Sunday, July 30, 2006

When Chinese is my weakness.

Yesterday I was playing paintball with my Chinese friends. The occasion was hosted by the Taiwanese Club in my uni. Prior to the day itself, I was really looking forward to have fun shooting people away.

I came back feeling not satisfied.

I don’t know how I could feel that way. I managed to shoot down several people in the three hours of skirmish. I felt the adrenalin rush when trying to snipe one person hiding at the bunker. It was like how I thought; tension-filled scenarios.

Yet, how come I do not feel good after the end of the day? Could it be that I got head-shot three times, twice on the arms, one on the body and one on the leg (lucky the paintball didn’t hit my lam par....the shot was close to my groin!)? Or that some fucker took a cheap shot on me when the game stopped for like several minutes? Or that I’m annoyed with some guy who thinks he’s a sergeant and actually wore his own military uniform before coming to the place?

Then I realized that it wasn’t all that.

It’s hard to not feel alone when you hang out with pro-Chinese language friends and you can’t speak a single sentence in Mandarin after “Ni hao ma?”. It’s even worst when they know despite the fact that you can’t understand them, they don’t make an effort to let you feel like you’re part of them.

I hate that feeling of standing there and being an idiot when everyone else is talking about the paintball in Mandarin.

I hate the feeling of being left out.

Sure, I get this all the time. Starting from the time I first moved to Subang Jaya till now, I always somehow managed to hang out with pro-Chinese users.

Yet, I never seemed to pick up Mandarin or Cantonese naturally. While I’m not a complete “banana”, my Hokkien seemed to deteriorate too over the years. And when I do pick up some Mandarin words, I’ll remember it for a moment and then I would forget the words. The only ones I somehow pick-up are those Cantonese swear words from Form 1 onwards.

That aside, why can’t I remember???

I wandered why I didn’t naturally pick up Mandarin when I was a little kid…instead I pick up English at a very young age. I even wandered how come my parents never talk to me in Mandarin when I was really young. As of now; my Japanese seemed to be even better than my Chinese.

I know I have to really learn it sooner or later. But I would like some support from such friends if I want more motivation to learn.

All I want to say is that….

I’m really ashamed of myself to not being able to speak fluent / decent / basic Mandarin at this stage of my life.

I really am.

For those who can read Chinese: 感到很羞愧.

P/S: That 'sergeant' even bloody smoked a cigar after the game. What the he really that hardcore?

My thanks to Noel for the Chinese text.
Picture of Skirmish taken from TopGun PaintBall (


Jon said...

It gets worst when you're like me, not understanding any of the primary chinese dialects.

I can only speak English and Malay... over time I find that many people start singling me out because I choose to only converse in English.

They think I'm snobbish, using an alien language that symbolises standard and upper class. Truth is, it's the only language I was brought up with.

Ah_Mike said...

Don't you just hate that Jon? It's like they're being French people....

Sam said...

^.^ I recall calling you banana sometime ago. Looks like it came true.

Hey, on the brighter side...Never too late to start learning. LoL...Possibly For free too! What with the vast internet before you.

Gd Luck in shedding ur banana image (If ur gonna try) =P

Ah_Mike said...

Thanks sam :)

saykhia said...

Fellow banana human! Yes, my mandarin is next to S-U-C-K-S too.. I, too am trying to become proficient in that language.

But really, what is all this about English-speakers being SNOBBISH?? Some people just have it all wrong.

Ah_Mike said...

Oddly enough, people who said that English-speakers are snobbish happens to pick up English culture (read: hip-hop) faster than the English-speakers themselves.