Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chinese Survey

I participated in a survey a few weeks back and yesterday I was required to drop by the HSS Graduate Office to collect my reimbursement worth 20 dollars. And so I deliberately went to the venue 30 minutes before my class to grab my money. Upon reaching the destination, I was suppose to give a buzz to the person in charge and  I complied. Only after a few rings, a young Chinese gentleman appeared at the door and greeted me.

Chinese guy: 你好!你来这边那钱吗? (Nǐ hǎo! Nǐ lái zhè biān nà qián ma?)

Me: 对阿!( Duì ā!!)

Chinese guy: 还好吧!你跟我来. (Hái hǎo ba! Nǐ gēn wǒ lái)

I followed him into his office and I was asked to be seated and wait patiently until my turn. I still didn't realize that I was actually volunteering in another survey until he started asking me to fill up my details on a survey form. To be honest, I was still wondering how come I was required to fill up my details again, I already did so 2 weeks ago when I participated in the survey, but my guess was he need the particulars of the respondents to make appropriate claims. 

After doing so, he started explaining to me with a very heavy Chinese accent and all I could do was just nod in agreement. Deep down inside, I knew I was 'conned' into the Chinese Linguistics Research Department surveys but being 'shy in nature', I didn't dare to speak up and told him my intention was just to grab my cash and scoot. 

I was then presented with a series of videos of a person doing several hand actions. I was required to describe in detail what the videos meant to me. 

Chinese guy: Ok 崇贤,请详细描述视频. (Ok Chóng xián,Qǐng xiángxì miáoshù shìpín) Ok CX,please describe the video in detail.

Me: * stares at the video and with my limited Chinese vocab I uttered* 他丢东西! ( Tā d de dōngxi ) He threw something.

And this continue for the next 3 minutes as he was showing approximately 15 different videos on a guy throwing things. My guess was he wanted to find out if the respondents knew there were different types of techniques of throwing things. I felt utterly bad because I was definitely the extreme outlier in his findings.

After the series of videos, I had to identify certain characters and at that moment I knew it was for me.I could only remember 2 characters shown there :D

扔 丢 etc etc

I timidly told him that my chinese is worst than a primary 1 student and he said that it is impossible! He then explained the whole purpose of the survey and I guess I was right. He wanted to identify the difference between a local and PRC ( People Republic of China) on certain usage of words. Apparently, the PRCs are more creative when it comes to describing things as compared to the locals.haha! 

I think the turning point was when I mistakenly heard 钱 (qian,money) instead of 调查(diao cha, survey).My reward for participating in the survey was a simple blue pen but it definitely served a reminder for me to buck up my mandarin!

My Chinese blue pen :D

Ps: Yes, I did get my 20 bucks in the end (:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I find myself doing things a little different recently. Things such as walking to school instead of waiting for the bus, or even walking to a further canteen just to get extra vegetables on my dinner plate.

Things seem to be at a slower pace when you view things in a very simple manner. Maybe I need to retract that statement a few weeks later because it's just the start of a new semester. Maybe I'll even consider organizing a salad party or a fruit fiesta to keep this 'healthy' habit. I can even turn the fruit skins and vegetable waste to black gold.

I just finished talking to my mum on msn/skype and I shall share what we talked about.

Mum: Nik, you know what day is tomorrow or not?
Me: Wednesday? 
Mum: No, It's Koko's birthday
Me: Oh yea
Mum: Remember to wish him you know. I'm waiting for 12 o clock to call him.
Me: Ok!
Mum: After that it will be yours. Don't worry I'll call you as well.
Me: O.O Err. Ok thanks!

Haha! I love to document my simple conversations with my mum! :D


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Life @ NTU

Life in NTU is always interesting. Cheers to all my final year mates! Enjoy it while it last and to the freshies embracing it, endure and learn as much as you (:

Ps: To Sunday Jogging Club (SJC), we will be resuming our regular routine this weekend! I will keep you all informed :D