Like Peppers in your Mouth

Learning Mandarin is like having peppers in your mouth.

When you first start learning you can’t say anything without having the right tones. It’s similar to eating something hot – when you cannot form words, but just make weird noises.

Some how, some way – I am going to get a better understanding of this tough language. I have committed to three months of full-time Mandarin classes. I’m learning to speak it and write characters. And while it will be challenging, it will also give me a better understanding of where I live and how to communicate.

Right now, being an Italian American is useful in China – you can always talk with your hands and people “sometimes” understand you, or at least you think they do.

Time will tell if I can master this language. If anything else, it will be fun trying, learning and feeling like I’m eating lots of peppers! At least there’s something to help with indigestion.

Live like the Locals

You hear it often, “when in Rome.” Well, there’s truth to that statement anywhere.

This weekend I decided it was time to start living a little more like the locals in Shanghai, so I bought a bike. I named it – “Baby Blue.”

I’ve taken it on three bike rides already. It’s liberating, although it can be a little daunting weaving in and out of traffic and dodging thousands of people on the city streets. Safety first, of course – but hell, it’s fun. And if there was a motor on this bike – well, things could get interesting… and more dangerous. Don’t worry, Mom – I’m sticking to the bicycle.