October 13, 2009

Animals Speak Chinese and Other Small Anecdotes

1) I don't know why it never occurred to me that we gave animals "English" words to say, but apparently we did.  The reason I know is because in China, animals speak "Chinese".

A dog says "wang wang!"
A chicken says "ji ji!" (pronounced gee, gee)
A duck says "ga ga!"
A sheep says "mie mie!" (pronounced myeh myeh)
A frog says "gua gua" (gwa gwa)
A cow says "menr menr" (sort of sounds like a combination of men and myrrh)

Its been quite a shake for my kindergarten training.  Dogs have always said "Bark!" and a chicken says "cluck".  But, I suppose Chinese has been around a lot longer than English as we know it, so who knows, maybe dogs actually say "wang".

2) Pizza Hut's name here in China is "bi sheng ke", which means "must win customers" (that's straight from the teacher's mouth, it is not my own translation).

3) Tonight we took the boys on the bus and after we got off, James related the conversation of several adoring girls who didn't know he could understand them. The boys and I listened as he told us.  "Oh how cute!", "The younger one's nose looks like his father's", "The bigger one has beautiful eyes", "Oh look! They have two!".  At this point in James' retelling, Ari asked, "Did THEY only have ONE eye?"

4) The other night at supper, James asked Ari if there were any pretty girls at school.  Without hesitation, Ari answered yes, there were two.  James then asked him why they were pretty.  Ari's answer was "Because they are girls."  James then asked "What about the other girls?"  Ari thought for a moment, then shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well, the other girls just look like boys!"  James and I laughed hard for a good five minutes, because that is definitely a true statement here at times!

5) The other night I went to the corner store to buy some milk.  I was pleased with myself because I was going to use all of the change that we have been collecting in a rice bowl.  For the purposes of this story use the following comparison:

                Dimes are to dollars as jiao are to yuan. (but do not have equal value)

The coins that I was planning on using were jiao (which for some reason I was thinking were yuan).  When I brought my milk to the counter, the total was 27.00 yuan.  So I drew out of my pocket a massive fistful of jiao and handed it to the girl to count, saying "Duibuqi" (sorry).  She gallantly counted it out and then, with an embarrassed face, told me that she needed another 24.30.  I got all confused.  Additionally interesting was the fact that there were four high school aged kids gathered around me looking at me like they thought I was crazy, and barely restraining their laughter.   When I finally clued in to what had just happened I spent a good long time laughing at my self in front of all those teens, which made me look even more crazy.  It would have been the same in Canada and the US, as trying to pay a $27 grocery bill with 27 dimes and then being thoroughly confused when it didn't work.  Ah yes, the benefits of thinking before doing something are bountiful and rewarding!

This week we find ourselves Aiyi-less.  She called us Monday morning to say that her father is sick and that she was going to her home province (one of the poorest in China) to be with her family.  We are praying that it is not serious, and looking for ways that we can help her when she returns.  She is becoming  part of the family in her own unique way.

Two days ago I was very pleased to finish my first queen sized bed quilt.  The different pieces are from old clothes (mostly jeans), with some other pieces of scraps here and there, and one piece bought here in Beijing.  Picture at the top (the edging was not yet done at this point)

On a parting note, I apologize for typos in this blog.  I only get a one time write and edit because I have to send it to the blog via email.  If I ever look at the blog itself, I see all the glaring typos that come from typing too fast.  I'm trying to remember to reread a few times before sending!  

3 comments:

Sherise said...

Honestly, you have the best experiences. Either your life is truly one of the most interesting ever, or you're just particularly talented at telling ordinary events in a funny way. I choose to believe it's a combo.

derrydown said...

Your quilt-making endeavours prompt me to get working on the quilt I started for you years ago!

I love Ari's observations on girls.

Kris and Char said...

I love your quilt! And Ari is entirely too funny. I love the story about the eyes and girls. I sure do miss you guys.