Day 140 - Getting Wings

Sunday, June 26rd, 2016
Smog Level: AQI: 75-125; 1.5/3 Mountains 

Shimou and I decided to try out a new restaurant and café that I had spotted on the bus during the week. It looks pretty cool, and it’s within walking distance! …But there was an unexplained U-lock on the door handles. It's shockingly common how that's the lock mechanism for many shops, including the mall itself. Whatever works, I guess.

Chinese Accent

Well, Costa coffee it is! The salespeople accepted my order in Chinese and said "hot-uh?”* to which I replied "bīng de" (iced) and his friend made fun of his pronunciation. I’m not sure if he did so because I was able to speak Chinese, or if he thought the coworker's accent was terrible.

Shimou and I hung out there until it was time for me to meet up with Bob-O.

Chillin' in Costa Coffee.
Excuse me, what's the password? "bā bā bā jǐu wǔ bā ēr jǐu"
What? It almost sounded like her brain short circuited and was just making noise.
Those are numbers, btw (88895829)
Terrifying News, Everyone!

While waiting at the train station, I accidentally terrified Shimou with the knowledge of Beijing sinking and the possibility of sinkholes opening up at random times/locations. She said she was scared the whole subway ride home, afraid that a hole would open up along the subway line. I asked her how many times that’s happened to her in the past. This is my heavy-handed way of trying to comfort people who are scared about statistical anomalies. Works like a charm. *cough*

Getting Wings

The cab smells terrible. Nevermind that - we're off! In the convenience store, I ask a clerk where red cow (hóng níu) is, which is the direct translation of redbull. I’m relieved to find that I can generally understand him, despite being male** and speaking faster than usual. Situationally functional.

Little Bush/Tree by a Lake
A Note to Future English Teachers

Never bring up questions of correct pronunciation of commonly contested words. Bob said the the alternative pronunciation for bagel was only brought about from the show “community” (show aired first in late 2000's and my friends used to make a big deal about it in my grade 12) and that the E is there to make the A hard. Bay-gull vs Bag-ull. Honestly, it doesn’t matter, but it ended up being a fairly aggressive argument which another guy settled by asking who was a real teacher.*** My stance is that English is a bastard language that steals from and is influenced by many, many other regions and languages. 

The game itself was slow going because people kept being bogged down by inane decisions like how to take care of chickens and whether any of us should even have chickens or goats. Overall, it felt slow and butt hurt. One of the players tries to be the leader, but instead just ends up acting off-putting and demanding. Just a bad session, which will inevitably happen from time to time.

[The Game Itself]

Still in the bazaar, we take turns going through the shops and buying things. Now that we have animals in the group, it’s just a huge pain in the ass to find everything they need, to barter for goods, and figure out who is going to carry what. This consumed a good chunk of gaming time. At least I got a robe that allowed me to magically store whatever I want, and only I can retrieve it. Also, a pair of owl-eye goggles that let me see in the dark, and a rod that will stay exactly where I place it in 3-dimensional space. That could be useful...

Small, but this captures a lot of the common styles you'll find in Beijing.
Not sure I'm a fan of the local fashion.
Eventually we travel through the underground pathway toward the surface. 10 travel hours later, we find a band of soldiers down here, which is uncommon. After some precautious attempts at communication, we find out that they need a team of adventurers to help them obtain a box that they were sent down to collect. It’s in a dungeon that they kept sending teams into, none of which returned.

Inside, we find some Drow who turn out to be cool (not evil) and were researching evidence that the Drow weren’t always evil, and didn’t always worship their stupid spider god. Turns out that they were correct, and this also happens to be the god of our fire wizard. She sacrifices one of the bug man’s treasured chickens - despite giving him such a hard time for - which gives all believers a blessing.

The head Drow chick opens a door for us, that allows us to travel deeper into the dungeon, where the soldiers had gone. An orb sits in the middle of the room, resurrecting skeletons of predators. Lions, tigers, and bears. Bye, bye!^ 

The Bard uses his only offensive spell without consulting the rest of us, as usual, to try and blow up the orb. Instead, he powers it up We bolt it to where the footprints appeared to go, and make it through in time to slam the door closed between us and 200 undead predators.

Now we’re in a library, where we find 2 cool books, one of particular interest to me: Skeleton Warrior Creation for Dummies. Amazing.


*adding “-uh” onto words is a common Chinese mistake. Even while studying Chinese, I’m not sure where it comes from. (E.g. “You-uh want-uh this-uh?”) Update: it comes from the fact that chinese words don't tend to end in hard consonants, usually ending in vowels and -ng, so it feels uncomfortable to break the habit, I guess.
**Men have thicker accents and often throw in more R’s on words that have no Rs.
***As if that’s relevant. I’m not a real teacher; no argument there. I just dislike enforcing random qualifications to disqualify opinions. Does teachers college mean your opinion on English is more warranted? Rubbed me the wrong way.
^Just to defy what you expected me to say, and to frustrate anyone who likes their cliches to be completed.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
xià chén
[she-ah chen]
[me-ann b-ow chew-on]

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