Crazy Chinese School antics (from my livejournal archive 2007)

I thought I’d have a wee read through my old livejournal today whilst eating lunch…the account has been largely inactive for years, and I can’t even remember the last time I posted something there.  I did however fin this little gem of a post, which now my memory has been jogged, I can dimly remember writing.  Wow.  And here I thoght I was ‘good with languages’!

Thursday 19 October 2007

Last night’s Mandarin class – hilarious. Intention – not so much. Due to my complete inability to write a sentence in Chinese, I was plopped in the beginners group with Bonnie (aka Ng Kai Ying) and Liam. Bonnie is from the Isle of Wight, and just about speaks Cantonese. I think she can write the characters for her name, but that’s about it. Liam can carry a basic conversation in Mandarin, but his writing’s a bit sketchy – probably 20 characters or so. So the conversation went like this:

Bonnie: Dyou think we should give him a Chinese name?
Me: What, out of the 2 characters I know, other than my own name?
Bonnie: What characters dyou know?
Me: This one [people], and this one [mouth].
Bonnie: Mouth people! Mouth people!

(we then piss ourselves laughing for about 15 minutes, whilst our teacher begins to wonder what possessed her to teach a beginners Mandarin class)

Teacher: So, what are your Chinese names?
[me and Bonnie both point to our papers]
Teacher: Do you know the meaning of your name:
Me: Um…Yellow Liquid?
Bonnie: I have no idea.

[Cantonese bloke across the room introduces himself as something that sounds like “Tsoung”]

Me: Onion?!

Teacher: What’s so funny?
Bonnie/me: Mouth people! Mouth people!
Teacher: What?
Bonnie: His name [points at Liam]. Is Mouth Person.
Teacher: That says population. Those characters together mean population.
Me: Really? Why on earth would I know how to write “population”?
Bonnie: Your mother must be so proud. 3 whole English words you can write!
Me: And my name! And my name!
Teacher: Kill me…

Me: What does this read?
Teacher: Wood.
Me: How do I know the character for wood?
Liam: Your mother had a strange sense of humour?

Saturday 20 October 2007

I’ve christened my lovely hand-folded Japanese chef’s knife, which is the most beautiful piece of kitchen equipment I have ever had the pleasure to drop a ridiculous sum of money on.  So worth it.  I performed what can only be considered a mini-autopsy, or a dissection of a pigs liver.  This goes beyond the realms of cooking, I tell ya!

Which reminds me; I had a conversation with my parents earlier today…

Me: The butcher gave me a [word that I think translates as pigs liver] today.  As a pressie.  How should I cook it?
Mum: He gave you a what?
Me: A pigs liver.
Mum: A pigs what?  Hold on, I’ll get your dad.
Dad: The butcher gave you a what?
Me: [getting impatient] A pigs liver.  The liver of a pig.
Dad: On purpose?
Me: YES!  As a present!  Why?!  Whats wrong with pigs livers?!
Dad: I think I don’t understand.  Say the word in English.  A pig’s what?
Me: [in English] LIVER!
Dad: OH!  The word you said before?  It means…bladder.
Me: Oh.

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