Sunday, September 03, 2006

It seems I'm having more difficulty studying Chinese these days. I was doing great during last term and through the summer. But it's not so good anymore.
I used to go down to my favorite restaurant, Lao Chongqing, for a couple beers and read my Chinese notes. This was quite effective. First, Liu is quite helpful, especially considering he wants to improve his English. Fortunately, he's not leaving the restaurant, but is quite busy most nights and cannot help me too much.
There was the Kingway beer girl. She was very nice and helpful. She obviously likes the foreign teachers because we consume a lot of beer and she gets paid based on how much of her beer is sold. She would always come over to me and help me study by asking questions that she thought I could answer. She understood my level of Chinese was equivalent to a retarded parrot. She tried to correct my mistakes and understood my nonsensical gibberish. Unfortunately, she has moved to the Red restaurant down the way and we really don't like that place because their service just plain sucks. (Case in point: Friday lunch, we were given three dishes we know we didn't order and they wouldn't take them back.)
Just before I left for my long vacation with the parents, there was a very kind young waitress who helped me almost as much as the Kingway girl. Two days before I left, she asked if I would teach her some English. I agreed, thinking that she would also help with my Chinese. As with all good things around here, it ended. When I returned from vacation she was no longer working at Lao Chongqing. There goes a nice student who could've helped me.
It also seems that some of the new staff have taken a great liking to the restaurant. The problem is, they go around the time I enjoyed most for studying. This interrupts my studies slightly with a distraction.
I suppose I could convince my girlfriend to return to our Chinese/English lessons again. She's always happy to teach me more. And maybe this coming week I'll get to take Chinese class with the Korean students. But I know that class will be difficult. I hope I don't slack off.

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