Temporarily, my interest in the Chinese language has overcome me (which is good, because Japanese has successfully hogged my attention for so long). I have decided to read a whole Chinese book as quickly as I can. One particular book at the library caught my eye, Rang wo shou yi ju - liu xue Riben (Translation: Please let me say something - Studying abroad in Japan). It caught my eye because it is written by a culturally frustrated Mainland Chinese person in Japan. He is sometimes hateful, sometimes amazingly humble and other times quite confused by Japanese. Strangely, some of his criticism of Japanese drivers was akin to something another friend (from Hong Kong) says about Mainland Chinese drivers. Anyway, I have shot through to page 54 - an achievement for me who struggles to get to that page in English...
Strantely conciding with this burst, perhaps the first Chinese student in a long time, came stumbling into the school, and with many VISA and passport issues, so complicated the issues that she begged for a Chinese speaker... and I was the best they had (well, I am the ONLY person vaguely fitting the bill). So suddenly my skills were in use. Great! Great to hear Chinese English too.
But now, I have class tonight, and strangely I am coping even better with listening than I imagined. I hope it continues in class.
P.S. A nifty little Korean girl defeated the school champ at ping-pong. This I had to see, and instead played her first-hand. Fortunately for my pride, she doesn't cope well with people who love to spin the ping-pong ball, or can serve fast. So in other words, she was minced-meat against me. Purely a matter of style rather than skill though.