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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Had an interesting encounter yesterday

I've been staying in Jiangsu since early July because I wanted to get out of Hunan for the summer and see a different part of China.....and, so far, I think I prefer Jiangsu to Hunan.

Anyway, I live on the fourth floor of what I assume is the 'foreign teacher's' building.

I know there are three other people on my floor and I've met them all but I wanted to know if there was anyone on any of the other floors to socialize with so yesterday I went up to the fifth floor and knocked on the first door I came across.

A few moments later a small asian female opened the door.

I can't remember how the conversation begin but it didn't take long to establish that she was Japanese and didn't speak any English.

Now, I know a few basic words and phrases in Japanese but not enough to carry on a conversation.

So, I asked her if she could speak any Chinese and, as it turns out, she is in China studying Mandarin......which makes total sense but it surprised me because most of the Japanese people I've met in China are not students.

Anyway, the cool thing about talking to her was that 99% of our conversation was in Mandarin because neither of us could speak the other person's native language.

This was my first time being in this type of situation and I really enjoyed it.

When a Chinese person talks to me in English or I speak to a Chinese person in Chinese it's a little bit interesting but it's also kind of lame because one of us is speaking the other's native language.

So, to speak to someone in a language that is not to native to me or the other person is totally new to me and I hope I can have more experiences like this in the future.

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