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June 17, 2004

Dancing in the Dark and Marrying the Postman

Norty and I went to Shanghai last weekend. While we were there, we had dinner with Norty's Chinese teacher, Chunhua, and her husband, Pingping. After dinner, as we were walking back to their apartment, we heard music.

It was coming from a large tiled patio area where a crowd of people were dancing in the dark. It is very hot and humid this time of the year, so it feels much cooler that way. Chunhua and Pingping urged us to join the dancing, so we did. It was such fun! I danced with Norty and Pingping several times and once with a nice young man who taught me a popular Chinese dance. I have become quite fond of Chinese popular music, and now I know how much fun it is to dance to. Norty and I would like to find something similar in Nantong, but no luck so far. Nantong ren (Nantong people) don't seem to be as fond of nightlife as Shanghai ren, so we may not find any dancing here, but now we know we can go dancing in Shanghai.

About marrying the postman.... On Monday, I was alone in the apartment when the doorbell rang. I looked through the peephole and saw a guy in uniform. He held up a letter, so I figured he was from the post office and I opened the door. Unfortunately, he didn't speak any English and my Chinese is "ma ma hu hu" (literally, "horse, horse, tiger, tiger" - which is an idiom meaning "not good"). He showed me the letter with Norty's name on it, and said something that seemed to be an inquiry about who that was. I wanted to say, "He is my husband," but I couldn't remember the word for "husband." So, I tried to say, "I am his wife," because I could remember the word for "wife." But I screwed up the pronouns and what I wound up telling the postman was that I was HIS wife. The guy just cracked up! I managed to straighten it out, but I'm sure the postman is getting a lot of mileage out of telling everyone about his American wife! He must think Americans are very friendly! And after Norty told the story to his colleagues at work, they had a lot of fun teasing him that he should "chi cu" (literally "eat vinegar" - another Chinese idiom that means "to be jealous"). Well, the postman WAS awfully cute!

Posted by now at June 17, 2004 08:06 PM