Archive for April, 2007

26th Apr 2007

Back to the Beach

I’m headed back to Florianopolis for what may well be my last trip to the beach here in Brazil. Warm weather has lasted for an oddly long time this year and so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for one more good beach weather weekend. Hopefully, this time I’ll remember to take my camera and all its parts with me so that I can actually take some photos of one of my favorite places.

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20th Apr 2007

Mandarin lessons and the quest for the Chinese Visa

Well since I last posted I have had approximately four Mandarin lessons. Our teacher is really good. He’s interesting, but yet knows how to teach and has a decent sense of humor. Most of this humor is displayed when he laughs at our slaughtering of his native language. Thankfully, he doesn’t take offense.

So far I’ve learned how to say good morning, “I am an American,” approximately thirty or so verbs and a bunch of nouns including peach and mango, plus five of the nine hundred meanings for the sound “ma,” which include, but are not limited to, mother, horse, hemp, some sort of insult and a question mark. I’m still not really sure how to say yes, but I do know how to say no, which I suppose is more useful. All in all it’s been useful, even if I’m pretty certain that I won’t build up the nerve to speak to anyone for about a year.

I’ve also had the joyous experience of completing the frontwork for my work visa. This has mainly involved doctor visits, three so far. I’ve had one basic physical, which was just weird because the Chinese physical form was so bizarrely translated. I also had the privilege of getting a chest x-ray and an EKG, both of these were performed with equipment that I’m pretty sure was made in 1952. But my heart is beating as normally as can be expected and I have two functioning lungs and all the necessary ribs, so I think I’m good to go fight off Bird Flu.

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