Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Just Call Me Yao Ming

Yesterday was awesome. Angelynn and I went to this place called "Sometimes Coffee" (I guess Sometimes it's not?). I have been craving real coffee lately so we went in and ordered some excessively over priced coffee at 20 kuai a cup. Keep in mind I can eat a really nice full meal for about 7 kuai. So we get our coffee and it honestly wasn't that bad. It probably would have been better (and cheaper) if they used a little less coffee grounds in it, but I was pleased even though I could have eaten for a day off the price of it.

After that, Angelynn had to go back to her apartment for a women's Study with the Family, so I decided I would go out and explore. I walked through the streets of this little China-Town just watching people and going in and out of shops. In one shop I looked around and came out and there was a little boy there. He said, "Hello." I said hello back and then asked him, "Ni jiao shenme mingzi" (What's your name?) and as soon as I said that the kid gasped and started shouting excitedly in Chinese and within seconds there were 30 something little elementary school kids crowded around me asking me questions in Chinese. It was great.

Somehow I was able to pick out little words here and there and answered their questions. They were thoroughly impressed. I've learned that little kids are the best place to practice a foreign language. They are so open to listening and you don't have to fit in their little box of how the language is supposed to be, just long as you're speaking it or trying to, you're in.And if you're not speaking it right, they just sit and listen while you say it over and over till you finally get it right. It makes me think of when He said, "You must be come like little children or you will never enter the Kingdom." But that's another post...

We, me and the now huge group of Chinese kids, sat on the sidewalk and chatted for half an hour when they finally asked me something that I didnt understand but one word, "Qiu" which means ball in Chinese. Mocca, the main leader of the entourage, then made a dribbling motion with his hand. I thought he was asking if I liked basketball so I said yes and then out of nowhere Mocca grabbed my hand and took off running down the sidewalk.

Ok, so picture this: one white boy with a bright orange backpack with 30 little Chinese ten year olds running full sprint down the sidewalk of a crowded street during rush hour. We ran for about 50 yards and then we turned right into this gated area which was their school. At this time, a guard stepped out and held out his head for us to stop and said some stuff in Chinese. Ten of the kids went to him and started saying things, and then while the guard was distracted the other 20 kids motioned for me to follow while he wasn't looking. I was like, whatever, I don't know what's going on, so I snuck past the guard.

We got in and I played basketball with these kids for over an hour. They were the nicest kids in the world, literally. They saw I had my digital camera with me and were going crazy about it, but when we got started to play they showed me to put my backpack next to the goal and I was kind of hesitant to leave my camera there, but I put it in my backpack and as soon as I did they all moved their packs on top of mine to hide it.

I had been culture shockin a little that day, and it was an awesome Gift that was Sent.


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