Saturday, February 25, 2012

Morning at the Bus Stop

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.

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