Yesterday Sunday, we opted to not go to the English Corner. In my case because I thought it was just a little creepy of one woman who didn’t know me to be saying she was waiting for me to come. Ummm! Funny thing, Chuck who usually has a much higher tolerance to what ‘creeps’ me out was also ‘creped’ him out.
Instead of the English Corner, we went to the Zhengzhou University Bookstore on University Road/Da Xue Lu大学路. I’ve got a private student that I tutor in English and I was searching for something to use with her. She is 13 so books that work with university students aren’t age appropriate. I looked and found something that seems to be geared toward a 7th grader so I am very happy. I also found another easy Chinese book for me to read and it dawned on me why I’m having a difficult time with Chinese and that is because like that Star Trek Next Generation show dealing with a culture that spoke in metaphors (Darmack and Gelad at Tenagra) Chinese tends to also use metaphors. So where in English we might say ‘You have a lot of books’ in Chinese a literal translation might me ‘You have book mountain’, now while we know there is no mountain made of books (Nate and I think that would be cool though) we get the idea. Anyway back to the book I bought it has Chinese characters and pinyin and it is helping to read books like these so I start to recognize the characters when I’m out. I am able to translate a few things now I am taking pictures and ask my tutor not to translate, but to tell me if I translated and understand what something says.
Today we stayed in the apartment until lunch when we rode our scooters to DaShang Super Market and ate at the food vendors on the street. My tutor would have been proud of me because I asked for fried rice for all three of us. However, we either asked for something that foreigners don’t ask for or the cook just wanted to come out and see the foreigners for himself; he came out with a plate of noodles and indicated that those where what we were wanting and Chuck said bu which is no, he then got some rice and Chuck nodded and said fried rice and pointed to each of us. He understood and we got our fried rice. We then went shopping for some snacks for Chuck’s trip and some things that we need here. High up on my list was some type of bug repellant for me. I’ve used Off all summer and am running low so I wanted to get something so that I can remain protected. I didn’t get more Off as they didn’t have that but so I got a Chinese brand, store clerks are super helpful and in no time I was able to get what I needed.
Something that I have been thinking on lately well more of an ‘ah-ha’ moment was the real use of a for poster bed. Sure lots of people think they are romantic and all, but those beds had a purpose in the winter time heavy drapes were put on them to keep heat in when houses didn’t have the central heating that we enjoy today. Perhaps more importantly in the summer time the same frame around the bed was fitted with mosquito netting to keep those bugs at bay and allow the person to sleep in peace. I also found out why some people (ME) seem to get more than their share of bug bites and others (Chuck & Nate) don’t seem to attract any attention. It is all about your blood type and unfortunately I seem to have the favorite blood type of mosquitos.
Our scooters are charging in front of our apartment building. We will go down later and get them Chuck is going out to dinner with his friend Joni and Nate and I will go out to eat.