Welcome to China

I don’t really sleep on planes. It’s more that I close my eyes and hallucinate for a little while. I guess that’s what sleeping is, really, but at home I generally have fewer dreams of flying merrily through clouds and drooling like a happy puppy. Also, you should all be thanking me: Chinese people now think westerners drool all over themselves. If ever you visit China your first impressions will be comparatively spectacular.

That’s all to say that I have no idea what Changsha looks like from the air. I wiped a string of drool from my lips as the tires hit the ground and called it a win when only the lady next to me was staring.

The first thing I noticed when I got to China was that suddenly everyone was Asian. You think I’m trying to be funny, but it’s seriously a huge shock. In Canada I had friends and then I had Asian friends. Now I have friends and I have foreigner friends. The difference becomes less subtle when I’m sitting in a restaurant fighting a bowl of noodles with two sticks while a little boy hovers, just out of punching range, staring at me and making noises that sound suspiciously like intricate symbols in my direction.

The language is humbling to say the least. Not only does Chinese not share the same Latin roots as all other languages I’m familiar with, but the written language is far from phonetic. And yes, I’m going to say Chinese when I talk about the language; there’s no use in specifying Mandarin every time. Everyone in China has at least a basic understanding of Mandarin as it’s the language of the government and television, so it’s as close as you’re going to get to “the Chinese language.” No one would say that French and Joile are different languages. Granted, Joile is much classier than French, what with all of the colourful and culturally significant religious terms mixed in, but I think the world is better off with just “French.” Granted, Cantonese and Mandarin only share about 20% of their words, but both have one more letter than “Chinese,” so in the long run I’m saving characters.

One of the most challenging parts of the language is pronunciation. Chinese is a tonal language; that is, the way you say a word matters. If I were to say qing3wen4 (the numbers represent which tone you use), it means “please question” or, less directly, “Can I ask a question?” This is the polite way to interrupt someone for something. If I say qing3wen3 it means “Please kiss,” or, less directly, “Please suck on my tonsils.” This is the less polite way to interrupt someone for something.

I don’t want to go on too long as I have a million stories already. I’ll do my best to break them up over posts so you can read them in bite-size pieces. Hope you enjoy my stories and ask lots of questions :)

Enjoy irresponsibly.

This blog used to be centered on the two years that I spent learning how to meet and attract women, culminating in two months spent in Europe shooting a documentary with a company called Love Systems. If that interests you, you can check out my previous posts on this blog, my journal for Project Rockstar 2010 (I’ll copy it over to this blog and link it here at some point), or the book written about the first two years of Rockstar: Myths and Masters of the Game. There’s lots of explicit content though, so reader beware, NSFW and all that.

As a side-business I do consultations with people about their sticking points with dating and relationships, but beyond that I’m focused on my travels, work and performance marketing company. Feel free to refer people to me, though, the first hour of my time is free (email or phone call): [email protected]. I don’t feel comfortable charging girls as I don’t have experience coaching them, but I’ll gladly give you an hour and a brief overview/direction.

2 thoughts on “Welcome to China”

  1. Isn’t that like a Chinese person coming to Canada and saying he’s gonna learn “Canadian”? Just saying… :)

  2. Haha no, I had a girl sit me down and tell me that it was stupid to say “Mandarin” in China. They just say “Chinese.” Both in English (they don’t know what you mean when you say “Mandarin” half of the time) and in Chinese (pu3tong1hua4 = Mandarin, they’ll stop you and tell you to say jung1wen2, which just means Chinese, as in, the Chinese language).
    Saying Mandarin is more like going to Canada and saying you’re going to learn Canadian English.

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