A friend of us mailed us a number of Jokes from Beijing University.
They did not make me laugh, but I am not a Chinese. Here is one of
A Peking University office room caught fire last Tuesday. The
room on fire is the new `Administrative Office of Hot-water Tickets and
Morning Exercise Tickets'. Heavy smoke came form that building and it took
the fire fighters two hours to contain it. Later on people got both
good news and bad news. Good news: The room is intact. Bad news: no
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly
meaningless! Everything is meaningless."
What does man gain from all his labour at which he toils under the sun?
Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it
goes, ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place
the streams come from, there they return again.
All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has
enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
We have decided to invite Xiao Xia,
Li-Xia's sister, to visited us
this summer/fall for about 3 months. This means she has to get
a Chinese passport and a tourist visa for Holland.
To get the visa, the following things have to be done:
We have to get a pre-printed invitation letter (including a
statement that I am willing to pay all costs) from the
town hall, and fill it in. (Done)
Bring this letter to the town hall, and have the signature
authenticated. (Costs 13.50 DGL)
(Done on February 10)
Send this letter to her, including some more papers.
(Done on February 10)
She has to get a birth certificate from a local government.
Then she has to travel to Beijing to request for a tourist
visa at the Dutch Embassy.
It seems she has to do this in person, and travel
about 6000 Km for doing so, as my family-in-law lives
in a remote area of China. (Expected travel costs: 500$)
She has to bring the following things:
the invitation letter.
copy of her birth certificated, possibly authenticated
by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Proof of her being a sister of Li-Xia. (Probably on
the birth certificate.)
Copy of our passports, and our marriage certificate,
again to proof that we are related.
Letter from her unit (at which she works) stating that
they agree that she takes off for three months.
She has to get a Chinese passport. The following documents
are needed for this:
Invitation letter from us, possibly translated into Chinese
Copies of our passports
Our marriage certificate
Statements about how much we earn
Statements stating that she is healthy
Letter from her unit stating that they have no objections
Then after she after she has received a letter from the
Dutch Embassy, which hopefully says she has was granted the
visa, she can go to get it in Beijing, showing her Chinese passport
after having paid some money.
If it is rejected, she might have to travel to Beijing
again to provide additional papers.
Dinner was ready when I came home. When I checked the car again
after dinner, none of the dashboard lights gave any sign of life.
I phoned my father
for advise, and he mentioned that I might have
left the trunk open. When I checked this, it turned out that the
trunk was locked, but not completely closed. Then I remembered having
heard some noise yesterday. The trunk light must have exhausted the
Li-Xia got my signature legalised
today at the town hall, using my
driving license (O, that is why that car broke down :-), and she
send the letter with all the papers. I did send an email to
the Dutch Embassy in Beijing to ask about some details with respect to
procedure for applying a tourist visa. I wonder if (and when) I
will receive a reply.
Lately, I am into jigsaw puzzles, because
Annabel is good at them.
Tomorrow she will be two and a third years old. She can finish
a 24 (big sized) piece puzzle all by herself. Last week we gave her a 50
(average sized) piece puzzle. We make this together. I hand her pieces
that can be fit to one of the laid down pieces. Sometimes, she picks
a piece by herself. She often knows where to fit a piece, but has
a tendency to put them upside down. I have noticed this strange
behaviour before, with other kinds of puzzles. Even if she already
has the piece in the right orientation, she sometimes still turns
it upside down. We wonder how long it will take her to make the
50 piece puzzle all on her own.
Gaps in prime numbers
The table below contains pairs of primes with strictly increasing
distances, such that there are no other primes between the pairs.
Original question was posted by Dan Stubbs to
He gave the first 24 entries.
Frank Pilhofer found them
upto 30. Travis found them upto number 25.
Mark Kambites found them upto 32.
Franz Mauch found them upto number 39, and needed 6 hours
on a Pentium 100.
Eric Laroche found them upto number 34.
Xiao Bing calls herself Shirley Ice-cream for foreigners. `Xiao' means
beautiful (a common name for Chinese girls), and `Bing' means ice,
because she was born on a cold winter day. That explains the
`Ice-cream' part. `Shirley' is just a name she picked. I usually
call her Xiao Bing, because that is what Li-Xia calls her.
Visa applications must be submitted by the applicant in person.
(In case of grandparents or parents of age, the application may be
submitted by their child.) The Embassy does not accept applications
by mail. An application should contain:
4 application forms, fully completed and signed by applicant in person,
with 4 photographs attached.
a valid passport and copies of the passport.
an original invitation letter.
an original certificate giving evidence of family relation (if any)
with the sponsor. The certificate must be legalised by The
(Chinese) Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
if employed, employment card as well as an approval letter for leave
from the employer with address and telephone number of employer.
if school going, ....
residence registration book.
full home address in Chinese characters including postal code.
After submitting the application, applicants are requested to await a
notice by mail which will normally be sent after approximately two months.
The Visa Section will not give any information by telephone regarding the
status of a visa application.