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China bug

[ 2009-06-19 11:51]     字号 [] [] []  
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China bugReader question:

In this sentence – Having succumbed to the ‘China bug’ during his first visit in 1984 Phillip Dobbs has spent the majority of his working life in China – what does “China bug” mean?

My comments:

It means he fell in love with China.

With the “China bug”, Dobbs became obsessed with China-related activities, couldn’t help coming to and staying in this country, etc.

If someone succumbs to, or to use simpler words catches, hits or gets bitten by a certain bug, they develop a strong desire and enthusiasm for something.

The bug originally of course refers to one of many of the world’s small insects. If you get bitten by a bug on the arm, for instance, you have a little swollen sore spot as a result. Though bug bites may not be extremely painful or harmful, they tend to be itchy, annoying and nagging – because they won’t go away.

Perhaps it is from this sense that the metaphorical meaning derives. People who develop the travel bug, for instance, can’t settle in one place and have to roam. Americans in Florida who are bitten by the ski bug may sell their house and move to live in Colorado instead. Those who get caught by the theater bug watch plays all the time. And those who develop the bungee bug can’t resist the thrills of hurtling themselves off the sky….

Anyways, here are a few media examples:

China bug

1. Travel bug: When I read a recent story on CNN that talks about how the age at which people (in the West) get bitten by the travel-bug is decreasing, I felt both good and envious.

I’ve been lucky to have parents who moved around a lot, so I have lived in more places than many since a very young age; but it was purely a coincidence, the benefits of which I’m only comprehending now. A conscious effort to travel and explore the world only happened for me when I moved to Australia for university where I was surrounded by adventurous people; my lust for travel, funnily enough, started with weekend hikes!

- Resources to help give your kids the travel bug, vagablogging.net, March 22, 2008.

2. Ski bug: When the snow begins to fall, the ski bug starts to bite. Dusting off your boots and bindings, you begin to imagine the wind in your face, the frost on your breath and the thrill of carving the mountain. Your pulse pumps as you see yourself waxing your board and slicing though a forest freshly laden with pristine powder.

- From the East to the West, ten places to discover, Nomadik.com.

3. Theater bug: A bunch of IT professionals, with a hectic weekday schedule, are keeping themselves busy even during the weekends. They have been smitten by the theatre bug. ‘Rebelz’ as they are otherwise known, formed this group with just one purpose in mind. To provide quality English language plays in Chennai, and also of course to have fun.

Vinodh, one of the core members, just can’t disengage himself from this passion he shares with his bunch.

He writes:

“Come weekends and we’re at our efficient best in rehearsals. Memorizing dialogues, working out the sound ideas, imagining our costumes, and rehearsing our scenes. Pages and pages of lines to memorize in the weekends for the folks who type lines and lines of codes during weekdays. Coffee and colas keep us awake between shots. Playing pranks on each other keeps us all charged up, after all we are in the serious business of making people laugh.”

- India: All about the Theatre! Globalvoicesonline.org, July 21, 2008.

4. Bungee bug:

Looks like David Beckham has more than soccer on his mind these days! Bungee jumping is the sport that has caught his fancy right now! While touring New Zealand with his Los Angeles Galaxy team, when the Bungee bug bit him, he decided to jump off the Auckland Harbour Bridge! He took on a fall of 134 feet and was hoisted back on the bridge only to get ready to take another plunge – only this time with a longer tether, which meant he splashed head-first into the water!

- David Beckham’s latest sport, Galatta.com, December 9, 2008.



About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.


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