Monday, June 25

ode to my Chinese tutor

When I first met her at the beginning of the semester, I didn't think it would work out and was thinking of ways to let her know gently that I didn't want to continue. But, I couldn't think of a good way to tell her we should stop meeting, so we kept on. I began to like her because she's funny, she spoke a lot of Chinese to me (which I didn't understand, but it still helps!), and she encouraged me in speaking Chinese.

She's from Hainan Island (far South China). She tells me stories about how cheap fruit is there - how her parents sometimes eat 10 bananas each per day during banana season (because they have a banana tree in their yard) and how they have egg bananas there! She says they are a little fatter than a normal banana and taste a little like egg. I've gotta visit and check this out.

She has some pimples on her face and she says she's drinking special tea that she says is supposed to calm the fire in her body that is erupting on her face.

She sends me messages in Chinese and then teaches me what they say. This is the latest one:
鱼说: 你看不见我的眼泪, 因为我在水中.
The fish says: You can't see my tears because I am in the water.
水说: 我看得见你的眼泪, 因为你在我心中!
The water says: I can see your tears because you are in my heart.

She gets on to me because I don't actually study Chinese except by listening to Chinese language learning podcasts a few times a week, so I can't read many of the characters. My ability to read characters is the main way she gauges my progress, so she covers up the pinyin (the romanized way to read Chinese) and makes me read the characters. I either get lucky or can read the top half of the pinyin that she's covering up, and she praises me and tells me that I must have been studying!

Oh, thanks to a special commenter recently. The comments make me smile, but I can't comment back and can't visit other people's blogs to comment either because blogger blogs are blocked right now.