Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Retarded Provinciano At School

"A ... O ... E ... I ... U ... U ..."

I must have died and gone back in kindergarten.

It's been a pretty hectic week, the first week of classes and all. And its weird, like I'm in a time parallel zone of sorts. I go out of my dorm and there's this fog slowly going down as the sun shines feebly through the dense clouds in the sky. I enter the building and students are lounging around the hallways either gossiping, smoking cigarettes or checking out the opposite sex. Sometimes all three at once. Our classroom is situated at the second floor, at the end of hall. There's a window at the end of the hall, so our place becomes a natural habitat for smokers to congregate and release their deadly fumes to the air outside. Going inside our room, I see all my classmates either seated down or standing up, all a little more apprehensive at the first subject that is coming up in a few minutes. To date, there are 8 Indonesians, 9 Koreans, 3 Filipinos, a Vietnamese and a Japanese, all in all: 22 students. The youngest is I think is in her late teens, while the eldest (the Japanese) is around mid 40's or 50's. Everybody is at early 20's. The bell rings and our teacher comes in. The four hours of misunderstanding starts...

"Ni hao ma?""Ni'n hao Laoshi!"

We have three teachers rotating in one week. One of them is young and she has a cute face. Another one comes straight out of a kung fu movie, kinda like martial artist albeit a little small. The last is a happy old lady with a penchant of making fun of our mistakes. It would even be more funnier if we could only understand her.

Our classes are all thought in Chinese. The teachers speak little or no English, which makes for a very hard study. Our classmates also don't speak Chinese, so we're all at the same boat. Laoshi ("teacher") Cutie can speak some English and takes care of our pronounciations, emphasizing on the lip movements. Laoshi Kung Pow takes most of our classes in the week, and teaches us both Hanzi writing and pronounciations. Laoshi Madame laughlingly heckles us with rapid Chinese and gives us pointers in sentence structure and grammer. And this goes on and on for a week...

"Wo xing Ai, jiao Hua"

I've been given my Chinese name, Ai Hua. Its means either "I Love China" or "Mugglewort Flower". Either one is unappealing, and when I get back to the Philippines I'm changing it to something like "The One Who Rises From Beneath The Ground And Controls The Space Time Continium" or some other nonsense. For now, I think I'd rather go with being called Mugglewort Flower...

"Wo...We...Wu...U...Tang Ina!!!"
Learning a different language is hard, moreso when it's Chinese Mandarin. The inflections and dictions are totally different, and the intonations are out of this world. I even learned that the Chinese have more than 10,000 characters to date, everything from milk to processed beef to large sentences like "the thing that makes the flies go away" (insect repellant). At least I'm not the only one struggling...

Oh, we finally made contact with the Filipinos here in Beijing. Surprisingly, there are a large number of us here, to the tune of more than 80, and that's just in the University. We had our Filipino Dinner/Meeting last night at the conference room. And its cool, lots of Filipinos representing all the different provinces and cities from Bicol to Davao to Manila to Cagayan. There are also a couple Ilonggos there, and guess what, both of them are close friends with "She Who Is Not To Be Named!". Wow. Talk about small world. Apparently they went to the same elementary school and kept in touch all over the years. One of them said that my ex even went to her birthday party last June. Hmmm, interesting. I probe some more and I find out that the guy she was with, you know the one everybody thinks of as her boytoy, wasn't introduced as the boyfriend. Hmmm, even more interesting. The theory of a boytoy is becoming a possibility as evidence is gathered, rinsed and dried out in the sun. Sadly, I wasn't able to get enough info as the party ended and we were swept away with the other noypi's.

Well, that's it, my first week as a student in Beijing. All in all, I feel like a retard.

State of Mind: Free!!! It's Saturday!!! No Class!!! Yay!!!
Song of the Day: American Idiot By Green Day
Now Reading: The Rainmaker by John Grisham
Chinese Phrase of the Day: San Mi Fan! Yi Wanr Duinuirou!!! (Three more cups of rice! And one stewed beef!!!)


Post a Comment

<< Home