Friday, October 28th, 14 days left
Yep, just two weeks from today and I leave Chengdu. I’m starting my punch list:
- Visit Little Tibet (Tibetan neighborhood in Chengdu)
- Find the Buddhist fish
- Take bus to Mt. Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha (not sure about this yet)
Today I stayed in, yet another day. Scheduled my next language lesson for 2pm on Saturday. Studied Mandarin with my new favorite phone app, ChineseSkill. I feel like I’m making progress, though I’m still at the “See Dick run! Run, Dick, Run!” stage. But I am now recognizing a character here and there and hearing the words as separate words.
I have been practicing using pinyin, the phonetic version of Mandarin, to look up words I hear. I am having some limited success. For example, I heard the word for “mango” today: máng-guǒ ( 芒果 ). I typed the way I thought it sounded and I found it!
The the first character ( 芒 = máng ) means beard or awn (I had to look that up). The second character ( 果 = guǒ ) means fruit. The character for fruit ( 果 ) is the character for cultivated field ( 田 ) on top of the character for tree ( 木 ). So “fruit” is “cultivated field of trees” and “mango” is “bearded fruit.”
The only thing I could think of for the bearded part is if you eat a mango by eating the fruit off the pit with your teeth, you end up with a “beareded” pit, lots of stringy stuff that doesn’t come off the pit. So maybe the seeds always look “bearded”? Don’t know.
Anyway, if you can say “mango”, but change the “ma” to “mu” and the “go” to be the same sound as “gua” in “guache” (dropping the “-che”), you know how to say mango in Mandarin: mung-gua (well, almost, because there’s that tonal stuff going on here, too). 😉
Dinner did not turn out as well as I’d hoped. I made a lotus root, bean curd skin, Cali-Sino-hodge-podge. I definitely feel like my timing is a little “off.”
Watched the 1999 movie “Ghost” on TV over Wi-Fi digital channel (no charge, English with Chinese subtitles).