Wŏ tīngbùdŏng

Since moving back to Chengdu, I’ve become determined to learn more Chinese. It actually is a MUST now. Now I’m not totally clueless; I do know the basics… too expensive, how much, I don’t  understand, numbers, I want to go… you know, the utmost basic phrases. The last time I was teaching, somehow, it didn’t seem too necessary to learn much. I got by, mostly due to the fact that I would get my lunch in the college canteen, where all I had to do was point to either set A, B or C. I also had my Chinese friends who would order the food for me when we were out… so it was all too easy for me NOT to learn Chinese.

Ah those days are long gone now. I’m beginning to struggle with my lack of Chinese. A lot of things I do is miming, or pointing… and a lot of shrugging of the shoulders to show them ‘sorry, but I really don’t have a clue what you’re saying to me’. It’s time now that I need to act.

So I decided to buy a Chinese book, where I write down my nearly learned words. I’m also looking at Mandarin courses. There is one in Chengdu so I’ll most likely have to travel there during my days off. I’ve been practicing with my Chinese friend, learning ‘where’ nălĭ and ‘there’ nàli.  So there I was in the centre of the city, bustling with people and asking my friend “nălĭ Liang?”… then me pointing at a building and shouting “ NÀLI!!” It was a good way of remembering them, even if the Chinese people thought I was strange. But I am determined, and I will try…. I can’t survive with miming and shrugging my shoulders for ever I suppose…

Aisling.

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