Wednesday, October 24, 2012

a ride to Nanliao

                                                           Vanilla ice cream + black tea
                                                                                                                                 Sunset + sea vistas                                         
                                                                 Scooter + light breezes
                                                                 Husband + wife

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bizarre, bizarre Chinese

So today is Tuesday.

And on Tuesdays, a bunch of us get together from 4:30-6 and "learn" Chinese.

It goes a bit like this:

"Did someone mention there'd be pizza?"

"Oh my god I am so tired!"

"Did you study?"
"Ha! No...."

"Is this how you say beer? Or was that beach ball?"

"Who's hitting up McDonald's with me tonight?"

"Wait a minute! You mean my brother's nickname means titties?"

The end, good night.

You see, we work really hard during the day and by the time 4:30 rolls around we're kinda done.

So sitting through 1.5 hours of Chinese after working from 7:40-4:10 can be, well, torturous.

Mostly because I'm in the first stage of "learning" Chinese.

There are five.

I looked them up:

1. Crazy Nonsense Stage: This language is bizarre and impossible and I'm not terribly convinced it's actually  a real language with rules and patterns
2. Acceptance Stage: Okay, I guess this is actually a real language
3. Oh My God I'm Speaking Chinese Stage: Tones are distinguishable and basic conversations can be had
4. Okay, I'm Still Just Speaking Chinese Stage: Most conversations can be had correctly and reading and writing skills improve
5. Pretty Much Chinese Stage: If it were not for your pasty complexion, people would be convinced you're Chinese

It's my goal, in the years that we're here, to get to stage two.

And today, we made some great strides in getting there.

For example, Jamie repeatedly said, quite clearly, "Oooh Shiiiit" twice, to the teacher, much to our amusement.

Especially because our teacher is one of my student's mothers and completely fluent in English, swear words and all.

So as this very kind woman did her best to keep from outright laughing at Jamie, who was endeavoring to say "how much" in Chinese, we all kinda lost it.

But seriously, we did learn to count to 10, the days of the week, as well as a whole host of barnyard animals.

We'll get there.

For now though, as we struggle to make some semblance of sense from this five tone language, we mostly just sound like a bunch of whales calling out to one another.

Pretty funny indeed.