12
Aug
08

A quick post…

I’m much busier than I thought I would be here in Tainan.  Apparently my Chinese has improved to the point where my aunt can tell me Chinese mythological stories about the gods and goddesses and after a very long time of her explaining every other word to me, I can understand why the lovers are separated by higher powers…

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen the celebrations for the children turning 16, and the lunar 7/7 day which always rains at night because the weaver and the cowherd are reuniting on a bridge of birds, and raining tears of joy and sadness.

I also picked (and nibbled) longyen (a fruit directly translated as dragon-eye), gave myself a mini-shower in my first attempt to pump the flooding from the typhoon out of the basement (oh, right, attaching the hose–an excellent idea, and I didn’t actually electrocute myself!), and got a mini-lesson in shufa or Chinese calligraphy from my aunt (well, it’s more like beautiful Chinese printing for my very elementary skills at writing words).

Tainan is hot, but there is oftentimes a small (if also at times warm) breeze floating through the air. 

Oh, and I printed out some of the photos I’ve taken over the years for the very first time, and they turned out well!  It was rather exciting, since they usually sit in my hard drive…

I’ve gotten myself (slightly) lost walking past temples, and through back alleyways which are so narrow one can hear the voices behind the doors chatting in Taiwanese.

My aunt and I stopped by Chikan towers, where there was a quartet of musicians playing traditional Taiwanese songs and children’s music (the theme to Doraemon was one of the ending pieces), in front of a backdrop of beautiful Chinese buildings that I’ll have to go back to shoot photographs of during the day at some point.

My Chinese has improved to the point that people now ask if I’m from Singapore, instead of Japan when they meet me and realize I speak English and Chinese that has possibly progressed from tot to pre-school level.

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2 Responses to “A quick post…”


  1. 1 Z
    August 15, 2008 at 3:51 am

    Hey again.

    On the topic of your Mandarin language skills, how have you been picking it up? Studying? Or just absorbing it as a consequence of being immersed in the language?

  2. August 15, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Hi Z–

    I’ve done a mix of picking it up through immersion, a short-term language-exchange, some self-study, and I’m in Cheng Kung University’s Chinese language program for the summer. I’ve got kind of the quick-and-dirty version of Chinese at this point. My conversational level is above what I’m studying, but I still don’t get my tones straight yet. I’ve been learning reading and writing, which is fairly time-intensive and requires quite a lot of memorization. I’ve been enjoying it though.


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