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谢迈克在中国 » Language

谢迈克在中国

Mike Shecket Goes To China!

May 1st, 2008

I do believe I spoke Chinese in a dream last night.  I was back in the US, but I just happened to be in a school with a lot of Chinese students, and I heard one of them talking about me, calling me “laowai“, and so I looked at him and said “dui“.  Which of course doesn’t make any sense, but it’s a dream.  The next step, I guess, would be to have a dream where I read hanzi.

Tattoos

April 17th, 2008

For a number of years, I’ve daydreamed about the idea of getting a small tattoo, and thought about what I could put on my body that I would really, really be sure to still like and believe in 50 or 60 years down the line.  One idea I’ve had is to get little flags representing the countries I’ve visited…even if some countries cease to exist, I’d have a record that I visited them when they did exist.

Anyway, the last few days, I’ve come up with a new idea.  A lot of Western folks get tattoos of Chinese characters, not really knowing what the heck they mean, or trusting someone else who doesn’t really know or care what they mean.  Fortunately for me, I’ve actually learned a bit of the language and writing system.

So…my idea is to get a tattoo with a local slang phrase.  I’ve found the correct hanzi for one of them: “太尖啊”, pronounced “tài jiān a”, which literally means “too sharp” in Mandarin, but which in Guiyang dialect means “very clever”.  The “a” part of it is sort of like Canadians’ “eh?”.

Tattoos are not a popular part of Chinese culture…in fact, when I mentioned my idea to some of my students, they told me things like “tattoos give you cancer” and “you know they hurt a lot, right?”  One student, an NBA fan (like most of them, at least the boys) told me that he thinks Allen Iverson has a tattoo “addiction”.

Hainan video wrap-up

December 23rd, 2007





I bet you’ve never gotten a full-body massage from a blind Chinese man! It was pretty rough, too. I probably could have asked him to go easier on me, but I felt like I should try getting the full traditional treatment. I was able to hold a little bit of a conversation with him, and I threw in one of my new words I learned with the help of my ever-present Langenscheidt zì diǎn (字典), AKA dictionary:

  • àn mó (按摩) - massage
  • dòu jiāng (豆浆) - soy milk
  • jiǎo (脚) - foot
  • guān guāng (观光) - look around (I guess in the sense of sightseeing)



If I can learn just a few new words a week, I’ll be able to pick up hundreds, if not several thousand, while I’m here!

A few videos for flavor

September 2nd, 2007



WOW.

August 30th, 2007

Okay, so I met this woman (and later her husband and his friend and the friend’s student) randomly on a bus to downtown Guiyang.

Here’s what they did for me:

  1. They helped me open a bank account, which was quite an arcane process that would otherwise have had no English assistance.
  2. They took me out to lunch. (We went to a “Western-style cuisine” restaurant, which had some interesting ideas about what Western food is like…but the most interesting part is that my new friends said that if they hadn’t met me, they might never have tried this food, or even ever tried eating with a fork, knife, and spoon!)
  3. They helped me buy a SIM card for my cell phone.
  4. When the phone didn’t work, they trotted me all over town looking for a place that would unlock my phone for me.
  5. They helped me find a place to buy some DVDs.
  6. They helped me catch a cab.
  7. They rode in the cab with me to make sure I got back okay.
  8. They paid for the cab ride!

Oh. My. Goodness. These people are friendly. I’m really beside myself. And they kept saying they were lucky to meet me! I owe them BIG TIME.

I’m excited to do some language exchange with the middle school English teacher, and I hope I get to meet the married couple’s two year old daughter.

Multiple video updates!

August 25th, 2007

These take you from New York to the skies over Nunavut and Siberia and finally to Beijing!

Training montage

August 10th, 2007

This is primarily how I’ve been learning Chinese.

My Chinese name

July 25th, 2007


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