Last year, I began my journey of relearning Mandarin. I wasn't serious. I wasn't committed. And I wasn't determined. I want to learn, but I wasn't.
Finally, the phone call from Ms. Chew. "Level-3 will start soon! This time, the teacher is a local. I'll see you ok!"
So in China I started to try and communicate with the locals. It was hard. The words didn't come naturally. And it still hurt. Terribly. As time passes by, a Quranic verse came into the picture.
"Verily, with every difficulty there is relief."
Everywhere I went, the locals spoke to me in Mandarin, even Cantonese. Like it or not, I had to speak the language. Do or do not, there is no try. When I fumbled the words, locals pleasantly waited for me to find the words or politely say things like, "Oh! Ni shi waiguoren? Duibuqi. Wo bu hui shuo yingwen". Then the pain somehow went away and I'll reply with "Meiguanxi. Ni bangmang wo henduo le. Xiexie."
Speaking in Cantonese, is crazy. Owner speaks in Cantonese, I don't understand a single thing but I just point to the item "M goi. Gei chin ah?". He'll say "Say go gau" and I'll try to remember my limited Cantonese, give up, have a dazed look and say "Ni hui shuo putonghua huo yingwen ma?". The guy obviously taken aback by my remark, bursts out laughing uncontrollably.
Tomorrow, is my 1st day of Level-3 Mandarin. This time around, I am serious, committed and determined to relearn.
No pain = no gain ... right ... ?
God help those who help themselves ...
12.33noon Malaysian Time