Archive for the ‘China’ Category

Beijing, China

Posted: November 11, 2011 in China, Chinese, Language

my family moved to Beijing back in 1996, when I was in 5th grade, and us English speaking students had to learn the language, makes sense right? Well it would’ve been awesome if  my teacher wasn’t such a unstable, controlling nut job. I usually spent that class down in the nurse’s office being “sick,”  they eventually caught on. Even though that may have had a negative effect on my learning process, I loved the language, especially writing out the characters, it was like writing in secret code. The strokes of lines in each character made it fun and felt artistic. Although now that I’m older I could see myself getting tired of how time consuming it can be. Only because I like to make it look precise and “pretty.”

I also enjoyed using the language to bargain. There was an outdoor shopping strip across from the complex we lived in, Lido Place, that had a variety of merchandise to bargain for. I used to go there often just to practice my Chinese but I always ended up leaving with some sort of souvenir. Either my skills were that good or they really just wanted the money! I think the Chinese men and women that worked there really got a kick out of watching my little brother and I, two little blonde American kids, attempt the language esp. the tones because they would always yell to their work friends to come over and listen to us. It was all in good fun though because they would help us pronounce them accurately. Or sometimes they assumed we weren’t beginners and would just carry on and on, and we had no idea what they were trying to say, it was overwhelming at times.

I will say one last thing about living in Beijing, the Chinese sure found blonde hair fascinating. My brother and I would always get stares, pointed fingers and asked if we could have our photo taken. It was like being a celebrity, except as kids we didn’t understand what was going on, it was really strange to have people come up to you and want to touch your hair. But, hey! I’ll take that over being spit on or run over by bicycles!

Unfortunately, we only lived there for a year and keeping up with the language in the States just didn’t happen. I thought I’d try to take again in College but the learning style was much different as an adult. I really just enjoyed writing in secret code, you know the characters.

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