Love is ài (爱)

Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

I was quite depressed the day before because I felt like giving up the challenge of learning to read in Chinese.

Yesterday, I had to handle both kids on my own as Hubby was away so I decided to take the boy to the bookstore. He was really excited since he loves reading too. :D

We went upstairs because they told us the kids’ books are there. But when I saw books ranging from “500 字” to “1,000 字”, I knew that we were in the wrong section!

I was quite proud of myself though because I could read: 小学生 (primary school children) :D Not bad eh? My son was also impressed because I read the characters out loud and he said, “Mummy, you can read Chinese? Where are my books? Hurry, hurry, let’s find my books!”

I kinda guess that little kids are called 儿童 (ér tóng) but I wasn’t sure so I just asked for the 幼儿园 (yòu ér yuán) “kindergarten” section. We were asked to go downstairs again -_-

Anyway, the kiddo pounced on some adventure books another boy was looking at. He asked the boy where he got the book from (in his terribly foreign-sounding accent that announces to everyone: “WE ARE FOREIGNERS”).

His cutesy accent charmed a salesman who dotingly showed him book after book until he found the one he wanted. Since they could chat with each other, I told him I’d be at the back looking at some books – he must yell for me when he wants to find me. He’s VERY LOUD so it’s ok.

Anyway, no Chinese kid calls their mother, “MUMMY!” It’s always 妈妈 mā ma.

I browsed through the flashcard section but didn’t find what I wanted. Soon, I heard a loud “MUMMY! WHERE ARE YOU?” and the fella shows me the 2 books he wants me to buy with the nice salesman following him. Tired of going through box after box of useless stuff, I decided to ask for help.

The salesman was going to help me when a salesgirl stepped in and said she’ll take care of me. She seemed quite aggressive but she was incredibly helpful as she knew exactly what I wanted! She was really nice to remove the cling-wrap so I could check the flashcards. Then, she also suggested some books I may find helpful. I was so grateful to her :D

Then, the little fella came and charmed her with his cute voice. Plus, he called her, “姐姐”, jiě jie and not “阿姨” ā yí LOL The little Casonova seemed to know when to use either one. Don’t kill me if he calls you 阿姨 ā yí, ok? ;-)

Thanks to this nice lady, Chinese characters are starting to feel slightly more manageable now. I shall persevere!

I couldn’t tell her, “我 爱 你!!!” (I love you) but I definitely said, “谢谢” xiè xie (thank you) many, many, many times.

Now, wasn’t that a nice 情人节 (qíng rén jié) Valentine’s Day?

2 comments

  1. Kit says:

    Nomadic Mom – It IS difficult. It’s one of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to do.

    But when you meet Britons and Americans speaking Chinese like the Chinese, you’d feel really embarrassed that you’re a Chinese and yet you can’t speak Chinese! That’s why I’m trying to be less of a “banana” lor ;-)

    Let’s see how far this “challenge” brings me before I call it quits.

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