Thursday, March 27, 2008


Military time still gives me trouble. In Chengdu people will always verbally say "five in the evening" instead of "17:00", but everything official, including the clock on my phone, is in military time. Yesterday after teaching a whopping six classes I wanted to come home, sleep until 9:00 because I felt myself getting sick, do some homework, and then go to bed for the night. Somehow, though, I managed to set the alarm on my phone for the wrong time and woke up at 11:00. I should have done some homework then, but maybe I only think that because of how rough the rest of the night was.

I had been getting sick all of yesterday. I took some Sudafed that I brought from the States before I left to teach, and that kept me doing okay, but I thought that it would be good to sleep extra. After I woke up at 11:00, I took a shower and tried to go back to sleep, but I felt like I had had tons of caffeine. Plus, my skin was irritable and just lying there under the covers was uncomfortable.

I dozed in and out of sleep for the rest of the night. I wouldn't have gone to class this morning except that we have a test tomorrow and I didn't want to miss her review. Plus, ever since we covered a chapter on getting sick, our teacher is always asking us if we have a cold. She only asks if we're out of it that day, though, so that her asking if you're sick is close to a reprimand for not being on top of things. I wanted to be in class, though, so when she asked me, I could say, "Yes, I am sick. I did not sleep well last night. I caught a cold." The last bit, in Chinese, is the title of this post. Unfortunately, she didn't ask me in class and I had to anticlimactically tell her during the break that I wasn't feeling well.

I had a cool moment when I was teaching yesterday. We were playing all these fun games to help the kids learn the new words. One of the games was where I had a cutout of each word plus one cutout of a bomb. When I showed each cutout, the kids would say the word, but when I showed the bomb, everybody went crazy hiding themselves. I got into it, too, and all the kids laughed a lot.

Afterward, one of the kids asked me in Chinese, "Are you going to come back?" I felt proud, because that meant that I had done a good job. I was also excited that I understood his question.

One other thing I wanted to say. It's really too bad that in Chinese, the word for "actually" isn't used the same as it is in English. I used to say it all the time, but my language partner told me that I was using it in the wrong situation, and now I don't know when to use it.

For example, last night I was having dinner with Mrs. Xiong. She asked me to pass the paper towels, and when I didn't understand her (although I did know the word--gah!) she asked what it was called in English. What I wanted to say was, "Actually, in America we would never use toilet paper as napkins." My language skills aren't quite up to that sentence, though, since they don't distinguish between paper you use in the bathroom and paper you use at the table. The high point of my sentence is "actually, but that's been cut out from under me, too!

This post isn't very cohesive, but I'm sick, so that's how it goes.


mom said...

Sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Of course I wish I could come over and rub your forehead or something. Sending love!

Mom said...

I think the title of this blog is "I caught a cold" in chinese. Since I read this and wondered how sick he was, trying not to worry as moms tend to do, I discovered he is off having more adventures, cold and all. So the sickness doesn't seem life-threatening. Whew.