In class today we were having a practice dialogue, and I told my teacher that I ate Hong Kong for breakfast. I meant to say banana. It was one of those classes, where you get your 香蕉 mixed up with your 香港.
And the other day I was “talking” to an older guy on the bus, as is our custom, asking him where he was going and where he was from (Hebei) – basically trying to make a conversation by patching together different phrases from our lessons.
I thought I’d told him I was going to school (学校 – xué xiào), which is on Zǐ Jīn Shān Lù (紫金山路 – the street name). He seemed a little puzzled, and when the bus came near the water park (several stops before mine), he started trying to tell me I needed to get off. He eventually got off himself and was replaced by an older lady with white hair (there are a lot of older people in Tianjin).
How bad is my accent: I tried to say “xué xiào” and he heard “shuǐ shàng” (shuǐ shàng gōng yuán = 水上公园 = water park). The bus was noisy. That must be it.
Still stalling on picking a Chinese name. But we managed, with our Chinglish powers combined, to hunt down an apartment and arrange the meeting to negotiate with the landlord. We called in reinforcements for the negotiations on Sunday night, and it all went great. We move in to a hopefully more permanent place this weekend!