today was the first day of my language classes, and i feel pretty good about it. i was placed in a class for students who can understand/listen and speak decently, but can't really read or write. there are 10 of us. Four ABCs (American Born Chinese), four Japanese kids (with at least ONE Taiwanese parent), one CBC (Canadian Born Chinese) and one Spanish girl (with a Taiwanese mother). They're all sweethearts and mostly in their early 20s. I'm the second oldest. The spanish girl is 26. ONE, my partner for the day, is 16 years old...WTH?! She's adorable though and took all of us to a noodle house for lunch after class.
today my teacher (Huang teacher) taught us about free radicals. they are chinese characters that by themselves have meaning and can be paired to supplement and bring meaning to other chinese characters. i guess similar to root words in english? not sure how else to explain, not a linguist!
a funny thing is no one knew how to say my name. it's lee chang rae, which i think is pretty straight-forward, but apparently it's a rare name and quite masculine. it made me sad, but because it was hard for everyone to remember of all the names in our class, Huang teacher forced them all to say it repeatedly. by the end they really remembered it. ;)
tomorrow after language class, we will learn how to play the chinese yo-yo. that should be pretty cool. my life is really chinese these days. after class i come home, talk to my family in chinese and ask them questions about taiwanese and chinese culture, and go to sleep watching chinese news. IMMERSION as they call it.
Okay, signing off now...but before i do, here are some t-shirts I've seen around Taipei that made me laugh inside:
"Hit it or Leave it" worn by a 20-something year old male crossing the street
"Make Cupcakes Not War" worn by a middle-aged man walking out of Sogo
"One Piece! I will lead a band of pirates someday!" worn by a 30-something year old man texting on the MRT