Sunday, July 09, 2006

Happy Birthday, Chua XH. :-) May we always celebrate your birthday together in true gangsterism in the many years to come.


What is it about late night jogger-me and men? I'm not used to strangers trying to make conversation with me, let alone men who sound enthusiastic about it in the quiet of the night, after my jog.

(Jo jogs down slope as she reaches home and meets Man 1)

Man 1: Well done! Jogging so late?
Jo: Yeah... (*pant, pant* *feels relief at reaching home and then feeling intruded upon by stranger*)

Man 1: Where did you jog from?
Jo: I jogged from church. (*thinks: good time to evangelise? and to also be vague.*)

Man 1: Oh, i like to jog too.
Jo: Oh that's great! (*smiles brightly and also thinks: doesn't look like he jogs very often*)

Man 1: See you then! (*smiles a little smile that looks half hopeful, half unsure*)
Jo: Right, bye! (*thinks: is he ok? er... this is not normal.*)

(couple of days ago)

(jo walks alone quickly in the dark past the playground, minding her own business, but notices a man walking up from the playground after doing some chin ups)

Man 2: (speaks up from behind me in Mandarin) So late and you still jog?
Jo: (takes a while to register that he's talking to me before i turn around, and stammers replies in... Mandarin) Yes, at the gym.

Man 2: (still in Mandarin) Really? I've not seen you around.
Jo: (*thinks: eh? should you be noticing at all?)

Man 2: (In Mandarin) Are you a local?
Jo: (*scowls very hard and frowns because jo doesn't understand the Mandarin word for local*)

Man 2: (repeats his question in English) You're not local?
Jo: No, no, no... (meaning: No, no such thing, i AM local)

Man 2: Oh... Your accent doesn't sound local.
Jo: Oh... (*smiles* *thinks: er, ok... this is not good*)

Man 2: (in English) Oh... Ok, see you around!
Jo: (in English) See you!

See, i wasn't kidding when i said that my mandarin is beyond terrible, and that sure isn't something to be proud of. It sounds so off that it even makes someone think that i'm not local! :-( Sure am appreciative that Gem's mandarin is waaaay better than mine. In all those cases when we had to ask someone something in Mandarin, he was desperately poked by mua (distress button) to ask for help, and thank God he does it very well.


Anonymous said...

although everyone tells me dun compare, dun worry will get faster. I still cant help it but worry. I mean how not to compare? In the end, our boss will still compare me to my classmates see how we fare. So i tink if i didnt compare...i will still be happily treating 5 instead of like my frends treat 12 per day

GeRmAiNe said...

kek kek kek. i can so imagine u poking ur bf for help. hahah. *systems alert!* anyway, how in the WORLD do u help out in the clinic man? need to take conversational mandarin classes! i'm gonna take malay! join me join me!

joline said...


Ok, i don't really know how your boss assesses you but ok... i mean, although it is ideal that you should treat more people per day, it is better to treat patients with care with minimal mistakes than to rush to meet a number. Perhaps this is your adjustment period, after which you will get better.


HEH HEH... Me clinic usually sees caucasians and locals who speak mostly english. Teehee. But i do agree that if i could sit down for conversational mandarin, that would be ideal... So when do your classes start? Gah, i'm baaaaad with language. I tend to forget everything in a jiffy.

GeRmAiNe said...

actually in my opinion, u just need to immerse urself in the language..and practise it. i'm practising hokkien with my mom. heehee..snail progress is still progress my friend!

joline said...


thanks nice! :-) so how is your progress? heh... skarly my malay becomes better than my mandarin since one does not to read compressed slashes and dots and lines.