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Looking Back at the Year That Was 回看2013

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2013 was a hot year, both literally and figuratively, as record-breaking temperatures came to China in July and August and conflicts heated up across the world. Shanghai experienced its hottest summer in 140 years as temperatures topped 37°C for ten days straight. Throughout the year, economic signals and outlooks fluctuated across the globe. Corruption in Chinese politics came to the forefront of international news with the high profile trial and subsequent conviction of Bo Xilai in September. “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” and “Iron Man 3” topped the box office charts while a giant rubber duck made its home in Hong Kong and Beijing for two separate periods.

Internationally, the conflict in Syria reached violent new heights, protests in Egypt raged, Pope Benedict XVI resigned in February, and working conditions in Bangladesh were brought under scrutiny after the collapse of a large factory building in April. Signs of climate change continued with massive flooding in northern India, South America, and central Europe, among other places. The U.S. faced crisis when former CIA contractor Edward Snowden exposed a massive surveillance program being run by the U.S. government, and fled first to Hong Kong in May. Kenya experienced terrorism in September when gunmen overran a Nairobi mall.

On a more personal level, many people also experienced individual growth and changes in 2013. I sat down with three of them to talk about what has happened to them over the last year, and what their hopes are for the future.

I met with Shanghai’s Feng Zheng to find out what was big in her 2013—and a big year she has had!

When you think back on 2013, what do you think will be the thing that stands out most in your memory?

I entered a U.S. graduate program at Boston University in the spring to get a Master’s of Business Administration. This program allows us to study in both China and the U.S. Our summer was split between Shanghai and Beijing. I loved having that time with my international classmates and having the chance to share my country with them. My roommate was from Peru, and getting to know her was an especially good experience from this year.

What do you think was the biggest news story in 2013?
The U.S. government shutdown was really big news, especially since I was in the U.S. when it happened!

Did you travel anywhere exciting this year? What did you do there?
Yes, I had the chance to go to both Taiwan and Greece. Both were great trips. I got to have new experiences and check out a lot of the main sightseeing areas. In Greece, I really liked visiting Santorini and Mikonos. Athens is a cool city, too. Santorini is famous for having all white-and- blue buildings, and it’s right on the Aegean Sea. It’s very beautiful there.

Any final words about 2013?
It’s one of my best years ever!

I also chatted with Shenzhen’s Yong Ping Li about his experiences of 2013. 

What do you think was the biggest news story of 2013?
The biggest news for me was the Syrian civil war. The displacement of refugees and level of violence has been astonishing.

What were your favorite movies from this year?
“Iron Man 3” and “1942” were two great ones I saw this year. Really good plots and action.

Did you travel anywhere interesting in 2013?
Yes! I went to France, Italy, and Spain with my wife for a vacation. We had a great time and got to see the beauty and history of those countries, as well as experience the different cultures.

What do you think will stand out most in your mind about 2013 when you think back on it ten years from now?
A lot of new things have happened to me this year; many positive changes. Overall, it has been an exciting and fruitful year!

What are you most looking forward to in 2014?
Happy family, a successful career change, and relaxing, hopefully!

Hong Kong’s Wing Chi Chan also answered a few questions about her experiences of the last year.

What do you think is the biggest news story from 2013?
The Boston Marathon bombing—that was a real shock to me when it occurred.

What TV shows did you enjoy most this year?
“Triumph in the Skies II” is great. The first series was so successful and I was happy when, after almost ten years, the second part of the series finally came.

Did you travel anywhere interesting in 2013?
I went to Chengdu in the summer. I was amazed by how many construction sites that city has. On just one street, there are ten construction sites. The speed with which this city is developing is unimaginable!

What are you most looking forward to in 2014?
A new start! The changing of the year is always a good chance to look forward and set new goals.

2014 is sure to bring more excitement, challenges, and surprises! We already know a few major events that will happen in 2014: Russia will host the Winter Olympics, Brazil hosts the World Cup, Google Glass will be introduced to the public, and the Shanghai Tower is scheduled to be completed. What else will bring a boom or a bust? Check this space next year for another look back.

2013年是火热的一年,无论从字面意义还是象征意义上讲都很贴切。7月和8月,中国各地 的温度纷纷破表,全球各地的冲突亦是节节升温。随着上海的气温连续十天突破37°C, 这座城市经历了140年来最热的夏天。纵观全年,全球范围内经济信号和前景展望屡屡波 动。中国政治腐败成为国际新闻关注的焦点,9月份更高调曝光了薄熙来的审判和其后的 定罪。《西遊·降魔篇》和《钢铁侠3》荣登票房排行榜。大黄鸭先后登陆香港和北京。

国际上,叙利亚冲突和暴力不断升级,埃及的抗议炸开了锅,教宗本笃十六世于2月辞 职,继4月大型工厂建筑倒塌后孟加拉国的工作条件受到严格审查。印度北部、南美和中 欧及其它地区发生大规模洪水灾害,气候变化迹象不断持续。美国中央情报局承包商前雇 员爱德华·斯诺登暴露美国政府运行的大规模监视程序,令美国面临危机,并于5月首度逃 至香港避难。9月份,肯尼亚经历了恐怖主义袭击,枪手占领内罗毕的一家商场。

在个人的层面上,很多人在2013年也经历了个人的成长和变化。这次有幸与几位嘉宾面对 面交谈,谈论过去一年里各自发生的事,以及他们对未来的期望。

Feng Zheng,来自上海

Q:回顾2013年,你的记忆中最深刻的事是什么?

A: 今年春天,我开始研读美国波士顿大学的研究生课程,目标是取得工商管理硕士学 位。这个课程支持在中美两地学习。我的夏天是在上海和北京两地度过的。我非常喜欢与

外国同学一道学习生活,也有机会向他们介绍我的国家。我的室友来自秘鲁,今年能遇到她真是太好了。
Q:你认为2013年最大的新闻是什么? A:美国政府关闭真是个大新闻,尤其因为我当时正好在美国! Q:今年去过哪些好玩的地方?都玩了些什么?

A:我去了台湾和希腊。两个地方都非常好。这对于我来说是全新的人生体验,我玩了许 多主要观光点。我很喜欢希腊的圣托里尼和米科诺斯。雅典也是一个很美的城市。圣托里 尼岛因蓝白色建筑物而闻名,就在爱琴海的边上。那里非常美。

Q:留给2013年的结语是什么? A:是我度过的最美好的时光之一!

Yong Ping Li,来自深圳 Q:你认为2013年最大的新闻是什么?

A:对于我来说最大的新闻是叙利亚内战。那里流离失所的难民和暴力程度令人发指。

Q:今年最爱的电影有哪些?

A:《钢铁侠3》和《一九四二》是我今年看过的好电影。故事情节和表演都非常好。

Q:2013年去过哪些好玩的地方?

A:我与妻子去过法国、意大利和西班牙度假。我们玩得很开心,领略了这些国家的美景 和历史,体验了不同的文化。

Q:如果你在十年后回想起2013年,什么事将会令你记忆最深刻?

A:今年发生了很多新的事情,许多积极的变化。总体而言,今年是激动人心而富有成果的一年!

Q:展望2014年,你最期待的是什么?

A:希望家庭幸福、事业成功转型,心情放松! Wing Chi Chan,来自香港

Q:你认为2013年最大的新闻是什么?

A:波士顿马拉松赛时发生的轰炸事件——它的发生让我感觉相当震撼。

Q:今年最喜欢的电影是什么?

A:《冲上云霄II》非常棒。这个系列的第一部当时就大为卖座,我很喜欢。时隔十年 后,第二部也终于上映了。

Q:2013年去过哪些好玩的地方?

A:今年夏天我去了成都。那里的建筑工地多得让我惊讶。我去过的一条街上就有十处建 筑工地。这座城市的发展速度简直不可思议!

Q:展望2014年,你最期待的是什么?

A:全新的开始!新年的开始总是展望未来、制定新目标的好时机。

2014年必定将是更令人激动、更充满挑战和惊喜的一年!我们已知的2014年即将发生的大 事件有:俄罗斯即将举办冬奥会、巴西举办世界杯足球赛、智能眼镜Google Glass即将对 公众发布、上海中心大厦预计将完工。还有什么样令人心系的大事件?明年再看看这篇文 章,开始又一年的回顾吧。

By Carrie Hadler 

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