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Sunday, June 12, 2011
(We’ve been having major internet issues, so I’ve been writing posts, but they aren’t always getting emailed back to the States. I often can’t access my email, much less blogs or Facebook. Y’all may see three or four posts published in one day as we play catch-up. Deal with it. Heh.)
I love being back in Beijing, y’all. It feels so different from our first trip. In 2005, the Husband and I rarely wandered beyond the confines of our travel group itinerary. This time we feel much more comfortable wandering off on our own, making the locals laugh with my attempts at Mandyrin. (No, y’all, I do not have a Southern accent. I used to have one. I miss having one. But I don’t anymore… except when I try to speak Mandarin. And then my mid-Atlantic accent morphs into drawl mode and Mandarin becomes Mandyrin.)
My big claim to fame on Friday was ordering take-out for my mom and the Tongginator.
I didn’t know the phrase for take-out, but with a few creative Mandyrin phrases, some gestures and lots of intellect from the waitress, she plopped down a take-out container and ordered extra dishes for my momma and the Tongginator. (They were taking a much needed afternoon nap.) I think the wait staff laughed at my attempts, but the Husband was impressed.
And – since he’s the one I live with – I’ll go with that.
I’ve wandered off on my own several times while the Husband took the Tongginator to the hotel pool. My pictures aren’t the best, as I am not A Photographer like Carla, Gail, Lisa and so many others, but I’m happy with the shots, and I hope the Tongginator and Mei Mei will love them as well. It feels like this time I’ve captured more of “the flavor” of China with my photographs as opposed to the typical tourist snapshots.
I’ve also managed to stumble my way through a few other conversations with locals, and – after three days in Beijing – the Tongginator is now starting to speak a bit of Mandarin to others. She rarely moves beyond the basics of hello, goodbye, thank you and the like, but it’s good to hear her gain confidence. She’s also very much enjoying being one of a majority for a change. It’s tickled her funny bone in a huge way having Mom and Dad stick out in the crowd for once.
These past few days have been hard. I’m not gonna lie. The Tongginator did not adjust to China time as easily as we’d hoped, not to mention the other, non-jet-lag-related stresses. But it’s ALL been worth it, just to hear her sweetly say “ni zao” to a waitress at the breakfast buffet or “dui bu qi” to someone who says thank you to her.
Or "xiong mao," which means panda bear when she meant to simply say "mao" for cat. I have warped her for life. Heh.