Gōng yuán

 I apologize for not posting a blog last week as I had a series of relentless migraines and an achy-icky flu. Unfortunately, my blog was postponed as staring at a computer was not my first priority during my nauseous and blurry-eyed-week. This week Jim is sick with the flu. He was sick enough that he needed to leave work early to see a doctor who prescribed anti-nausea medication to keep him from getting dehydrated and out of the hospital.

Now that he has been home with us for a day, I must ask what he thinks of our Chinese-speaking home. When Jim is around, I mostly speak in English, but when Ayi is here, I try to speak as much Mandarin as possible. Since Jim works such long hours, studying Mandarin is simply not possible, so he is a little lost as far as what is going on around here. Luckily sign language can be universal, and he already learned a few new words this morning before he went back to bed.

There are days when I long to communicate to our nanny in English as she is co-raising my son, but today I am grateful at the progress that we have both made in learning her language. Whenever she talks about us understanding Mandarin, she says “Nǐmen míngbái, wǒ hěn gāoxìng” which means “You (two) understand, I am joyful!”

I am joyful too, as I began writing the following list. This list includes some of Jameson’s Mandarin vocabulary in chronological order of when first spoken:

Tsing Tao - Chinese Bear
Māmā - Mom
Bàba - Dad
Āyí - Aunt in Chinese
Yī, Èr - 1, 2
Chē - car
Nǐ hǎo (heehow) - hello
Péngyǒu - friend
Bǐnggān - cookie
Jítā - guitar
Kùzi - pants
Wàzi - socks
Yì fù - shirt
Gōng yuán - park
Ěrduo - ear
Sān, Sì, Wǔ – 3, 4, 5
Méiyǒu!!!! - no, don’t have

I am learning that there are some words that Jameson has learned that I don’t even know yet. For example, just today our Ayi asked me to purchase more hangers and I asked how to say hanger (Yījià) in Chinese and Jameson answered for her.

When we have no other plans for the morning, Jameson goes to the park or the “Gōng yuán” with Ayi. If he does not get to go the “Gōng yuán”, chances are he gets to see his friends Alex and Abby. Either way, he has the opportunity to play with either Chinese or Expats “péngyǒu” every day. Jameson now has short conversations with Ayi in the morning where he asks if they are going to the park. If going to the park is not a part of the agenda, he says “Méiyǒu”. The conversations they have are very sweet, but I just realized that my almost-two-year-old-son now knows how to say “no” in two languages. All of you parents feel my pain, I’m sure, but I am excited that he is picking up Mandarin so rapidly.

A few weeks ago we went to a “Gōng yuán” in Puxi with Lenny, Melissa, Alex and Abby. The park was similar to Century park in that it had amusement park, a lake with boats, but the reason the boys (I mean “Men”) wanted to go to this particular “Gōng yuán” was because it had an indoor disc-cart racing track.

"Bippity-Boppity-Boo"



I'm on a boat!!!!



We had to kill some time with Lenny, Melissa and the kids
before the disk carts opened up, so we rented Chinese motor boats.



Aside from not having life jackets and the water being
nuclear-reactor-by-product-algae-green.... it was great fun!



This photo was taken from the bar.... intoxicated indoor racing…. Only in China!



Lenny and Jim saddling up.



 Of course there were no helmets,
so our kids had to be spectators instead of participators.



Everybody wins when dad is around



Riding a "Mótuō chē" with daddy



I think we all agree that this was the best gōng yuán we have yet to visit. Now that Lenny and Melissa are moving off the island and closer to Thumb Plaza, we hope to have lots more fun adventures with them. We will soon be “neighbors” with one very large city block in between us. Yay for Yanlord!
 

2 comments

  • Lisa

    Lisa

    Lori sorry to hear that you had been ill. I'm hoping you are finally feeling better. You always look so nice and well put together. During my time in China I looked as if I'd been pulled backwards through a button hole! I love the photos of your adventures! Hope you have a blessed week! Love ya! Lisa

    Lori sorry to hear that you had been ill. I'm hoping you are finally feeling better. You always look so nice and well put together. During my time in China I looked as if I'd been pulled backwards through a button hole! I love the photos of your adventures! Hope you have a blessed week! Love ya! Lisa

  • Char

    Char

    My seester, Sorry we haven't talked this last week. Sorry you had a rough week, too. I can't decide which I hate more: migraines or the flu! Sorry you had to deal with both. I'm struggling through my annual two weeks of allergy hell (grass seed is the only thing that really hits me hard) in a benadryl haze, then Monet and I both ended up with ear infections. The urgent care visit was sort of funny, trying to explain that we were there for the same reason. The doctor was really surprised to find that, yes, indeed, we both had "really nasty ear infections"! (Duh! :) ) So I hope you have a better week and we do too! Let's try to talk later this week. (I work these two nights, then I'm off for 11 days for the kid's birthdays) I love you very much! Give Jim and Jameson my love! Feel better! Char

    My seester,
    Sorry we haven't talked this last week. Sorry you had a rough week, too. I can't decide which I hate more: migraines or the flu! Sorry you had to deal with both. I'm struggling through my annual two weeks of allergy hell (grass seed is the only thing that really hits me hard) in a benadryl haze, then Monet and I both ended up with ear infections. The urgent care visit was sort of funny, trying to explain that we were there for the same reason. The doctor was really surprised to find that, yes, indeed, we both had "really nasty ear infections"! (Duh! smile )
    So I hope you have a better week and we do too! Let's try to talk later this week. (I work these two nights, then I'm off for 11 days for the kid's birthdays) I love you very much! Give Jim and Jameson my love! Feel better!
    Char

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