Things I’ll Miss About China: Chinese

Water calligraphy in the park while I get my shoes shined

Water calligraphy in the park while I get my shoes shined

My love/hate relationship with Chinese continues. It’s nice being back in the US, but at the same time, sometimes it feels too easy. I liked the challenge of always trying to decode signs around me while on the bus, or tackling a menu of jumbled characters and managing to order a meal for 15 people. Even a trip to order a milk tea or mail a card can turn into a little hurdle, and after you’ve accomplished your task, it feels good.

Quick-- you have twenty screaming schoolchildren trying to cut in line. What do you want? GO!

Quick– you have twenty screaming schoolchildren trying to cut in line. What do you want to drink? GO!

Ordering in the school cafeteria-- absolutely no English here!

Ordering in the school cafeteria– absolutely no English here!

Neighborhood notice about Kunming being civilized...

Neighborhood notice about Kunming becoming a “civilized” city… I took a picture to read it at home when I had more time.

When I would travel around Southeast Asia for holidays, I was always amazed at how handicapped I felt. Learning basic things like numbers and simple commands was a huge task. Arriving back in China and ordering my bus ticket, listening to the annoying audio ads, and eavesdropping on people around me made me so, so, so happy. It was all so easy! I could speak and understand the language again!

Red banners like this are everywhere-- and always good reading practice. "Spring city is my home" :)

Red banners like this are everywhere– and always good reading practice. “Spring city is my home” 🙂

A reminder to save water. When you understand little things like this, it's a huge ego boost!

A reminder to save water. When you understand little things like this, it’s a huge ego boost!

There are some beautiful old big character slogans painted on walls everywhere.

There are some beautiful old big character slogans painted on walls everywhere. This one tells you to keep your bike safe.

Apartment hunting in Chinese-- no prob!

Apartment hunting in Chinese– no prob!

After living in China for three years (along with my three years of Chinese from college) I was comfortable with my level of Mandarin. Daily tasks were easy, and I could muddle through just about any tough situation… even if it wasn’t very eloquent. Order things online- check. Make phone calls to inquire about something- check. Negotiate rent with landlord- check. Find a Chinese roommate- check. I have answered the same basic questions about myself millions of times, so my small talk is pretty good too. But the nice thing about Chinese is there is always something new to learn. I bought myself a few books in Chinese, and I still listen to some podcasts in Chinese/about China. Maybe I’ll have to get back into a Chinese drama online just to quench my thirst for this silly language that has been a huge part of my life. Speaking Chinglish with friends from China always helps too!

A Chinese poem I wrote (copied) in 2nd grade at International School Beijing

A Chinese poem I wrote (copied) in 2nd grade at International School Beijing

Me at the entrance for Yunnan University

Me at the entrance for Yunnan University

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4 thoughts on “Things I’ll Miss About China: Chinese

  1. Kimberly, You are amazing! I have enjoyed all your posts/blogs, courtesy of your grandma. You have brought another side of the world into my life and have made it so interesting. I am glad you had this opportunity to experience what most of us never experience. I hope to see and hear more of your experiences in the future and hope one day you will make it out my way. Thanks for brightening my life with yours. Love, Auntie Mary Lou (New Mexico)

  2. It has been a wonderful adventure to follow. Thanks for sending it to so many of us.
    I do want to welcome you back to the U.S.A. and am looking forward to your new adventures here. I hope you keep your blog going.

    Love,
    Aunt Noreen

  3. Thanks Aunt Mary Lou and Aunt Noreen! I think I’m going to continue to blog because it helps me to continue processing the things that I learned while in China. Stay tuned for more updates!

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