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Thursday, January 27, 2005

banana

*I am writting this in a very pissed offed mood...don't bitch if there's spelling mistakes*

How's a banana look like?

Yellow on the outside, white on the inside. That's actually a term to describe Chinese people who can't speak their own language. You can find a lot of such people in KL. Hell, I am one of those people. I can speak a few words of Mandarin here and there, read and write a bit as well, but not enough to survive anywhere. Besides, my pronounciation sounds like an angmoh. Over the years, I get a lot of stick from my friends. Banana. OCBC (orang cina bukan cina). Stuffs like that.

Alright, that's not something I am proud off. And I don't blame anybody that I can't speak the language. Some people blame their parents for not teaching them, or blame the lack of exposure. My dad tried to teach me when I was a kid, but its a fucking hard language when it comes to pronounciation, and I suck at that. So, yeah, I only blame myself. Over the past few years, I have wanted to learn it, but again, my fault, I never did get down to it.

Ok, so this is my final term in uni. To be honest, I've been pretty sick of studying. Over the last two years, I have chosen optional subjects based on my interests, and not based on whether I could score well in those papers. For this new semester that started on Monday, I've decided to take a few easier options. Among which, Mandarin Level 1B.

So, I went along to have a chat with the Mandarin lecturer, cause apparently they need to gauge whether you are competant enough, or over qualified. Some dudes tend to cheat the system by taking a language subject which they are already competant in, thus earning them easy marks. The lecturer, upon first impression looked like the AhSoh who used to work in my neighbour's house. I reckon, if she had worn the same straw hat, I would have called her AhSoh.

Vincent : I wanted to enquire about joining the Mandarin 1B class.

AhSoh : Please, sit. *eyes me suspiciously*

Vincent : Is it too late to register? (people usually register in the 1st semester)

AhSoh : Bla di di bla bla

Vincent : Huh?

AhSoh : Bla di di bla bla?

Vincent : *realises that the woman is talking in Mandarin* Oh...errr....

AhSoh : *very patiently*Bla...di..di..bla..bla? *which I THINK she was asking me whether I was from China*

Vincent : Oh...bu si. Wo si ma lai si ah ren. (Oh no, I am a Malaysian)

AhSoh : *rambles on something about whether my parents are from China*

Vincent : Bu si. Ma lai si ah ren. (No. Malaysians.)

AhSoh : *speaks some jargon which I have no idea, but mentions something about WHO and TEACH*

Vincent : Ah...papa...er..er..AND..pen you jiao wo yi dian dian. (Ah..my dad and my friends taught me a bit)

Bear in mind that my pronounciation sounds like a whiteman. And also, major boo boo on that last line. She eyed me very suspiciously. I don't blame her. Which idiot can speak half a sentence, but doesn't know how to say 'AND'? She thinks I am pretending.

She grabs a book from the shelf, and asks me to read a few lines. Those are characters with the hanyi...somethingsomething (can't remember what its called). Its basically Mandarin words, with the English pronounciation thingy below it. And so, I read a few lines, again with my whiteman accent. After that :

AhSoh : Ok....something something something shi mo yi si? (I reckon that meant...whats that mean?

Vincent : Ah..ok...err....this word..xin qu ri..means Sunday. Dunno...dunno...dunno...wei si mo means why.

AhSoh : *talks more jargon...points to a word*

Vincent : Err........wo bu hui. (I don't know)

AhSoh : *gives me a funny look* Really? (that's the first English work she said to me since asking me to sit)

Vincent : Yeah. Really I DON'T FUCKING KNOW.


Finally, she gets me to read some another paragraph which doesn't have the English pronounciation on them. I struggle, again. After much thought, she finally gave in and told me that it was alright to come for class next week.

This is a record new low. Not only is it fucking embarassing that I don't know my own mothertongue, but some old maid thinks I am faking not knowing it.

Moral of the story : Kids, learn from this. Learn your own mothertongue when young. Fellow bananas, go learn it as well.



*I am still in a pissed offed mood. Not cause of this. But cause some damn American goalkeepr cunt caused Manyoo to lose a domestic semi-final for the first time in something like 20 years. Also, funnily enough, all the damn glory hunters I know didn't watch the game. Surprise surprise*

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