Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Shuo Zhongwen"

"Speak Chinese" Or at least that is the general gist of communicating over the next two years or so. We've arrived in Shanghai none the worse for wear. Despite a couple of days of jet-lag, we are doing pretty well. I would have posted something sooner except (large air quotes) technical difficulties (large air quotes) have kept me from doing so. That minor problem aside, I shall continue to update our travelogue as often as I can make myself do so.

Our flight in was pretty uneventful. That is always a blessing with International travel as far as I am concerned. We had a brief stop over in San Francisco which was beautiful. I had never been there before so it was great to see it if only for a day. I made the unfortunate mistake of walking up Knob Hill (sp?) . Only to find out on a cab ride over to Haight-Ashbury that there is a convenient tunnel that travels right under it. Yay for excercise!

Right now as I look out my window, snow is falling n Shanghai. Wow. I need to look up the last time it snowed here. Nothing is sticking, but the sight is fairly impressive by itself. The weather has been a mix of bright sunshine with cold, mixed in with a couple of days of heavy cloud cover/fog/crap-in-the-air and slightly warmer temperatures. I'm looking forward to the Spring even though I know that means a humidity that makes you look like you've just come through a car wash with the windows down.

I've muddled my way through a couple of conversations using whatever Mandarin my panicked mind could recall. I always walk away knowing what I should have said and what mistakes I made. That is the key though. Open your mouth, let sound come out, and try and do better the next time. Part of my problem is I need to make a list of all the things I need to learn for my own special vocabulary. I don't know if nerd-swag is easily translated here...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Well, here we are... Meg and I are merely days away from making our trek to Shanghai. Needless to say we are both pretty excited about the move and are combing over all the remaining bits necessary to pull up stakes and say goodbye to steaks. Not really, but you get my meaning. We had a nice dinner tonight with some other people going to China. As we said our goodbyes, everyone kept saying "have a great trip". What? Trip? We aren't going anywhere...are we? Honey, are we... Ooooooooh riiiiiiiiight. Thaaaaat trip. I've got three more days of language and then I get tossed into the deep end. Personally I'm looking forward to my first chance to ask for the bathroom as I can't wait to see the expression on someone's face as I mangle their language. Mwahh Ha ha haaaaa.