Ayi

On Sunday we tried a new church near the French Concession in Puxi (which means “west of the River” we are in “Pudong” which means, east of the river). The service started at 2:00 PM so we knew it might not work so well for Jameson as that is right in the middle of his naptime. Since they did not have child-care we had to leave early, but ended up having a fabulous lunch at a Brazilian Churrascura just across the street. It was strange speaking Portuguese and Mandarin in the same sentence! “Obrigada Zai Jian”. The food was fabulous and compared to what we have been eating it seemed very Western!

We then explored the French concession, took the metro (which is fabulously clean) to People’s square where we did a little window shopping and finally took the metro back to the Museum of Science and Technology which is the closest station to our apartment in Pudong. Here are the boys near our metro station.


Last week I began searching for an Ayi (I.E. Auntie, typically the maternal younger sister, but is often used as the title given to household help/nanny and is pronounced “Aaaaayeee”). We found an Ayi who is kind, hardworking, patient and who loves Jameson. We are trying our Ayi out for a week and we already love her to pieces. Jameson called her “Aaaayee” today and it brought such joy to her eyes.

Our Ayi does not speak any English and my Mandarin is limited so now I must learn Chinese as quickly as possible. Luckily, Ayi is patient with me and we have the help of an on-line translator when needed. I am finding Mandarin to be the toughest language I have ever studied. In my lifetime I studied German for four years, French for one year and I studied Portuguese enough to visit the Brazil. I have also sung in over 11 languages and can fake many accents. Most of the languages I have sung in were based on Roman, Greek or Latin roots, so they were relatively easy to grasp. Mandarin feels more like Martian to my tongue. Luckily it is a very musical language and that is my saving grace. There are five different inflections and they all have different meanings. For example, if I say Mama with the wrong inflection I may very well end up saying a swear word.

But, I’ve learned that if I “sing” the exact notes that our Ayi uses, my language improves. For instance, Ayi sounds like a minor third “Aaaa” on Eb and “yee” on C.

Anyway, that’s what I have learned so far. I’ve also learned that no matter who you are, what your I.Q. is and how much you think you know, if you do not speak the language in the country of your residence, you are in idiot. You are bound to do things incorrectly, insult people inadvertently, and you might even get yelled at. Luckily, the people are patient here and are happy to help especially if you smile and have your son wave at them. The locals enjoy seeing foreigners who are making an effort to fit into the culture.

Ok, that’s all for today. Besides, what you really want to see are sweet photos of our boy Jameson!


Here he is looking out his nursery window!

8 comments

  • jujumate

    jujumate

    Hi kid, Trying to catch up on all at home. Had a great flight home but miss Dad already. I have read and looked at all your pics and love them so thank you for them. The one of "the boys" out and about, Jim looked a bit cold and maybe a bit wet. Thy looked happy anyhow. I have lots to do before I leave or Seattle on Friday. I might stay for a couple more days and visit some more family while there so wont be home till Tuesday or so. We are meetng with the Mediator on Saturday between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. I am hopng an praying that this time spent will solve some real problems for the whole family. Please pray for all of us syblingsas well as the mediators. Very happy to hear that you have some help wih your new Ayi. I was hoping that you would find someone to help you being that Jim is gone for so long during the week. I am sure that you will be able to learn very quickly with your amazng language skills.Will talk to you later. Thanks Lori Have a great day and God be with you Jim and Jameson as well as Ayi. Love ya , Mom:love:

    Hi kid, Trying to catch up on all at home. Had a great flight home but miss Dad already. I have read and looked at all your pics and love them so thank you for them. The one of "the boys" out and about, Jim looked a bit cold and maybe a bit wet. Thy looked happy anyhow. I have lots to do before I leave or Seattle on Friday. I might stay for a couple more days and visit some more family while there so wont be home till Tuesday or so. We are meetng with the Mediator on Saturday between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. I am hopng an praying that this time spent will solve some real problems for the whole family. Please pray for all of us syblingsas well as the mediators. Very happy to hear that you have some help wih your new Ayi. I was hoping that you would find someone to help you being that Jim is gone for so long during the week. I am sure that you will be able to learn very quickly with your amazng language skills.Will talk to you later. Thanks Lori Have a great day and God be with you Jim and Jameson as well as Ayi. Love ya , Momlove

  • Lori

    Lori

    Hi Mom, Thanks for reading my blog and keeping us up to date on your life too. You are definitely in our prayers and I hope you enjoy your trip to Seattle. Hopefully you can come visit us while we are here. Sally is thinking of coming, so perhaps you may coordinate your trip with hers! Love you lots, Lori :love:

    Hi Mom, Thanks for reading my blog and keeping us up to date on your life too. You are definitely in our prayers and I hope you enjoy your trip to Seattle. Hopefully you can come visit us while we are here. Sally is thinking of coming, so perhaps you may coordinate your trip with hers! Love you lots, Lori love

  • Char

    Char

    Hello my seester! It sounds like things are really starting to settle in for you! It was so great to talk to you the other day! Seeing those pictures of Jameson just makes me miss him to pieces! Of course I miss you and Jim too, but you guys aren't quite as cute and squeezably hugable as he is. (Close, but not quite! :) ) Anyway, love the pics and look forward to seeing and hearing more as time goes on. Glad you guys had a great weekend together with your whole family. Those 14 hour days must be brutal for Jim. All our love, thoughts and prayers are with you! Oh, and I forgot to tell you. John got my e-mail up and going again, so you can e-mail me Jim's work address at char@poetsgarden.com. There might just be a package heading your way this next week! Love you! Char

    Hello my seester!
    It sounds like things are really starting to settle in for you! It was so great to talk to you the other day! Seeing those pictures of Jameson just makes me miss him to pieces! Of course I miss you and Jim too, but you guys aren't quite as cute and squeezably hugable as he is. (Close, but not quite! smile ) Anyway, love the pics and look forward to seeing and hearing more as time goes on. Glad you guys had a great weekend together with your whole family. Those 14 hour days must be brutal for Jim. All our love, thoughts and prayers are with you! Oh, and I forgot to tell you. John got my e-mail up and going again, so you can e-mail me Jim's work address at char@poetsgarden.com. There might just be a package heading your way this next week! Love you! Char

  • Lisa

    Lisa

    I figured of all the people I knew, you would be mostly likely to grasp the language. You sing beautifully and this is such a tonal language. I tried and failed! I'm glad you are doing well. Enjoy your help around the house! What a treat that would be. Ayi is what all the nannies are called as well. We are one of those families your Mom talked about visiting. I'll try to remember to take pictures this time and post them on my blog so you can see them. You are in my thoughts and prayers! Love you Lisa

    I figured of all the people I knew, you would be mostly likely to grasp the language. You sing beautifully and this is such a tonal language. I tried and failed! I'm glad you are doing well. Enjoy your help around the house! What a treat that would be.
    Ayi is what all the nannies are called as well. We are one of those families your Mom talked about visiting. I'll try to remember to take pictures this time and post them on my blog so you can see them. You are in my thoughts and prayers! Love you Lisa

  • Tami

    Tami

    It is so great to read your blog and "see" you guys. Miss you dearly!

    It is so great to read your blog and "see" you guys. Miss you dearly!

  • Mooner

    Mooner

    Hi My seester, It was so great to talk with you last week. Just today Jameson and I looked at a bunch of photos of your family when we went to the zoo two years ago. Jameson said "Mmmmet" and "Aboo" :) We miss you too. Jim is pretty tired from the long hours, but at least he does not have to come home and mow the lawn. We are counting our blessings :) I'm glad you have e-mail again. Do you have skype set up yet? It would be so fun to see you all via video phone! Love you, Mooner

    Hi My seester,

    It was so great to talk with you last week. Just today Jameson and I looked at a bunch of photos of your family when we went to the zoo two years ago. Jameson said "Mmmmet" and "Aboo" smile We miss you too. Jim is pretty tired from the long hours, but at least he does not have to come home and mow the lawn. We are counting our blessings smile I'm glad you have e-mail again. Do you have skype set up yet? It would be so fun to see you all via video phone!

    Love you,
    Mooner

  • Lori

    Lori

    Hi Lisa, I am so glat that my mom gets to visit your family. What a treat! Thanks for your kind words, hopefully the language will come swiftly. Rosetta stone is helping and I hope to take a conversational class soon. Jameson is also picking up a few words and we work on basic numbers and colors together. It is really quite fun! I would love to see photos of when my mom visits. Much love, Lori

    Hi Lisa,

    I am so glat that my mom gets to visit your family. What a treat! Thanks for your kind words, hopefully the language will come swiftly. Rosetta stone is helping and I hope to take a conversational class soon. Jameson is also picking up a few words and we work on basic numbers and colors together. It is really quite fun! I would love to see photos of when my mom visits.

    Much love,
    Lori

  • Lori

    Lori

    Dear Tami, It is fun to keep in touch with so many people. Do you guys have skype yet? We would love to see you. It might be fun to skype during our CLG too. Love you! :love:

    Dear Tami,

    It is fun to keep in touch with so many people. Do you guys have skype yet? We would love to see you. It might be fun to skype during our CLG too. Love you! love

Add comment