I saw the “French Horn Church today on my bus ride to lunch. There is a joke to be made about spit valves somewhere…
I’m going to miss the convenient transit options here in Taipei. I have little crushes on my bus routes: the 15, the 18, and the 小7. Of course there is the Metro only two blocks from my house, which speeds me to the rest of Taipei. What’s amazing is that the Taipei Metro is still a work in progress: here’s the master plan, it’s a little mind blowing. Regardless, I’m still a bus person.
So here are the words that I have crushes on:
- 裔 yì descendent. I imagine an immigrant kid who is sad 冏 about their parent’s clothes 衣. Of course it could be the immigrant parent sad about the kid’s clothes. Note: 冏 doesn’t really mean “sad” except on internet chat.
- 隨興 suíxíng this is the right word to use when you want to say you’ll be happy with whatever other people choose. It’s taken five years for me to arrive at this word; the evolution went from 無所謂 to 隨便 to 隨興.
- 觀光客 guānguāngkè tourist. This is the kind that takes pictures, follows a guide to the gift shop, gets back on the bus in a group, and then sleeps until the next destination. This is the kind that complains about the inability to get a milkshake.
- 黃牛 huángniú yellow cow. This is what you call someone who flakes.
- 放鴿子 fànggēzi to put down (someone’s) pigeon. This is to stand somebody up.
I only study the words I want to come across, not a list from a book. There are plenty of pre-made lists on Skritter to study, but I don’t want to learn any of those words if I don’t have a communicative context for them. Well, whether I want to learn them or not, I won’t learn them if I don’t have a communicative context, whether or not I study them, so what’s the point?
I’m so excited when I run across these words with my teacher; I ask her excitedly “oh, could you please write that down?” Of course, she is happy to, and I am usually so excited that I thank her excitedly, and then turn them around and use them in a sentence.
There are other words that I have less of a crush on, words like “direct flight” and “terrorist” which I also learn from context; in every case I try to make each word a pflaumentkuchen experience, hopefully they’ll come back to me later, like shrimp crackers.
In any case, I always think about my Spanish students back home, who cannot be bothered to *care* about the words they encounter. If my students do crush on words, they certainly don’t show it… or won’t show it, for fear of appearing to enjoy Spanish class.
I have more to say about vocabulary and crushes, but I’ll have to end this post here. There is a couple sitting next to me; the man is showing to the woman his vacation photos from Italy and LOUDLY explaining them to her as she tries to eat her salad. He just called to the cashier across the room that his order hasn’t arrived yet, using the exact same tone of voice. I can’t stand it, I’m leaving.