Friday, May 05, 2006


I might have mentioned this already, but of late, I’ve taken to sculpting my Chinese language skills. Of course, it is much easier than picking up a completely new language- I’ve got the grammar, syntax in place since the late 80s. No doubt it’s a rather crude grammar and syntax handbook, but it’s definitely better than my non-existent French grammar.

My current programme involves a book from Beijing entitled 孔子说 which serves as a textbook. Judging from the lack of intricate complexity in language and the various illustrations, it is probably targeted at the lower primary age group. Such is my level of command of the language. I have arranged around this text several tasks comparable to the 生字, 抄书 and a spot of 听写, activities we I so disliked in primary school.

But then any sane primary student would dislike homework anyway.

I might also introduce 造句 into the soup to speed things up, since this would really make the mind work.

So that’s how I spend parts of my nights. By the way, I’ve retrograded back into a creature of the dark- I sleep from 6am to 1pm, take lunch at 6pm and dinner at midnight. It’s not as bad as it may sound; I’m merely 5 hours out of phase with most of Melbourne. And the best part is, I operate on the same cycle as the population of Ekaterinburg ( also Yekaterinburg, fifth largest city in Russia).

If a call comes in from Ekaterinburg, I’d be completely at ease. Assuming they speak English/ Cantonese/ Mandarin/ Malay or I speak Russian.

Hello Yee Wei.
Boris! How are you?
Good. I just had a heavy lunch. What have you been up to?
Ah. I just had my lunch too.

And so on.