Day 78 - Pregnant Explanations

Monday, April 25th, 2016
Smog Level: 1/3 Mountains

Armed and Dangerous

How shocked would you be to see a relatively inconspicuous van on the street, and half a dozen tactically armored men wielding fully-automatic rifles? I think I’ve seen too much TV or too many games, but it barely registered. The placement was odd, though; I was walking through the gated community that contains my gym. 

Part of me wanted to take a picture... but the other part didn’t want to be the “suspicious foreigner” taking pictures of their policing behaviors. Just... keep walking.

A little sluggish, I feel as though my motivation is waning a tad. Maybe it’s the heat. Could be the pollution. Either way, I take too long in the gym and miss the opportunity to fumble through obtaining my new SIM card.

Pregnant Explanations

At lunch, Jen pointed out that she’s seen a ridiculous number of pregnant women. Glad I'm not the only one. She had asked a coworker, and they had said that a lot of women had waited until the year of the monkey because the monkey (witty, intelligent, magnetic personality) has better characteristics than last year’s goat/sheep (creative, frank/honest, persevering). Apparently, they take the zodiac seriously enough to plan their family around.

Art by one of the other Carden Teachers (Cat)
I studied mandarin until my classes began, which were largely... blah. The kids are starting to respect me more because I’m drawing my lines consistently and being swift to punish those who cross them. It can be a difficult balance between class- and break-time, since the levels of behavior vary so vastly.

Mandarin Class

My vocab seems to be coming together because Helena complimented it. Sweet. I’m not studying nearly enough, so I’m surprised at my progress. We learned the difference between zuò and gàn, as well as the three “cans” of néng, kěyǐ, and huì. Yes, they have two words for “to do” and three words for “can.”

I'm Guessing these suckers can't fly.
Also, a teacher was standing - with a student -
right next to them while they hissed, wings spread.
Thanks to that teacher, I learned the phrase:
"Best not to do that"
Briefly summarized:
Two “Do’s”
ZUÒ - Wǒ zuò le nǐ = I killed you; I severely beat you (think “I did you in”)
GÀN - Wǒ gàn le nǐ = I had sex with you (as in “I did you,” or “to do someone”)

Three “Can’s”:
NÉNG - to be physically capable (e.g. “My body is capable of boxing”)
KĚYǏ - To be allowed to fight (e.g. “You have permission to box”)
HUÌ - To know how to (e.g. “I have been trained in boxing”)

After work, I fumbled through the SIM card thing after knowing that “SIM ” is the word for sim card ( just means ‘card’). “xiǎo de SIM kǎ, xiè xiè” (smaller sim card, thank you) was probably all I needed.

Dan met me for dinner in the mall. We grabbed some bubble tea and juice. “I was going to do a Juice cleanse,” Dan admitted, “but instead I just get juice once in a while.” We talked about how there’s basically no research confirming the need to “detox,” and that if the body was unable to filter toxins without very particular dietary habits, we’d probably all be dead. Yoshinoya, confidential conversation and a stroll back to the apartment.

I finished writing and editing, then hit the hay.

Words of the Day
This is meant for that tidbit
 on reading books.
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Read a book
kàn shū
[kahn shoo]

I'm a disrespectful shit sometimes. I laughed really hard when I found out that "I'm looking at a book" is how you say "I'm reading silently in my head."  The other word,  is used when the person is reading aloud and for when they're reading in their head, but kàn shū is only for silent reading.

Editing Music
Place du Tertre
Bireli Lagrene

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