Sunday, January 21, 2007

Weekend Activities

We started out this weekend with a Chinese language class. There are many things I find interesting about Mandarin. First, there are four tones - which are actually more like music notes. Second, there are only three tenses (past, present and future). In romance languages, one must conjugate the verb to indicate tense, but in Chinese, one only adds the word today, tomorrow or yesterday. The verb remains the same. When asking a question, one simply adds the word "ma" to the end to indicate it is, in fact, a question. I'm also learning how to write Mandarin, because no matter where you are in China, you can communicate using the characters (while local accents, meanwhile, vary so significantly that people living in different cities can't understand each other). It is hard, but I love it.

Chase loves her instructor too. This week, she started forming the word "ne ne ne," which I'm convinced is the start of "ne hao" (hello) in Mandarin.

After class, we went looking for a frame store to get our artwork framed. But there were no black frames. Anywhere. Turns out the Chinese don't like black frames. They like big, shiny gold and silver frames. Unfortunately this just won't work for our artwork. Maybe we should just have everything laminated and thumb tack it to the wall - HA.

Today, we bought an oven because they don't come standard with apartments (it is actually just a little bigger then a toaster oven, but it has a rotisserie function). Oooooh Ahhhhh. And, like everything we've purchased here, it lacks set-up instructions.

Still working on baby proofing the apartment. I don't think it's possible, especially as the Chinese don't seem as concerned about the whole thing. For example, I have yet to see a baby gate.

More to come when I can access blogger again ...

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