Hold it right there!

Blog 17

4-30-18

I have always wanted to be a dad and have kids to raise. I can remember even as a small child planning things I would do with my own children. I guess I just like to plan ahead!

我一直想当爸爸,抚养自己的孩子们。我还记得在我很小的时候我就打算以后怎么和孩子们相处。我想我只是喜欢提前计划(未雨绸缪)。

However, some things you cannot plan for. For example I never planned for the situation I had last week with my six year old son. You see, normally, my wife takes the kids to school in the morning and I pickup in the afternoon. My wife had some work training, and so I was taking kids to school all week.

但是有一些事情计划不了。例如我从没有计划过上个星期和我六岁的儿子在一起的情形。通常,我妻子早上送孩子们去学校,我下午接他们回家。这个星期每一个早上我太太都有一些工作培训,所以这个星期我每天都要送孩子们去学校。

Monday, it was a bit crazy, and everyone was late. Tuesday was a little better, but I was still late getting to work. Wednesday the same. By Thursday morning, I am pretty frustrated.

星期一有一点混乱,我和孩子们都迟到了。星期二,好一点,但我还是上班迟到了。星期三是一样的乱。到了星期四的早上,我已经很沮丧。

It is a situation any parent can identify with. I was pointing my finger at my kids and saying “you guys had better eat and I don’t want to be late to work again!” In that moment, I was frustrated and my tone of voice was not good. I had had enough.

这个情况所有的父母都可以理解。我指着我的孩子说:“你们最好吃早饭,你们不要再让我迟到了!“ 在那时候,我很沮丧,语气也不好。我受够了。

Suddenly, my six year old holds up hand. He looked me right in the eyes and with a calm voice said “Hold it right there Dad. What is more important to you…” then he held out his two little hands, palms up, like a scale.

突然我的六岁儿子举起手来。他直视我的眼睛冷静地说:“爸爸等一下。什么对你更重要…”

然后他伸出两只小手像天平一样举了起来。

He then said “What is more important to you Dad, being late to work … or … having a family where everyone loves you?”

Whoa!!!

他然后说:“爸爸,哪一个是更重要,上班迟到…或者…有家人都爱你?“

哇啊啊啊!

This is either the most clever or the sweetest kid ever (maybe both). In all my planning, I never imagined such delightful children.

这是最聪明或最贴心的孩子(也许都是)。在我以前的计划里,我从来没有计划过这么好的孩子。

Flower pepper

Flower peppers

Blog #12

3-16-18

A mutual friend introduced my wife and me while we were working at a government lab NIST. She always liked to share her Chinese culture with me. One night we went out to eat Chinese food. The menu had a spiciness scale for their dishes:

* : Spicy

** : Very spicy

*** : Extremely spicy

# : Numbing

“#? Numbing? What is that?” I though. That must be super spicy!

A few weeks later, this Chinese girlfriend brought me a real Chinese lunchbox that she had cooked herself. How romantic!

In our large NIST cafeteria maybe there are a few hundred people eating lunch and two microwaves to heat up lunchboxes. So, typically, there is a lot of waiting for the microwave.

My wife (girlfriend at that time) brought me a hot lunchbox and went back to heat up a second lunchbox. She told me to start eating and let her know what I thought. I opened the lid of the glass lunchbox and the steamy rice and veggies looked pretty good. There was a spice scent inside I did not recognize and so I started eating. About the fourth or fifth bite, something inside my mouth stuck me like a needle. I stopped chewing. Was it a piece of broken glass? What was this sharp thing? I spit out the food into a napkin. Then, my mouth started becoming numb. It felt like a dentist had given me a shot of anesthetic. I must be having some kind of food allergy! I stood up to find my girlfriend (wife) and she was already on her way back with lunchbox #2. I said “something is wrong, there was a sharp thing in the food, and now my mouth is going numb”. She just said “yes, that’s flower pepper.” At this point I still don’t know what flower pepper is, so I am still pretty worried.

I said – “I don’t know what is happening to me, my mouth is going numb.”

She said again, “oh, that’s just flower pepper. It is a little numbing”

“Numbing?” I asked “The food is numbing?”

Fun fact: Numbing is a hard word to say in English when your mouth is numb.

And then she added “maybe I added too much? I don’t really know how to cook with it.”

Well, it turns out I survived the flower pepper. She showed me what the flower peppers look like and it turns out about 1/5 of the dish was flower peppers. Some of them when dried can be quite sharp! All in all I learned that flower pepper is actually numbing, and that dried flower pepper can be quite sharp. And that Sichuan people are pretty bold.

You can read more about this spice here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-szechuan-peppers-make-your-lips-go-numb-5668606/

一个朋友介绍我和我的太太认识。以前我们在同一个国家实验室,NIST工作。这个中国美女(我的太太)总是给我介绍中国文化。一天我们出去在中国饭店吃晚饭。他们的菜单上有辣度排名:

* 辣

** 很辣

*** 非常辣

# 麻辣

“#?” “麻辣?” 我觉得很怪,不懂它的意思。应该是非常非常辣的。

差不多三个星期以后,这个中国美女准备了一个盒饭给我。她自己做的。好浪漫。

在我们公司的餐厅,有两百人但只有两个微波炉,所以常常需要排队用微波炉。我的女朋友给我一个热的盒饭,她说了,”你开始吃饭,我去排队“。这是一个玻璃饭盒。我打开盒饭盖子,闻到一阵香味。里面有好看的饭和菜。我发现一种气味我不认识。我开始吃饭。第四五口饭,一个东西在口里面刺伤了我。我在想“这是什么?这是一片碎玻璃吗?

我把饭吐到纸上。我的嘴巴变麻了。像在看牙医,像在嘴巴里打针。我觉得可能是食物过敏!我站起来找我的女朋友,看到她回到我们的桌旁。我说“快快来我有一个大问题。我不懂为什么我的嘴巴麻木了“。

她说“这就是花椒。它会让你的嘴巴有一点儿麻。“

“麻?菜是麻的?“我说了。嘴巴麻的时候很难说“麻木“这个字。

我的女朋友说,“可能加了太多花椒。不知道应该加多少。我真的没有用过,没有办法用花椒做菜。“

我战胜了花椒。她给我看花椒是什么, 我发现我的盒饭差不多五分之一都是花椒。总之,我学会了,花椒菜真的很麻。花椒干可能刺你的嘴巴。我也学到了四川人可能很大胆。

Chinese medicine

Chinese Medicine in our house

下面我自己用中文来写这个故事:“我们家的中药”

Blog Post #11

3-8-18

I think since marrying my beautiful Chinese Hunan girl I am a more healthy person. I think that is mostly due to Chinese medicine. I have learned a lot about Chinese medicine. By now I am a kind of expert of the major classes of Chinese medicine. In my household we have two types. The first class of Chinese medicine is: drink more water. If you have a headache, drink more water. Cough? Drink more water. Too sleepy? Water again.

If this doesn’t work, you will need stronger medicine. I would recommend taking things to the next level of stronger Chinese medicine – drinking hot water. This one can tackle tougher problems. Bad cold? Drink more hot water. Flu? Definitely drink more hot water.

If you don’t believe me, give it a try!

We have other more advanced medicines as well, like wearing more clothes, but that we will have to cover in a future blog post.

我觉得和一个中国美女结婚了以后我越来越健康了。我觉最重要的原因是中药。我很清楚的了解中药。我现在是有点儿名的中药专家。

在我们家有两种中药。第一种是:多喝水。头痛?多喝一点儿水。咳嗽?多喝一点儿水。太累了么?再多喝一点儿水。

如果这种中药没用,你应该用重一点的药。我建议去采取下一步措施。另一种中药是:多喝一点热水。热水可以解决更多难题。你感冒了么?喝热水。有流感吗?当然要喝热水。你不相信,可以自己试试。

其实我们家也有其他中药(例如:穿多一点衣服). 我未来会写在我的博客上。

Teaching mother in law how to drive, part #2

Blog #8 Feb 11, 2018

If you haven’t read, make sure to start with:

Teaching mother-in-law how to drive, part #1

When we saw the police car, I wanted to tell Mom how to roll down the window. Here is one detail – on this car were driving, the windows are very dark black. The tint is actually limousine tint, which is illegal because police cannot see in. I am thinking about this, and all of the police shootings in the news recently.  And we have been driving around the bank. I cannot get Mom to roll down the window as the police starts to approach the door. I made the decision to open my door to speak to the police officer. This can be quite dangerous in the US, the police officer may think you are trying to attack or run away, you should always stay in the car and not make any sudden movements. I had been jumping around inside the car trying to reach the window, the police can’t see inside.

So I took a deep breath and opened the door, making sure to hold up my hands above my head when I said “heeeelllloooooo there!” “we are just doing some driving lessons”.

Then he smiled, relaxed and said, “oh, OK.”

He told us no problem, but that someone had called in to report suspicious driving. We chatted a bit and then he told us to please continue with the practice. He pulled off to the side and a second police cars arrived to the parking lot. We had a lot of police supervision, maybe the safest driving lesson ever. For the next lesson, we found a new parking lot to practice in and never returned to the bank again.

我们看警车的时候,我告诉妈妈停车,然后打开窗户。在美国,如果一个警车在你的后面以后,你就需要停车,打开窗户,等在你的车子里面。但是,我的岳母开不了窗户。警察离开他的车开始来看我们车。岳母还开不了窗户我很紧张。一个小细节,我们的汽车窗户都是很黑色的。从外面不能看里面。其实,这是非法的。我们这的看起来像银行劫匪。我也值得在美国现在有恨多警察枪杀人。我真的越来越非常紧张。

我决定打开我的乘客门。我先脱掉我的手套,然后开我的门,放我的手在我的头上面。我说“你好啊啊啊啊啊啊”微笑着,挥舞着你好。

警察看我,然后他放松了和我也放松了。我告诉他我较我的岳母开车。我们聊天儿一点,然后他说,“你可以恢复教学”。五分钟后,第二辆警车多来所以我们真的有地最安全的开车课。我们快一点完成了课。我们再没有回到这个停车管。

Teaching mother-in-law how to drive, part #1

Blog #7

Feb 8, 2018

In 2016, my wife and I set a New Years resolution to teach my mother in law how to drive. I have pretty good relationship with my mother in law who lives with us. She is about 60 years old, and had never before driven a car nor could she speak or read English. So, this was a big job, but something we really wanted to do to improve her quality of life living with us here in the US.

Every weekend we would practice using parking lots near my house. There was one big parking lot with several offices all connected. One Sunday, we were driving from the day care on one side all the way to loop around the bank in the other side. The bank had some very narrow lanes around the backside which made for good practice. Daycare to bank. Bank to daycare. Back and forth we drove. Perhaps around the third or fourth loop around the bank I though – we probably look like criminals casing the bank. Shortly after that, we were practicing parking into parking spots when a police car suddenly came rushing up behind us…

在2016上我和妻子决定我们要教我的岳母开车。我和我的岳母的关系是很好,她住在我们的家里。她差不多六十岁,以前没有开过车,看不懂英文,听不懂英文。所以这是一个很大的工作。但是我们要做这个因为可能提高她在美国的生活质量。

每一个星期天我们联系开车。我们本来用一个大的停车场。那个停车场有很多不同的店都在一起。一边有一育儿园另一边有一家银行。

我们在停车场里从一边的育儿园开始,到另一边的银行来回开。那家银行的后面有很窄的路,很好练习。然后,回来育儿园。来回开了三四次以后,我觉得我们看起来像两个小偷。看起来像抢银行。一会儿后,我们在联系停车。突然一辆警车马上到了在我们后面。

What is this?

Post #1 Jan 2, 2018

Hello and welcome to 50% Chinese!  I have just started writing this blog in Chinese and English to help me learn Chinese.  Also because I’d like to share some entertaining stories from my life and trying to live a bilingual and definitely multi-cultural life.

A little about myself: I am an American married to a Chinese Hunan girl, we live in the USA with our two kids & my mother in law. I work as a Principal Scientist with Procter & Gamble.  I am interested in outdoors activities, running, technology, and learning Chinese.  I expect to publish a new blog posting each week.  Please let me know your comments  and questions – I always respond to every email.

#1 一月二号

大家好!欢迎你们来到我的博客。我更开始写这个博客为了帮助我学中文。我也喜欢分享我的想法和我的故事。

关于我自己:我是一个美国人和一个湖南的辣妹子结婚了。我们现在和我的岳母还有我们的两孩子住在美国。我是一个在宝洁公司的博士科学家。我的工作是做研究更好的产品。我对外面的活动,跑步,技术,和学中文感兴趣。我打算每个星期加一篇新的博客文章。欢迎给我留言。我会及时回复所有的留言。