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This week I finished my last Chinese class as a ‘Survivor‘. An appropriate title for a beginner course as it feels like surviving most of the time. Keeping my head above the water as a sea of strange sounds tries to drown me!

As I was writing my presentation for the end of the last module (I have survived three) I once again realised how much there is still to learn. Remembering words is easy. Remembering their tone marks, not so much. And that’s of course exactly the part that makes you screw up the pronounciation, gets you strange looks, etc etc. I am considering signing up for the next level 3 HSK exam as this may be the proverbial Dutch stick I need behind the door. On the bright side, I am able to tell a joke and a few taxi drivers have laughed at them. Now you can never be sure they are laughing at the joke as I can imagine my speech is funny to them too but so far the laughing has only occurred at the punch line and not during the whole ‘conversation’ so I think I’m ok.

In the meantime I continue to survive all sorts of things, good and bad, in this strange but wonderful land. From tasty pancakes to floating pigs, when its good its good but when its bad, it really is bad. It makes China very interesting but also hard to comprehend at times. But I continue to the next level of my course which is called ‘Social‘ so who knows I may be able to chat about it over a cup of coffee soon.