Month: September 2022

XXXVI. Grab Rail

From BER (Flughafen Berlin) to Spandau: S9 all the way. I couldn’t find the Berlin Express line. This is slower but there’s enough to do and see: read, revise, see Berlin go by. There’s the Bundestag, the distinctive tiled interior of Hackerscher Markt station. The Hauptbahnhof looks imposing but its glass roof is fragile. The panes are individually cut to fit into the curved roof. When panes break it’s difficult to replace them and wood is used instead. A man sat down next to me. He wore Jeans, he was young. He started looking at me and smiling and I noticed he was building up to something. Then he suddenly asked me about how I was using the camera on my iPad to broadcast myself. I told him I was only watching a recorded classroom video on Chinese Grammar, not broadcasting myself. He seemed disappointed and moved away. Later a girl ran down the carriage and started throwing herself around the pole in the middle of the carriage. I couldn’t understand what the girl was …

A language is a long way

From the guanxi substack newsletter: https://guanxi.substack.com/. If you would like to support this project, please subscribe there. This is post about working through frustration in language learning… It includes various citations from the Zhuangzi, prompted by a WeChat comment of encouragement from Liz, a language teacher who has been a coach to me ever since she assessed my level, helped me get over my fear of speaking Chinese and placed me on a year long course of Mandarin-learning adventure. Don’t worry, a language is a long way, but it’s interesting! (Liz) Teacher/Language Consultant at GoEast Mandarin: Here’s a referral link (https://goeastmandarin.referral-factory.com/RiHNMR/join). Signing up through the link gives you a free lesson, and gives me a free lesson when I renew with GoEast. ‘Way’ is the perfect word to reflect on when frustrated with anything (much better than the over-used ‘journey’), and Zhuangzi is a master of such reflection, hence all the citations… The Way cannot be treated as Something, or as Nothing either. ‘‘Way’’ as a name is what we borrow to walk it. (Chuang-Tzu, A.C. Graham – ‘Rationalising the Way: the …