I have changed the group to private, (I don't know if this is a good idea or not, does anyone know about these things?), I thought it would be easier to keep track of of group conversations.
I would like to open up discussion to include anything Chinese, or of anywhere else for that matter.
I have heard back from spongebobmay, and it may be a good idea for us to introduce ourselves.
I am Garry from Sydney Australia. I came to ChinesePod to improve my mandarin listening skills, but I have found it has helped in many ways. I have been to China four times, and I am now married to a lovely woman who lives in Chengdu. We live in seperate hemispheres, but not for long I hope. When learning 普通话，it makes it difficult when trying to communicate with someone speaking 成都话. But she speaks English a bit and I speak Chinese a bit and we get along okay.
Does anyone have the DVD's of the Chinese series, or the book 西游记? If so, we can start at the start.
In the first episode, we are introduced to the origins of the Monkey King, and we learn he is very ambitious. First he becomes king of the monkeys, then goes off to seek immortality in the land of men. He finds a teacher and learns of enlightenment and magic. He is the best student, but due to his antics is told to go home by the master. He finds his monkey subjects have been attacked by some local demons and has to regain control of his mountain. He needs clothes and a weapon and gets these from some neighbouring gods. All the while, the Jade Emperor is watching and is displeased and so 孙悟空 is invited to heaven and is given a post as the Stable Master. Being ambitious he is eager to discover where he is in the heirarchy of heaven and is most displeased when he finds that he is right on the bottom. He complains and is given the job of Master of the peach orchards. The peaches are only to be eaten by the nobles at the peach feasts and of course are magic. They provide those who eat them with powers of strength and Immortality. So he gourges himself with most of the ripe ones. When he finds out from the fairy maidens that a feast is planned, but he is not invited he is angry and goes there early and causes great havoc before the guests arrive. Everybody is angry with him so he goes back to his mountain and gives himself a new name. The Great Sage Equal of Heaven. All efforts to control him are foiled and he is summoned to heaven by Buddah. He informs Buddah that he thinks that the Jade Emperor is hopeless at his job and tells Buddah that he could do a much better job, and so Buddah gives Wukong a test. If he can fly out of the hand of Buddah he can be Emperor of the Western end of Heaven, but if he can't then he will be buried under a mountain of rocks. Monkey is ambitious and confident so accepts the challenge. He flies to the end of the universe where he finds 5 pillars. He writes some grafitti, relieves himself at the base of one of the pillars, and flies back to Buddah. He boasts of his acheivement, but is shown that the 5 pillars were the fingers on the hand of Buddah, and is then subjected to the punishment promised. This in itself is not enough, and Buddah has to add his seal on top of the mountain to hold Sun Wukong, where he waits to be released.
This is a brief summary of my understanding of the first episode. I look forward to hear your comments.
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