Saturday, October 28, 2006

Evening of Hangyu

Had a decent day yesterday - classes were kind of shite, but not horrible. I just hate some VIP classes. One-on-ones can be difficult, especially if they're adults.

Then at 6:40 I raced to the bus stop to head to my Chinese lesson. Learned a few cool things, and attempted to relay my Beijing experience in Chinese. I don't know what the Palace Museum is called, but at least I knew that the Summer Palace is Yihe Yuan. Then was introduced to the wonders of "de" - there are 5 uses of it in Chinese, and it took a bit to get my head around a few of them. Some were straight-forward, like "Wo ji dao de" (I understand! [firm/forceful inflection]) or "Wo de kuzi shi hei se, ni de shi hong se" (My pants are black, yours are red). Other ones were more difficult to grasp.

Then we (my teacher and I) headed to the supermarket down the road to put some Chinese into use. Specifically, we were practicing "Ni yao mai shenme?" (What do you want to buy?) and "Wo yao mai ", as well as "Ni xi huan ma?" (Do you like ?). That blank ended up being zheige (this/that thing) more often than not, since I don't have a strong items/objects vocabulary. It was cool, though, getting out and trying it as opposed to a more academic class environment.

The looks we got were a bit much, though, and quite... disapproving/angry. Everyone stared at the 40-something Chinese woman being escorted by the 20-something white guy, especially when she was checking out pillows and trying to elicit a preference-based response from me. That got us some nasty glares from other Chinese nearby to the point where I thought some were going to spit. I guess it was a "huang se de" kind of perception - yellow (huang se) being a... hard to explain... traditional colour for "illegitimate encounters" or impropriety. Yet it was the imperial colour for so long. Weird. Anyhoo...

Today is going well, so far. My kids were great this morning, and reminded me why I like teaching, especially them. They had a test which they bitched mildly about, but I'm sure they did fine. A manager sat in for the last half of the class, and was taking notes. Not sure what that was about, but she seemed happy with everything. I may have had a complaint from a parent or student, and she was checking up on how the class dynamic is. Whatever. The kids were great, and got everything I was presenting, and I was just myself. At the end (thankfully after most students had vacated) one girl asked me if I was married. Quite cute, and funny the questions they have the moxy to ask.

Another two classes today, then I'll grab something to eat nearby and head home to change for tai ji quan, which I've been absent from a bit too much lately. Wo mang gua le (I've been busy [emotional inflective]). I'll show the masters my work schedule so they can understand what my weeks look like, on average. That's been hard to convey thus far. Also, maybe I can fit some other training time in there (like mornings, which I haven't done for a week and a bit due to the trip to Beijing).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The contrast is humorous. You get dark looks for being around a 40-ish woman in public, but younger students semi-hit on you. That's the generational gap for ya.