We are back! Patrick and I had our first Mandarin lesson here in Shanghai last night, and I have to say, it was mildly odd seeing the same picture books from the 70’s and experience the same style of teaching half way across the world. Jo Ann, if you read this, I think you would have been proud of how much we remembered during our review. We could say many things about pencils, maps, cats, and trains. We were really excited when our instructor “Apple” said that they usually skip the Chapter 10, the most challenging grammar lesson, and pick it up again after Chapter 20! And over-achieving Patrick was very pleased when Apple said we would be able to finish the book during our 100 hours with her/Berlitz. We shall see. I will be very happy if I can communicate with taxi drivers and the cleaning lady. Those are my – maybe not glamorous – but very practical short-term goals!

ps- Anyone interested in learning Mandarin (or at least hearing it), should check out chinesepod.com – I am a free subscriber which means I can download podcasts, listen to them, and practice the intonation over and over… (when alone in the apartment which is most of the time! Just wait till I get an ipod in the US…then there is no stopping me).  I think the instruction is really very good!

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