I’m taking a class in Chinese. We meet every Tuesday and Thursday. My teacher’s name is Guo Laoshi (or Teacher Guo). She’s from Shanghai, and has a PhD in English Teaching. I am just about the worst person in the class. I would be the very worst if there weren’t a woman who is not all there mentally and who works at Goodwill. I am only slightly better than she is. I think it’s a good experience to realize you’re bad at something. For me, especially, because I tend to suffer from an overabundance of self-confidence. I’m not good at Chinese, but I really WANT to be good at it. So I keep trying. Last night I went to a Thai restuarant and realized the waitress was Chinese, so I said “xiexie” and asked for “bing shui.” I was pretty excited when she could understand me–so it’s a start.
I wish I could speak lots of languages really well. Tomorrow I’m going to have dinner with a friend of mine and her mother (Francoise and Suzanne). Suzanne, the mother, only speaks French. I studied French in high school and college, and I used to be pretty good at it–until I lived in Brazil for almost a year. Now I try to say something in French and it comes out in Portuguese. But I will try using my fractured French and she will be tolerant and somehow we will have a good time and hug each other a lot when it’s time to go.
Here are some languages I have tried to learn: Japanese, French, Urdu, Portuguese, and Chinese. And I’ve studied a little bit of English! So many things to know in this life.