Monday, February 11, 2008

Chad part 3. Things in Chad have calmed down somewhat, thank God. Dad is still there, Mum is still in the UK. As Dad described in an email to me, things in Chad are still quite "fluid" and all sorts of uncertainties still prevail. On the positive side, Dad is living back at their house which was undamaged by looters (He did find a bullet under the door though!). And the banks opened today although Dad's not sure they have any money in them. Thanks to everyone for your prayers and interest on this.

Chinese New Year. Occasionally, I feel like I'm back in my old job as an international student worker especially when I'm teaching English to Natalese university students hoping to study abroad. This week I felt like an ISW all over again for another reason. One of my ex-students attends kung fu classes and her school and teachers organised an event outside the Peking Restaurant. Going to Chinese New Year events was par for the course in York, and now I find myself at one all over again. Unfortunately, we were 45 minutes due to the fact that Natal's town planners had decided to name two roads on the opposite side of town practically the same thing. Being 45 minutes late meant we were more or less on time by the Brazilian clock...

Nelson had a good time watching the dragon dance although he kept telling off the kung fu display chaps for fighting. He didn't like it when they fell over either. But, he did a mean impression of a kung fu master, swishing his hands back and forth rapidly (not unlike E.Honda from Street Fighter 2). Rach and I got a kick out of the sign which read "Gung Hey Fat Chow". I only realised this week that this is the traditional greeting for this time of year and not really that funny anyway. But then there is a chain of restaurants in Natal called "Thin San", and maybe "Fat Chow" should go there for a diet plan... sorry, that's terrible. And to think, I once was a politically-correct, culturally-sensitive international student worker once.

Amusing uses of English: Portuguese spelling. Some words and expressions that we have in English have been cut and pasted into Portuguese with the same sounds but sporting Portuguese spellings. Sometimes I come across these and don't recognise them right away until somebody says the word in question. So, here's a game. What are these words? If you speak English, you'll know what they are but you may not recognise their new spellings... uau, xampu, piquenique, cauboi, uisque, maicon. Answers next post.

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