Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Listening to Thunder

It's Tuesday, one of my busier days: I get the kids out the door with their lunches (instead of waltzing them over to school at the sound of the lunch bell like I usually do), and then I head downtown to teach my ladies' English club. Part of my routine is buying a ring of white fragrant magnolia blooms from the old woman who sells them at the same intersection every week. She sees me coming, and always has a huge smile and Taiwanese thank-yous. I hope to get a picture of her before we go.

Today's class was good. About ten women gathered around the ping-pong table to discuss the second half of our chapter on languages. I was especially looking forward to the section on Chinese proverbs which had been transliterated into English, and which the students were to explain to me. As I looked down the list of these odd (at least odd-as-transliterated) sayings, I tried to guess the meaning. Some were easier than others. I'll let you have a go:

1. A place where birds lay no eggs.
2. Tiger's head, snake's tail.
3. Riding a horse, looking at the flowers.
4. Standing by the tree stump waiting for a rabbit.
5. Ducks listening to thunder.
6. A crane standing among chickens.
7. The newly-born calf does not fear the tiger.
8. Thinking of eating swan's meat.

Let me know if you think you've got them figured out. I'll just be over here, in a place where birds lay no eggs, listening to that distant rumbling sound....

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