Day 119 - Chinese X-Men


Sunday, June 5th, 2016
Smog Level: 0/3 Mountain

After the jam-packed past few days, I decide to take Shimou’s suggestion and just do nothing, sleeping most of today. I took notes, but didn’t do any actual work. KFC, and sleep. The new X-Men had come out on my birthday, and game night is cancelled tonight, so why not use the opportunity to check it out?

Kitsch Even Here
We stroll to the bank, take out some money, I learn the word for “job” (gōngzùo) and “worker” (gōngrén), then grab some light dinner. While walking around, Bob’s advice about tripping came to mind.
Bob's Tripping Advice for China Beginners


I’ve mentioned tripping a lot when coming here because the ground is often uneven, and random edges might be sticking out. He said he used to fall a lot when he first arrived, but ever since he just assumed he would fall / trusted that he would be fine, he has since stopped. It’s gone down a lot, I think you just need to adjust to the fact that even man-made surfaces here will be lumpy and uneven a lot of the time.

At The Movies

Whisked* away on an uber over to the theatre. This time we know exactly where it is and how to get there, so it doesn’t matter that we’re cutting it a bit close.
Fire Extinguishers and Hoses

The movie was a lot longer than I figured it would be, and the reviews were semi-accurate. Overall, I’d say it was worth seeing, especially for ¥30 (6 CAD), but the villain was kind of lame. Apocalypse is a lame villain to begin with, god-complex and all. There’s always only one real way to kill him in pretty much any rendition I’ve seen, which is how they did it in the movie. No spoilers… unless you’re a comic fan, and then you could probably have already guessed. It had its moments. For some reason, Shimou and other random patrons found the movie scary when we were leaving… though I didn’t get that sense at all. 

Mandarin Thoughts

We talked about the word “hàipà(scared [hi pa!]) on our walk back to the street. Wǒ hàipà nǐ made me wonder if you’re scaring the person, or scared of them. You’re scared of them with that particular combination. To scare someone, you need the same word (different character) as “down,” xìa [she-ah]. Sometimes it feels like there are only a couple hundred words in the language, and they just decided to make them 4 times as many uses per (tones) and still use them in different contexts in sentences for yet more meanings. I can see why this is supposed to be a hard language. "Guys! We gotta slow down! Sure each word is already 4 words, but

This guy's missing something...
Mini-rant: In most languages, you have to remember the words and the grammar. That should be hard enough. But here, you have to learn the words, the grammar, each word’s tone, and then there’s the performance side of it. While speaking, you have to remember the tones for each word, and deliver it properly. There have been times when I’ve known exactly what I’m saying, but the meaning was lost because I mispronounced some of my words accidentally. I thought I said them correctly, however. Confusion ensues.

Well, it’s good I’m considering an extra year here to really lock this little biddy down. Maybe I’ll do like Josh is doing and get a daily language exchange friend. He’s made leaps and bounds, it would seem.

*Uber seems kind of like the word “nimbus” or some cloud-related words, so being whisked away by one sounds like a fitting active verb to me. Any opinions? No? Oh well.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Work
gōngzùo (work do/make)
[g-oh-ng zoo-oh]
Worker (what australians call “tradeys” or simply “tradesmen” in north america)
gōngrén
[g-oh-ng ren / zhen]

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