Saturday, 11 October 2008

TaiChi Lessons

So last night I did indeed return at 7:30. Luckily for me they did mean at night. When I first showed up I didn't see any familiar faces, so I wheeled over and had a seat. I had barely sat down when the guy who wanted me to meet his son came over. He asked if his son could come and speak English with me. I said sure. While we waited for him to show up, they invited me to dance some more. I danced with two new guys too. One of them led me in some complicated waltz-ish dance. I am proud I was able to keep up. I got complimented on my mad dancin' skillz.

The son showed up and looked to be 23, even though I knew he was 28. He seemed kind of embarrassed to be there. He and I talked very little, but he did ask for my AIM screen name, which I gave him. I threw in my e-mail address for good measure. Why not? He seemed nice and he was cute too. ;-)

There was a mother there who kept dragging her little girl over to me to speak English. The girl seemed genuinely frightened of me, but after a few tries she said hello, how are you, my name is Jenny, and then sang the Barney "I love you" song.

When I went on Thursday night there was a man who came over and told me I should learn Taichi. When I saw him there again last night I went over to ask when people did taichi. I figured if they were there dancing sometimes, maybe a group got together and did taichi. He immediately started teaching me right then and there. After a while he said he had to go home and we made plans to get together again this morning.

I woke up at 7am today (on a Saturday!) and after getting ready I biked over to the same spot. The man was dressed in a taichi outfit. Here is an example for people who don't know what I am talking about. Note: this is not a picture of the guy who was teaching me, but he does kind of look like him
We practiced for a bit where the people had been dancing, but then when a lot of people started showing up (to stare at the western learning taichi I guess), we moved to a more secluded place. We practiced for a little over an hour. He doesn't speak a word of English (well...other than the few words I taught him today. Hehe!) so he gave me all the explanations in Chinese. It's rather cool.

He asked if I had eaten and invited me back to his place to have breakfast. I didn't feel comfortable going to his house alone so I said I wasn't hungry but thanked him. I told him I would come back Monday night.

I hope this lasts. He hasn't mentioned anything about payment. He did ask me how much I make, but then again every Chinese teacher I've had has said Chinese people are really blunt when asking about salaries.

Learning taichi in China while practicing my Chinese? How cool is that?



kimmieb said...

i remember going to a park in beijing at like 6am and jumping in on the taichi and dancing with all the cute little old people :) one of my fondest china memories for sure!

bosswolf said...

And I remember going to the park in Beijing with Kim and everyone, and being told that it was dishonourable for a teacher to charge for taichi lessons... so you probably don't have much to worry about :D

(p.s., <3!)

(p.s. #2: have any interest in scottish wool yarn?)