Not certain if my memory of Phongsaly is real or fake.
Because the ends and starts of the conversations I observed in Moutern seemed similar enough that I think I might be misremembering the whole thing.
In my memory, discussions followed a schematic: a greeting and introduction (delivered in a particular fashion and with particular physical posturing), then the conversation proper (when the back-forth of the speakers’ exchange falls into a repetitive pattern where one person speaks while the other listens and performs reactive acknowledgement), and finally the winding down of the speaking (when sentences are short and staccato until one party chooses silence).
The beginnings and ends, with their apparently more defined behavioral rules, seemed to resemble each other because of those rules — likely because I couldn’t understand a single word being spoken.
Continue reading “Descriptions to Moutern”
What a year it’s been.
Around this time last summer I gave up a teaching assistantship in Austria to come to Shanghai and learn Mandarin. Never would’ve guessed that I would get to see more of this country than my own, meet some incredible people, flip my brain upside on a daily basis learning this language, and understand myself a whole lot better than when I boarded the plane at LAX.
Continue reading “On Earth: Leaving Here”
I am lucky enough to have a fellow ELCA global missionary friend who is in a year-long program called, Young Adults In Global Mission (YAGM), and is living in the largest and arguably most historical township in South Africa. She resides in Central Jabavu in the South West Township called Soweto, also known as the home of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.
Continue reading “Soweto: Scratching the Surface of A Rich Township”
Within the span of two months, I’ve transformed into a local.
The only differences are the shock of blonde hair, physical stature and skin tone, and the curious habit of speaking in English interspersed with mispronounced Mandarin.
Alright, so maybe I’m not a local. But I like to think that I’ve adapted relatively well! At any rate, I’ve experienced quite a bit since my wide-eyed arrival.
Here are 10 lessons learned in the mega-city of Shanghai:
Continue reading “10 Key Lessons Learned in Shanghai”
Forget everything you thought you knew about alphabets, syntax, or grammar in general.
Then proceed to turn your brain upside down in a desperate attempt to make sense of what remains. Try pressing F5 to refresh if 中文 fails to load properly.
Continue reading “Mandarin for Beginners”