but I can now understand some words and phrases. I have no idea yet if anyone will be able to understand me!