Yesterday: strange chicken quesadilla for breakfast at 丹提咖啡店 and then two hours of Mandarin class. I fumbled my way through lunch at a Japanese restaurant called 百八 It’s a pay-first, get-your-own-miso type of place. There was also a chopstick dispenser that looked like a rice cooker; I still don’t understand it.
I met my friends later for dinner for some chicken soup.
And that’s all I have to say about Day 7.
I’ve been enjoying my classes; it’s a lot of chatting and reading a few short stories. All my notes are paperless, so there’s a running joke between my teacher and I that I’m a very traditional student (鹘y的一W生）although today she said a word that sounded like “old school,” it was probably (老式的). Here’s a peek at what my notes look like:
So here’s the deal; if it seems like all I’m doing in my waking hours is Eating, Studying, and Laundry, it’s because ESL is all I’m doing. If it wasn’t so hot out, I’d do much more exploring. For the moment, my exploring is limited to night markets, in search of snacks, and the last few nights, I haven’t even been doing that.
On the other hand, I’m getting a lot of sleep; afternoon siesta, early to bed, and not getting out of bed until 7 am; oh yah, I said it. I know it’s good sleep that etches daytime learning into granite, and I’m getting a lot of sleep. That also means I’m having crazy long dreams. Last night I dreamt that I was at a big corporate sleep-over but I couldn’t get any sleep because people kept leaving the lights on.
A couple nights ago, I dreamt I was at work, having problems getting into my hallway locker. I tried the combo, but then all I could remember was my 7th grade locker combo (45-9-5). Then I was unsure which locker was mine. Later still, I realized none of the lockers were even locked. Finally I remembered that I’m not a student and that I don’t even have a locker. So I grabbed some random stuff out of a random locker and then went upstairs to my office.
Is my Chinese improving? Yes. Sometimes my eyeballs wander into space while I’m thinking of the right word, and sometimes I speak in fits and starts, and give my listeners the gist of what I’m trying to say instead of the precise idea, but there are some times when the Chinese is falling out of my mouth faster than I can think about it. Of course the moments of brilliance happen in class rather than in public, but I feel like I’m getting there.
Some of the language learning posts I’ve thought about lately:
- What’s the best Spanish to learn?
- You think you’re funny but…no.
- Memory and Stuff.
- Native Speaking Teachers vs. Teachers who Speak the Target as a 2nd Language: Faculty Death Match
Maybe I’ll bang out one of those later today. Then again, maybe I’ll just nap.