GroundFloor Media & CenterTable Blog

And now a special post from our own Ramonna Tooley who is attending the Olympics in Bejing…

You probably won’t be surprised when I tell you that the little Spanish I know does me absolutely no good in China. That said, I keep resorting to it when trying to communicate because it’s the only foreign language I know. Here in Beijing, however, there is nothing about the language that is familiar to English or Spanish – or anything else I can conjure up for that matter. Regardless, everyone here tries very hard to communicate beyond the “hello” and “thank you” that I’ve learned in Mandarin. The volunteers at the venues are very good at saying, “Nice to meet you” and “Please turn around” (as they wand you in security) and “This way, please.”

My favorite recent example of communication is the sweet cab driver who pulled out a book that listed several countries and pointed to United States of America, to which I nodded enthusiastically. He then did the breaststroke in the air to ask if I’d gone to see swimming at the Olympic venue. I had really gone to see gymnastics, but I didn’t know how to motion that in the air in the cab, so, I said that I had seen swimming.

Upon exiting the cab, I provided my new friend with a USA Basketball Olympic pin, which he seemed to really appreciate. He waved the whole way as I walked through security to go into the hotel. One more good thing on the first sunny day I’ve spent in China and the day I saw the Americans win gold and silver medals at the women’s gymnastics all-around competition!

PS – When I went to Blogger to post this, the Web site was in Mandarin and wouldn’t let me log in. That’s why I asked Ashley to post this for me. So much for communication!

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