Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Day four of our Sauerkraut training

What happened? I got a full night sleep last night--none of this wake up at 4 am and toss and turn for an hour stuff. But I had a low grade headache and was late for two sessions today. (Well, technically I was late for three, but the last was a photo session and all we missed was a bit of standing about waiting for our turn.)

I can't think of a unified theme to describe today. We talked about relating to other people (expatriate co-workers and nationals alike) as well as physical and mental health issues. The latter was a bit challenging, as there are so many things I do which violate the guidelines for a healthy life style. And then right after the lecture I turn around and have a double helping of mashed potatoes. Not my idea, mind you. Poodlepums didn't like it and gave me hers. Which would be the greater sin? Wolfing down the carbs? Or wasting good food?

We also had a second mini-session of Mandarin lessons. I think the worst thing you can do, when starting out, is to have more than one language teacher. I've already noticed some differences in pronunciation between Carol and our new teacher, Jeff. Who do I believe? Carol is Chinese, but lives in a part of China where Cantonese is the main language. Jeff learned his stuff in Taiwan and would be more sensitive to how an English speaker would learn the language. Actually, it's not that big of a dilemma. Both teachers are going to get trumped by the populace of Yunnan--the people to whom we'll actually need to communicate. Still, I'm lucky to get a bit of a head start.