Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Curious Conversation.

I asked a student what he did for his spring festival holiday (CNY).  He told me he had supper at his uncle's home.

Where was that? I asked him.  

He told me his uncle lived in Xuzhou, which is in northern Jiangsu, a bit of a distance from Wuxi.  And so I asked him how long, he spent in Xuzhou with his uncle, thinking it had to have been more than a day.  He responded that he spend one day there, leaving in the morning and then coming back in the evening.  And so I had to ask him how long the trip to his uncle's from his home was.

He told me that it took forty minutes to get to his uncle's place and so I became very confused.  I was thinking that he spent his CNY in Wuxi, and so there was no way that he could get to Xuzhou in forty minutes. 

But it turned out that he neglected to tell me, right at the start of the conversation, that he spent his spring festival in his hometown which is forty minutes from Xuzhou.  Xuzhou is at least four hours from Wuxi.

And so the highlight of his CNY:  going to his uncle's, was what he thought important to tell me.  If he had asked me what I had done in the CNY, I would have told him I spent it  in Wuxi, but that for two days I went to my in-law's home in the countryside.  

Was I supposed to assume that he went to his hometown?

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