Posted in Expat Diary

Do I Really Look Chinese? πŸ˜‚

I’m on a train to Suzhou right now.

The very moment I got to my seat, the elderly man sitting on my booked seat (but it’s okay because he was very helpful with finding a place for my luggage) started talking to me in Chinese. I tried to respond with my yi dian dian (δΈ€η‚Ήη‚Ή which means “a bit of“) Chinese hoping he’d get a clue that I don’t really understand Chinese but he kept on asking me questions. And he said something that I didn’t quite understand so the default move in times like this is to use a translation app (which I’m hoping I don’t have to use in the near future). 😁

He was trying to tell me this:

I had to retype on my translation app what he typed on his phone. He probably thought I could read Chinese characters. Yes, I can read a few but…

Grandpa, you’re expecting too much from me! πŸ˜…

It was only after the train crew checked my ticket and passport that dear grandpa realized I’m not Chinese. He said in Chinese that he thought I was Chinese. I just smiled and said that I’m from the Philippines. πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­

After that he continued asking me questions probably expecting me to understand everything he’s saying since I understood what he said a while back. I don’t understand everything, of course, but I’m glad I can communicate better in Chinese now. My vocabulary and comprehension have increased, I would say. So even though I still feel a little frustrated that I still have to use a translation app, I’m happy that I was able to respond to some of his questions without having to translate what he said.

Learning Chinese has been the hardest goal I’ve set for myself so far! πŸ˜…

What about you? What have you been trying to achieve these days that’s been difficult to accomplish?

Anyway, going back to my original intention why I wrote this post, I still get amazed at how people think I’m Chinese.

Well, once my Chinese becomes fluent I will pretend I’m Chinese, haha! πŸ˜‚

Until then I will just keep “ting bu dong” (meaning “I cannot understand you” but literally means “hear not understand“) handy! πŸ˜„


A dreamer. A wanderer. A mentor. A teacher. A learner. A daughter. A sister. A friend. A sinner saved by grace through faith and now daughter of the King of kings. πŸ˜‰

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