Day 165 - Bringing Up Ayi

Thursday, July 21st, 2016
114 AQI

Elephant Head Hungry for some Man Meat
Day after the huge downpour. Rain washes the smog down into the ground, so some say. Should buy us some time until the blanket of white comes to smother us again. Should. Instead, we've surpassed 100 AQI overnight.

Yesterday, was 20. For perspective, Toronto on a bad day is 35, 50 tops.

Didn’t take long.

Bringing Up Ayi

Today I had a daytime tutoring session while Ayi was cleaning. It’s interesting to see them interact because she never makes any sense to me. Only, the odd sentence or word. Tutor Scott tells me she won’t be coming next week. Good to know, since I otherwise would not have understood that.

When she had first arrived, she had said “Ah, nǐ jīa le?” which I misheard jīa as jiào. So… instead of Home, I heard the verb “to call” which didn’t make sense to me. You were called? what? She had said “oh, you’re home.” Basically a social nicety that doesn’t really mean anything because it’s obviously true, but people say it as a form of acknowledgement.

Culture and Language

Pool had said that language is brainwashing. I prefer to see it as culture. Tomayto, tomahto.

Before a fight, someone might say to you “I will give you colors to see!” which makes me think of making someone “see stars.” My tutor suggested it would be the bruises and blood. (wǒ gěi nǐ yánsè kànkàn) [wo-ah gay knee yawn-su-ah kahn-kahn]

The elderly are literally “old people” (lǎo rén) and young people, however, are “years light people” (nián qīng rén)[knee-ann ching rzhen]. Makes sense, but unless you’ve had it broken down and know the individual words, they can be hard to remember. Also, never say “lǎo bù sǐ” around old people; it’s a rude comment that means “old, but not dead.” Sometimes, I have it stuck in my head and I want to say it. Kind of like the word "bomb" while in an airport.

And the last tidbit I'll throw in is: Rich. If you’re rich, you “have money” (yǒu qián), or fù yǒu (rich, formal; literally: rich-own). Finally, they have a more recent word from the internet, tǔ háo, which refers to someone who is rich, but not smart. Like Nouveau riche, new money, or, I guess, a rich peasant. They seem to prefer using the example of the rich yokel.

The rest of the evening was spent attacking my writing in my new favorite cafe. It’s always barren. I’m afraid that they’ll close. So... if I go there more, I’ll be helping them, and get to enjoy it while it lasts.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
(Careful not to say simply “suh” with the sè, which sounds like sì (4))
nián qīng
[nee-awn ching]
(literally: year light)

Editing Music
Only For You
Heartless Bastards

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