Sunday, April 05, 2009

It's all coming back to me . . . well, some of it

With our move to China looming ever closer, I have started to be concerned about my rusty Chinese skills. Not so concerned that I actually might take time to study. Oh, I think about it now and then, but I know that an hour of practice by myself is equivalent to about 5 minutes of actually speaking while I'm there, so why waste all that time?

This morning I had an opportunity to bring a little back. I'm on a quest for a friend in China to find "wind cure oil" for her back. In Chinese it is called "qu feng you." When I asked for it at the pharmacy the other day, he gave me many choices, but not the one I wanted. Today I went to a different market. Not knowing where a pharmacy was, I thought about asking, and thought, "How do you say pharmacy?" (we live in a part of town where Chinese will get you further than English). Suddenly I thought, "Yao ji shi!" Technically, that's "pharmacist" or "chemist" to be more precious. I know that because that's what my dad does. As I walked, I imagined a conversation about this "qu feng you" with a "yao ji shi" and I realized I remembered how to ask for a specific name brand. I never got to use this restored information because there wasn't a yao ji shi to be found. But at least I found some of my Chinese!

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