1、Where are you from?
M:So, Beth, where are you from? I think I can detect a hint of ChongQing accent.
B: Yes, in fact, I'm from a little fishing village about an hour away from the capital.
M:So how long have you lived in Beijing?
B:Let's see, it must be about 30 years now.
M:So you are practically a Beijinger, then.
B:Oh no. I woud never say that. You know it's very hard to find true Beijingers these days—people whose families go back generations in Beijing.
M:The same can be said of Cockneys in London. They are people who were born whthin earshot of Bow's bells.
B:Sorry, I'm not really familiar with England. What are Bow's bells.
M:They refer to the church bells of St. Mary-le-Bow, which are located in the East of London.
B:Interesting. What are Cockneys like?
M:True Cockneys are supposed to be friendly, hard-working, social people. They have a really special accent*,* which is disappearing now. So what are Chongqingers like?
B:People from Chongqing are supposed to be hot and spicy like their food.
M:A bit different from Shanghainese then?
B:You could say that! People from Shanghai tend to think of themselves as very sophiscated, smart and pragmatic. It's quite a cosmopolitan city with a heavy western influence.
M:You know, before I moved to Beijing, I lived in Shanghai. My friends there thought I was crazy to move to Beijing. They don't think I'd like it all.
B:I can see why they would say that. They think Beijingers are slightly backwards!
M:In some ways that may be true, but I find Beijingers to be much more similar to people in Minnesota, where I'm from.
M:Well, you've probably never heard of Minnesota nice, but it refers to the friendliness of Minnesotans. They like to help people and are quite down to earth. I think Berjingers are the same.
B:You know, it seems like the climate has a strong influence on the people who live there. Where it's extremely cold, people tend to be more helpful, and where it's mild, people tend to be quite relaxed.
M:I wonder if that is true across the board. Sounds like a good theory anyway!