We’ve both had our heads down buried in text books this week. Our language school doesn’t mess around. Being apart of a University, they go through all the usual University motions: copious amounts of homework, pop quizzes, mid-terms, presentations, etc. This week we had mid-terms.
I had three tests in total – one oral and two written. They were hard but I studied a lot and think overall I did really well. For me, the hardest thing about learning Mandarin is getting the tones right. Since there are 4 different tones (plus neutral tone) you have to remember which tone goes with what combination of letters to create which word. It’s very difficult coming from a language that has more classifications – more words for things, and no tones.
Despite being difficult I am really enjoying the process of learning a language full-time. We are both slowly improving. Every week we build our vocabularies and get a chance to test out what we’ve learned on locals over the weekends.
This weekend we have a number of errands to run as we continue to make our apartment feel more like home. One thing we will be doing is going to get some of our photographs and art prints framed. Professional framing is dirt cheap in Taipei. The only problem is that most don’t speak English. It will be the perfect opportunity to practice our Mandarin. And failing that, our exaggerated body language.
Our relatively boring week was made a bit more interesting by a little ball of fur. Fern is no longer the shy, quiet kitten we brought home last week. She runs the place now. She has explored just about every inch of the apartment. Her favorite thing at the moment (apart from long afternoon naps and attacking Luke’s plants) is water. She is obsessed. Whenever we turn on a tap she is there. She can watch it run for hours (not that we leave our tap on that long). I shouldn’t say that she just watches it because she actually plays with it. She’ll get right into the sink, getting her paws all wet, and will stick her face in the stream of water.
She’s stinking cute.
Last night we had a post exam celebration. Pizza and then out to the night market.
We stopped in at a bar near the market for a drink.
After our drink we came home and played with Fern a bit more before calling it a night.