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    • Collector
      1
      Hello everybody, kindly can you help me in translation of these seals/inscription? I suppose in chinese. They come from the drawing posted below. Thank you in advance!    
    • markhavemann
      0
      I don't know if I've seen anything about iXigua on the forums so I thought I'd post about it. Basically it's a video site based on YouTube, making it fairly easy to find content (as opposed to Bilibili which has a format and layout that I find impenetrable).   The user base seems to be growing and there seems to be more and more quality content creators and videos on all kinds of topics, basically like YouTube, which mostly has reasonably limited content Chinese wise.    I decided to post about this because I just found that it also has the Chinese dub of Avatar the Last Airbender and We Bare Bears, and loads of other kids shows and cartoons (even Ninja Turtles) which are pretty hard to find elsewhere.     I haven't fully explored the site but I can see it potentially replacing YouTube, bilibili and iqiyi to some extent, since there seem to be many fewer ads than iqiyi, and lots of things have soft subs, some are generated and others seem to be added by the video creators. 
    • MTH123
      4
      I’m old and decades of grinding my teeth ever since childhood has taken a toll. I can’t chew through virtually anything like I did when I was young. So, meat tenderization techniques have become more important to me than ever.   Cut Against the Grain   First, the most basic meat tenderization technique in Chinese cooking is to cut meat against the grain. Look for parallel lines in the meat and cut perpendicular to them. If the parallel lines aren’t cut through, then they tighten up during cooking and make meat harder to chew. I’ve always done this, but it isn’t good enough anymore with my ground down teeth.    Baking Soda   Baking soda is a secret in Chinese cooking. I only learned about it a couple of years ago. It definitely works. But, it’s important to not use too much of it, because it doesn’t taste good and too much can ruin a dish. To keep from tasting it, use half a teaspoon per pound of thinly sliced meat. Mix thoroughly to make sure the baking soda is spread out. If the meat is cut into bite-size pieces, then up to one teaspoon per pound of meat works, too. Never go over one teaspoon per pound of meat.   If the meat isn’t thinly sliced and is in big chunks, then forget about using baking soda. The baking soda covers only a part of the meat, and it doesn’t taste good!   Marinate the meat in baking soda for at least 15 minutes to allow its chemistry to work.   Egg White and Corn Starch   Egg white and corn starch are commonly used in Chinese cooking. It has a fancy term called “Velveting.” From what I can tell from internet research, egg white apparently tenderizes meat. I use it to tenderize meat for 30 minutes. I don’t know if lesser time accomplishes the same thing. Egg white doesn’t tenderize meat nearly as much as baking soda. Truth be told, I’m not sure why I do it.   I’ve always used cornstarch, because that’s what my mom did. From what I’ve gathered, it’s a useful coating.   Also, I’ve always used sesame oil, which Irene Kuo’s absolutely fantastic cookbook The Key to Chinese Cooking says is part of “Velveting.”   Salt   I am 100% certain that salt is better at tenderizing meat than baking soda. I only recently learned about this, because of Samin Nosrat’s amazing cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat. Apply salt and tenderize meat overnight. But, salt can do its magic in as few as a couple of hours, depending on the meat and size of the meat. (I’m thinking chicken here.)   Mechanical Meat Tenderizer   If meat isn’t “shredded,” e.g., 1/8-inch x 1/8-inch x 2-inch, then a mechanical meat tenderizer is helpful. It’s a tool that has a bunch of very small knives bunched together. It breaks up the fibers, so to speak. Then, there aren’t long lines of fibers that can shrink during cooking and cause meat to be tough to eat. The one I like for Chinese cooking is:   https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HIKSF1U/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1   Sour Cream or Kiwi   I only do this for beef, because it is the toughest meat that I eat. (I eat pork, chicken and beef.) For sour cream or kiwi, cover every bit of the cut-up meat, and let it marinate for 30 minutes. Then, wash the sour cream or kiwi off the meat.   Slippery Coating   This is a truly amazing method that I learned from Irene Kuo’s absolutely fantastic cookbook The Key to Chinese Cooking. And, it is part of the reason I wrote this post. A year ago or so, I scoured the internet to understand this method and never understood it, until I read The Key to Chinese Cooking. I now do it every time I cook meat for stir fry. By the way, the method has many different names, which I can’t recall right now.   In terms of marinating, it’s a variation of velveting, except without the egg white. So, it includes all marination, including corn starch. Then, the meat is sort of “blanched” in a pot of hot oil or boiling water, until it just changes color. It isn’t fully cooked through. Then, it’s scooped out of the pot. Then, it’s stir fried to complete its cooking.   For a home cook, cooking in a pot of oil isn’t very practical, unless you are good at saving oil and re-using it, which I’m not so far. So, I go with the version that cooks the meat in a pot of boiling water. This version is also better than going straight to stir frying, in terms of more tender meat.   I also add salt to the pot of water, because of Samin Nosrat’s great cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat. The idea is that the right amount of salt prevents the meat from losing flavor to the water. (The concept is based on osmosis.) It definitely works. I used to believe that boiling anything caused a big loss of flavor. But, it doesn’t if the right amount of salt (or other flavorings?) is used.   Conclusions   Please weigh in on this topic! How do you tenderize meat? How many techniques would you use at the same time? There are times when I have used all of these techniques at the same time, even though it doesn’t seem like all of them are necessary, lol. I’m still trying to figure all this stuff out. 
    • MTH123
      2
      Can we talk about cookbooks with Chinese recipes that are written in English? My Chinese isn’t advanced enough to look up recipes in Chinese. It’s very intimidating to me, to say the least. Maybe someday, my Chinese will advance enough to be able to do this. But, that time is not now.   After using free resources on the internet for about a year, especially YouTube, I broke down and looked into cookbooks. I was looking for cookbooks that had authentic recipes. This wasn’t easy to determine at all. I took my best guesses. I scoured the internet for articles, comments on articles, forums, etc. Some of the best information I found was in comments on articles by random people.   I’ve found a motherload of great recipes in cookbooks in English! Yay! Um, yes, this is a hobby that I’m willing to spend more money on, because my husband and I love Chinese food so much. We’ve eaten at the only 5-star restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan countless times for free, because one of my dad’s friends owns the restaurant. So, our palates for eating Chinese food grew to be much greater than most Chinese restaurants in the U. S.   I have minimal talent for cooking, but it is just enough that I can make better Chinese dishes at home than most Chinese restaurants in the U. S. Great recipes are very forgiving of minimally talented cooks. This is partially why I’ve been on the hunt for great recipes. I’m still relatively early into this project. I’ll eventually try on the order of 100 recipes.   It was hard to decide which cookbooks to buy. I ended up kind of running amuck buying cookbooks.   My Favorite Chinese Cookbooks So Far   My favorite Chinese cookbook so far is All Under Heaven (2016) by Carolyn Phillips. It has recipes from 35 Chinese cuisines! I had no idea how many different Chinese cuisines I had eaten and how very many of them I love to eat, e.g., Zhejiang Province, Shanghai, Taiwanese, Cantonese, even Hakka, etc., etc., etc. Carolyn Phillips also has a great blog with a lot of recipes that aren’t in her cookbook. It’s: https://carolynjphillips.blogspot.com/. Check it out!   Saying that China is one cuisine is like saying that Europe is one cuisine. How many cuisines are in Europe? Carolyn Phillips breaks down Chinese cuisines into 35 cuisines in her cookbook. It’s a great read. And, I’ve learned a lot from it. It has helped me in my hunt for foods in Asia that I like and can’t find in the U. S. Then, I can try to make the foods myself.   A very close second to All Under Heaven by Carolyn Phillips is cookbooks by Fuchsia Dunlop. They include Land of Fish and Rice (2016) and Every Grain of Rice (2012). I’m not into spicy foods, but Fuchsia Dunlop is more famous for Sichuan and Hunan cuisines. Sichuan cuisine is the most popular cuisine inside China. Hunan cuisine, which is considered to be spicier than Sichuan cuisine, is the second most popular cuisine inside China. (Cantonese cuisine is the most popular cuisine outside China. It is known for being more delicate.) You can’t go wrong with any Fuchsia Dunlop cookbook.   Out-of-Print Chinese Cookbooks in English    Some of the best Chinese cookbooks in English are out of print. My favorite so far is The Key to Chinese Cooking (1977) by Irene Kuo. Similar to Julia Child’s Joy of Cooking, it covers everything from beginner to expert. So, for beginners, it’s more suitable than Carolyn Phillips’ or Fuchsia Dunlop’s cookbooks. It also has great recipes. You can’t go wrong with this cookbook. You can get it for a reasonable price in the used-book market.   I’m also impressed with the cookbooks listed below, which are available in the used-book market for a reasonable price. The cookbooks aren’t listed in any particular order: Similar to Irene Kuo, if I remember correctly, most-to-all of the cookbook authors below have also been called the Julia Child of Chinese cuisine.   ·      Yan-kit’s Classic Chinese Cookbook (1993) by Yan-kit So ·      Chinese Kitchen (1999) by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo ·      Florence Lin’s Chinese Regional Cookbook (1975) by Florence Lin ·      Pei Mei’s Chinse Cook Book Volume I (1969) by Pei Mei   Lower Tier of Cookbooks?   Perhaps a lower tier of cookbooks is the following, not in any particular order:   ·      China: The Cookbook (2016) by Kei Lum Chan and Diora Fong Chan. This is basically a huge cookbook of recipes from all across China. I’m not sure that the recipes rise to the level of Carolyn Phillips’ or Fuchia Dunlop’s recipes. But, they look pretty good. ·      The Food of Taiwan (2015) by Cathy Erway. I bought this cookbook, because I wanted more recipes that were specific to Taiwan. So far, so good. The main question is whether they rise to the level of Carolyn Phillips, who lived in Taiwan for many years and provides many Taiwan recipes on her blog for free. Maybe I could find a way to improve the recipes with insights from people like Carolyn Phillips. ·      Chinese Street Food (2018) by Howie Southworth and Greg Matza. Regular cookbooks don’t usually have recipes for street food. There are many street foods that I love. I don’t know how good the recipes are yet. If they aren’t what I expect, then maybe I could find a way to improve them. ·      Chinese Cookery Secrets (1993) by Deh-Ta Hsiung. I thumbed through this cookbook and wasn’t sure that I saw any secret that I didn’t already know from internet research. But, it probably still has helpful information or recipes. ·      The Gourmet Chinese Regional Cookbook (1976, out-of-print and bought used for a reasonable price) by Calvin B. T. Lee and Audrey Evans Lee. This cookbook hasn’t made a particular impression on me so far, but I haven’t read it carefully yet. ·      Chinese Cooking for Pleasure (1987, out-of-print and bought used for a reasonable price) by Yong Yap Cotterell. This cookbook supposedly has recipes that aren’t in other cookbooks. I haven’t looked closely at it yet. ·      Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees (2015) by Kian Lam Kow. I’m not sure this author actually made all of his recipes, which is apparently a problem in the cookbook industry. But, if I’m advanced enough, I can probably overcome it and modify the recipes, like I did for Moo Goo Gai Pan (Mushrooms and Chicken). I bought the cookbook more for Chinese cooking techniques. I like that part of it. But, that part probably doesn’t have anything that a cookbook like Irene Kuo’s The Key to Chinese Cooking doesn’t have. Regardless, it’s a pretty good cookbook.   Food Science   I’m a retired engineer, so I can’t help my outer geek from being attracted to food science. But, there is a limit to my interest in it. (I prefer mechanical engineering and not all specialties within mechanical engineering either.) I don’t plan to be very well versed in food science. I only plan to pick up some useful concepts for my level of cooking.   Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat   Even though the cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat isn’t about Chinese food science, it is my favorite food-science cookbook so far. Initially, I was skeptical that a cookbook with this title would be very helpful. But, professional chefs, like Samin Nosrat herself, talked about it. So, I thought, “What the heck?“ I’ll get it. It is definitely all that it is talked up to be. It’s truly amazing. It’s also pretty simple.   I want to take a side trip for a moment. To me, MSG is like salt on steroids. My mom didn’t cook with it. An aunt on my dad’s side cooked with it in generous amounts. I never developed a habit of cooking with it, even after seeing how my aunt cooked with it. To me, salt can accomplish the same basic effect as MSG, if enough of it is used. Salt Fat Acid Heat helps determine the optimal amount of salt.   The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt   Even though the cookbook The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt isn’t about Chinese food science, it is used by professional chefs. It’s accessible to home cooks too. It is a great cookbook. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt also writes great articles for Serious Eats (https://www.seriouseats.com/j-kenji-lopez-alt-5118720). He also puts out some fun YouTube videos, which include cooking Chinese foods.   The Art of Chinese Cuisine by Hsiang Ju Lin and Tsuifeng Lin.   I thought I should buy a book about Chinese food science, if I could. I’ve thumbed through this cookbook and have had a hard time understanding it so far. I may need to read it carefully to understand it.   Conclusions   I am by no means well versed in Chinese cookbooks in English. I’m only getting started. So, please share your opinion!  
    • arnold68
      5
      Hi, I'm trying to translate the Chinese mention on what I believe is an old key ring from a former european school in China in the late 19th or early 20th century. Trying to figure out what is written on it and if the name of this school is mentioned.  Thanks a lot for your help !  
    • Turing Complete
      0
      Hi guys, has anyone received approval for their visa?    For me, SJTU sent me an admission letter and a JW201 form. However, I still need them to send my name as a list of students who can apply for visa to the Chinese embassy which I have not been informed to have been completed so far.    How is it like for the others? Have you completed the X1 visa?    I've been sending them emails and received no responses so far too. 
    • Garyexpat
      4
      The scrolls were presented to me in 2003 after I left my school in Yangpu, Hainan, China. The Dragon & peal one was presented by my students. The Poem was written by an artist - I think his name may be mentioned on this part of an address label. I cannot remember what they say and I can't read them!   Thank you very much in advance - 慢走!
    • Turing Complete
      7
      Hi guys, I'm from SJTU. I'll be going in 2022. Just thought that things have been very dry this year (there were more conversations in the past years). So.. I'm just wondering where the others are. Like, are there others? who are coming to China this year? Visa etc.? Shall we make a Wechat/Whatsapp group and chat?
    • craig.jb
      10
      I've created a free web app for checking your Mandarin pronunciation, available at https://accentlab.net/mandarin_words . It's currently just a prototype, but I'd love to hear your feedback and ideas! You can say any word and it will transcribe it into Pīnyīn (with tones), or you can practice HSK vocabulary. I've been working on the program's accuracy for some time now, but the user interface on this page is pretty new and unpolished. The accuracy still isn't perfect, but I decided it was good enough to share. There are many directions this could take as I further develop it. I could have it collect statistics on your errors on the HSK vocabulary, and then have it tell you things you need to work on, or review words that gave you trouble. I could have it export Anki flashcards. I could add interactive lessons on particular pronunciation topics, like difficult sound pairs x/sh, re/ri, tone sandhi, etc. I could add Cantonese. Let me know what might be useful to you as a Chinese learner or teacher! 多谢!
    • Fred0
      2
        This is a blog post. I am posting the whole text with my attempt at translation to provide context for the second to last sentence which is my main problem. But, I am also asking various questions where I have problems throughout the text. And I would appreciate corrections to my translation where it is faulty, or shows failure to understand the text. Thank you.   错位的记忆和想象 Out of touch with our memories and our capacity for imagination.   #我为何与台湾越来越远? #Why am I more and more alienated from Taiwan?   从小到大, 台湾在我心中一直是一母同胞的存在, 我想这是我们, 生于七零、八零年代的所有大陆人, 共同的记忆和认知吧? From childhood,  I have always regarded Taiwan as a part of our national family. I feel that they are a part of us.   Don’t we, mainlanders born in the seventies and eighties, share common memories and understandings with them. 台湾是每年央视新年晚会午夜零点准时发来的慰问电, 是祝所有的港、 澳、台同胞春节快乐! Every New Years Eve, Taiwan watches the celebration on CCTV, and at the exact stroke of midnight, they send and receive their good wishes. To all in Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, as one family,  they wish a Happy New Year! 说到祖国的宝岛, 我们不会想到“海南岛”, 不会想到 “青岛”, 宝岛只有一个,  就是台湾岛。 When we speak of the “treasured island” of our motherland, we are not thinking of Hainan Island, or Green Island. There is only one treasured island, and that is Taiwan. 台湾岛上有日月潭、阿里山, 阿里山的姑娘美如水, 阿里山的少年壯如山。 On Taiwan are Sun Moon Lake and  the Alishan mountain range- Alishan girls, as beautiful as water; Alishan men, as strong as mountains. 我 们都知道, 我们是一母同胞, 对这个小岛自带天然的血缘亲情和好感。 We all know that we are a family. Toward this little island we bring our familial love and good feeling, as to our own natural bloodline.   更不要说那些年, 我们听过的歌, 看过的电视、 电影和综艺。 Not to mention that all these years we all have been listening to the same music and watching the same variety shows and movies on tevision. 大四的时候我们全班在湘仪子校实习, 空闲的时候我们玩“你比猜”的游戏, 有些词汇都是直接来自“超级星期天”这个栏目。 In my senior year in college, our whole class interned at Xianyizi School. In our free time we played the game of “Guess Who.” There were some words which came from the “Super Sunday” program. 写到 这里, 我还能想起哈林、阿宝、佼佼、阿亮一起 大喊“超级星期天, Super”片头语的场景。 As I write this, I am still able to remember the scene in which Ha Lin, A Bao, Jiao Jiao,  and A Liang  shout together the “Super Sunday” opening titles. 你相信吗? 我还真的背了阿亮的那首歌, 开头的第一 句我现在还记得: 孔子的中心思想是个仁, 仁的 表现是.... 我亮子的中心思想是个why .... Can you believe it? I still actually know A Liang’s theme song by heart. I still remember the beginning: “In the center of Confucius’ heart was the thought to be kind, to show kindness is...”   The shining thought at the center of my heart is WHY...   我从来没有觉得和台湾有时差, 有文化差, I have never felt that between us and Taiwan there was ever a time difference or a culture difference, 我目睹了阿宝介入佼佼和小S的恋情, 这三个人我都好喜欢, 面对小S的泪水, 我没有方寸不知道该去谴责谁。 I saw with my own eyes A Bao get involved in the romance between Jiao Jiao and Little S. I liked all three of them. As I confronted the tears of Little S, I didn’t know whom I should blame.   台湾水果第一次开放进入中国市场, 我去超市买雾莲, 味道一般, 可是, 不妨碍我理解宝岛人民对雾莲的喜欢; When fruits from Taiwan were first allowed to be imported into the Chinese market, I went to the supermarket to buy  Java apples. Its flavor was nothing special, but that does not interfere with my understanding that the people of Treasured Island like Java apples. 台湾开放自由行, 好多人给我推 荐, 说台湾最美的风景线是人。 When Taiwan opened up to travel, many people recommened it, saying Taiwan’s most beautiful scenery was its people.   是什么时候开始和台湾疏远呢? 不是太阳花、不是反服贸。 When was it that our alienation from Taiwan began? Wasn’t it during the Sunflower Movement, the opposition to the Cross-Strait Trade Agreement. (1. or is it, “not the Sunflower Movement, not the Cross-Strait Trade Agreement?”) 那一年在德国旅行, 在阿尔卑斯山脚下的一个酒店, 大厅里有一个留言本。 That year, travelling in Germany, in the lounge of a wine shop at the foot of the Alps, there was a guest book. 我的理解是, 摆在大厅休息区的留言本, 是用来表达对酒店的感谢与建议的吧? It is my understanding that this guest book displayed in the rest area was for the purpose of  conveying one’s gratitude to the wine shop and for making suggestions- right? 结果看到很多台湾人的留言, 偶尔也有大陆人的回越。 Accordingly, one could see many comments by Taiwanese, and occasionally also mainlander’s responses. (2. 回越 could mean a costume romance on Chinese television, or “return to Vietnam,” neither of which makes sense. I am guessing it means responses to the Taiwanese’s comment by a mainlander. Am I correct?) 小朋友刚开始看到是自己认识的汉字, 很高兴地去认, 去读, 然后发现, 那些话、话里的意思他不明白,那些人的 愤怒、辱骂他也不知道是为什么。 A child as soon as he began to read the responses recognized Chinese characters, and happy to recognize them, went on reading, after which he discovered some comments the meaning of which he could not understand. He also couldn’t understand why these people were so angy and insulting.  (3. I can’t tell here if the writer is referring to angry insults from mainlanders to Taiwanese only, Taiwanese to mainlanders only, or both to each other. Perhaps it’s meant to be unspecified? If I knew what 回越 means, it might answer the question.) 他跟我一样, 对于台湾的认识和记忆, 还停留在我们的语文课本, 课本告诉他: “一只船扬白帆, 飘啊飘啊到台湾;接来台湾小朋友, 到我学校玩一玩。伸出双手紧紧握, 热情的话儿说不完。” For he and I both, our acquaintance with and memories of Taiwan are limited to our literature textbooks in school. The textbook tells him:  “a boat with a white sail,  floating, floating towards Taiwan, is received by a Taiwan child. Come to my school to play. Extending both hands; holding in a tight embrace; cordiality without end.” 不止一家酒店, 在莱茵河边一个最寻常的景点, 在德国古城街巷的入口, 在天鹅堡, 有留言本的地方, 就能看到那些人无孔不入的留言。 Not only at the wine shop, but also at a common scenic spot by the Reine river, at the entrance to the streets and alleys of the old German towns, and at the Neuschwanstein Castle, there were guest books where you could read these people’s comments everywhere. 小朋友还好, 我却实在是心寒: 一母同胞, 何至于此? The child is not so upset by it, but I truly am bitterly disappointed: how is this a familial relationship?   我固然不能理解 TW被割让后各种政治错位导致的对大陆的疏离, 但是, 那些留言的人, 也根本不理解我们, 生于七零、八零年代的大陆人, 对 TW 的记忆和感情吧? Admittedly, I am unable to understand  the island’s alienation from the mainland which was caused by the various kinds of governmental dislocations that followed the ceding of Taiwan 4. to the Japanese in 1895?}, (5. This is a knotty sentence for me. Have I parsed it correctly? ) but those people who left the comments, don’t they also basically mis-understand us, the mainland people who were born in the seventies and eighties- our memories and good feelings?   非典来临, 如果说台湾民间各种喧嚣尘上的 wuhan 病毒之说我还能无视, 不能理解的是, 疫情初期台湾官方以物资吃紧对口罩的封锁。 As the atypical pneumonia approached, if one were to say that among the Taiwanese people there was all kinds  of clamor over the Wuhan virus. I was able to ignore it. (6. What does 喧嚣尘上 mean? Is it a variation of 甚嚣尘上?) What I can’t understand is, in the early stage of the epidemic, the Taiwan government, because of short supplies, blocked face masks. 但是当新加坡出现疫情时, 却忙不迭第一时间送上问候, 不是说自己的口罩都不够吗? 新加坡总理夫人大概也是不能理解的吧, 所以在FB上回应了一个大大的“呃....”这是她发的原文, 意味深长的标点符号都是总理夫人所发。 however Singapore, at that same time as the epidemic appeared, hurriedly, as soon as possible, sent their good wishes. Did they say that they didn’t have enough masks? The wife of the prime minister of Singapore was perhaps also unable to understand, so she responded on Facebook with a large “呃...” meaning “WHAT?...  .” This was her original text. It was a profound piece of punctuation that she sent out.   呃...我真的不能理解。我只知道, 也许我对台湾的亲情, 是时代、文化、媒体综合而成的错位, 我欲将心照明月, 奈何明月不珍惜。 What?...I really don’t understand. I only know, maybe my familial love of Taiwan is completely alien to the composite of the present day attitudes, the culture, and the media. I want the intuitive sensitivity of my heart, to make the pearl shine brightly, but it is to no avail, as the pearl does not cherish its own light. (7. Here I am really lost. This sentence is the central problem I am asking about. It seems that this is a poetic expression alluding to the “luminous pearl” of Chinese  tradition that gives off its own light, but I doubt that I have gleaned the correct meaning. Is the writer saying that Taiwan is to blame for not reciprocating the writer’s warm familial love for the island, is it the idea that the general zeitgeist is opposed to these kinds of warm human feelings, or some other idea?) 我中年的清醒与失落, 也许也是成长必经的过程? My middle-aged clear-headedness, and sense of disappointment and loss are maybe necessary to the process of becoming a mature person.
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