Going language crazy before the dog snaps me out of it


The strangest thing happened yesterday as I did my usual morning socializing with the local old ladies of the hutongs.

Every morning I greet the grandmothers of the hutongs, and then listen politely as they tell me about this, that, and the other, having no idea what they’re saying, but on occasion being able to pick up a few things from their creative use of full body actions. I try to answer any questions to the best of my very poor ability(my grandmother would be so ashamed of me, but I do know that all questions end in ‘Ma?’), sometimes, in desperate moments, I respond by saying anything I know in Chinese, even though what I do know has nothing to do with what they’re trying to communicate to me.

Old Ladies – Probably asking me to come in the evening for dinner, or to watch TV, or play a game of cards.
T – Mandarin for ‘My name is Tiara. I am from Australia. Dont have’

BTW – I am getting really good at mahjong!

This particular morning, I greet my usual ladies and then I swear to God they start speaking to me in fast English!

You know that movie, I can’t remember the name but I think the main character was either Christopher Lambert or Antonio Banderas, and he’s stuck with these tribes in the woods, and he can’t understand the language, so he listens as they sit around the fire and talk. As he listens , the movie is in subtitles, then slowly you hear an english word here and there, then a sentence in english, then the whole conversation is in English and the subtitles disappear indicating that our hero now understands and can speak the tribal dialect?!

That’s EXACTLY what it was like for me yesterday!

Except, the English words weren’t making any sense ‘truck west I can see it pantry’, and it only lasted for about ten seconds before everything went back to Chinese.

Then, as if to snap me completely back into reality, the white fluffy neighbourhood dog bit me.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dalethesnail
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 22:44:01

    Hahaha! Have you been smoking tigers penis again? o_O

    Reply

  2. Tiara in Transit
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 05:14:10

    haha.. I thought I had special powers for a bit. must have been another brain cell imploding.

    Reply

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