Saturday Morning, I was at the Bus Stop waiting to go to work.
Looking at the characters on the bus information signage inspired me to write the following Chinese characters:
我 住 在 加州样方 (I live in the California Villa)
我 是 加拿大人 (I am a Canadian)
我 也 是 加人 (I am also a 加 "Jia" person)
Just as this came to me, I was startled by this older woman walking backwards. She was doing a calisthenics of a sort as she waited for the bus. Maybe, she figured that by walking backward the atrophying of walking forward would stop. Unfortunately, time doesn't go backward as we walk backward -- I have done experiments to prove this because you can never assume.
And I startled the backward-walking woman as much as she startled me. Because I was standing sort of behind her and in her path, she noticed me out of the corner of her eyes and then looked at me directly. I saw her do a double-take. She must have done this because I was foreigner -- either that, or I almost tripped her.
She stared hard at me and asked me a question. I could make out that her asking me if I could speak Chinese. In Chinese, I said I could a little.
She then asked me questions so quickly that I had no chance of understanding her. A young man, seeing this, served as a translator, translating her Chinese for me and my Chinese for her. Not really understanding what she was saying didn't stop me from talking in Chinese. I declared to her that I had a Chinese wife and a four year son. (I always declare this when Chinese people speak to me in Chinese because I assume they want to know my situation.) She then asked me why it was that my Chinese was so terrible and why my wife wasn't teaching me. I tried to show her I did study by pointing out Chinese characters I knew in the bus signs, but she couldn't understand my pronunciation -- funny, because the young man did.