Friday, January 6, 2012


Yesterday at the market someone asked me something in Cantonese when I wasn't really paying attention, and I immediately responded in Canto without going through the usual *translate Canto to English...okay that's what he's translate reply from English to Canto*. A great victory!

I used to think these little victories were a problem, because then people assumed I was fluent in Canto and would attempt to hold whole conversations with me. After faking my way through many of these, I've learned that faking it is one of the best ways to learn. So you go on with your non-fluent self and hold a full conversation with someone in Canto. The worst that can happen is that they think you're slightly mentally imbalanced when you answer "How many of these do you want?" with "Over there." And they already think you're crazy anyway.

In other mundane anecdotal news, coming home from work today I saw my bus pulling up to the stop when I was still a block and a half away. I started running full speed down the sidewalk, my coat flapping, tiny Chinese people flying everywhere, until I made it to the stop panting and sweating... and saw that it wasn't my bus. I stopped short while the bus still had its doors open and there was a moment when the driver and I locked eyes as I just stood there wild-eyed and gasping for breath. It seemed to last... forever. The driver looked terrified. Then he slowly closed the doors, and without ever taking his eyes from me, slowly merged back into traffic.

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