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Learning Mandarin in Kunming China – Rachel’s story [1]

Posted by Rachel Shaw on June 12, 2014

This article is recommended by Keats School in Kunming. It’s written by Rachel Shaw, a lady who is studying Chinese in the school. She was very excited to have her family to visit her there in Kunming from UK. The places she and her family went after their reunion in Kunming reminds me of my good old memories. That is exactly the place where I grew up. Thanks Rachel for your beautiful article and pictures!

 

Biography of the author:

My name is Rachel Shaw. I’m from the UK and I’m currently learning Chinese in China at Keats School.


After three months in a very foreign country, completely by myself for the first time, my parents and younger sister came all the way to China to visit me.

Learning Mandarin in Kunming China - Rachel's story [1]

I won’t lie, the night before, I only slept four hours. I was that excited. I was waiting for about twenty minutes outside Arrivals Gate A, getting more and more edgy. Just as I take out my phone to try and call my Dad, I feel two hands clamping down on my shoulders. I stopped, gasped and then burst into tears as I turned and hugged my sister. After some fierce hugging, my sister took me to my parents. I was so overwhelmed, and then overwhelmed by my being overwhelmed. I blame the crying on the sleep deprivation.

Just by happy coincidence we bumped into one of the teachers from my school. Though she didn’t teach me personally, we knew each other and she wanted to assist my parents in finding and taking us to the hotel. Just another example of the genuine goodness of people that I have come across here.

This was the week I took charge. Everything was up to me, though of course I did have my father’s wallet in my back pocket. Because my parents had nothing beyond “nihao” in terms of Chinese, I had to chaperone them absolutely everywhere. It definitely did something for my Mandarin.

Dayuan Park

The first day out, we went to visit Dayuan Park. This is a massive park in the southwest of Kunming. It was really quite beautiful. The park has a cluster of temples, some of them quite old, some of them not so much. In the more recently renovated temples there hang tapestries dating from about 1950. Some depict traditional Chinese scenes, others monuments and famous personages.

Keats School

Learning Mandarin in Kunming China - Rachel's story [1]

There are also a few stalls selling a variety of wares, mostly “ethnic” clothing and trinkets, but also some more unusual artisanal handiwork. Like for example, the two-foot wide dragons made from hard golden caramel.

 

Learning Mandarin in Kunming China - Rachel's story [1]

Dayuan Park sits at the north mouth of Dianchi Lake; a lake of area something like five times the size of Kunming City. To ride on this very lake my family and I hired a boat for half an hour. It was exceptionally pleasant and pleasantly inexpensive. Setting off was quite amusing as the boat-owners on the deck were trying to communicate to my father that in order to have the boat go forward, he had to toggle the single control to point 前 , “forwards”, instead of 后 “backwards” , as we were backing out of the boat-pen for about ten metres.

Learning Mandarin in Kunming China – Rachel’s story [1]

 

To be continued…

 

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One Response to “Learning Mandarin in Kunming China – Rachel’s story [1]”

  1. nothing

    Joanna:

    07-08-2014 3:15 pm

    its create to see more people learning chinese

    Reply

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