Steve's China Blog

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Language training

We started up our Chinese language lessons again after our teacher's vacation. I am still having trouble remembering words and phrases that I've learned. I was thinking that it is because they are words and phrases that I do not use much, but I remember words in English that I never use (such as rhubarb or purfle). I've started trying to aquire a taste for coffee. I gave up drinking coffee when I left the Army a long time ago since I never liked the taste, but I read somewhere that it might help improve your memory... I forget where I read that. That sounds kind of funny now that I've written that - sort of like getting a book about how to stop procrastination, but never finishing it.

We have not officially started our new program at work to improve people's English speaking skills yet, but a lot more people are seeking my time to practice spoken English. They are also helping me with my Chinese speaking skills a little too. The discussions have been kind of interesting. There are a lot of questions that people ask here that people would not normally ask in the west, such as "How much money do you make?", "How old are you?", etc... It's not considered impolite to ask very intimate questions here, and sometimes I am a little surprised at the questions I get. One question I get asked a lot here is why I have never been married (I think my Mom put the whole country of China up to this one), and no matter what my answer is I am told that Chinese women make excellent wives and that age difference, political difference, religious difference, etc.. are not a concern to Chinese women. It makes me wonder what is a concern for them. I'll have to ask sometime.


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