Claire Rogers’ Language Lesson Lament (read to Green Eggs and Ham)

Claire Rogers is learning Mandarin in preparation for the New Bohemians’ upcoming four month tandem bicycle trip in China and SE Asia. She is finding the language recordings interesting:

(Read with the Green Eggs And Ham in mind)

I’m progressing well and I’m so proud
these language lessons I repeat out loud.
I can say Yes, I’m an American
and, I speak a little Mandarin
I know: I know and I don’t know, too
I know Hello, Please and Thank you

I can say, when we meet,
shall we have lunch on Long Peace Street?
At the restaurant or the cafe?
Excuse me please and what did you say?

I can ask, Would you like tea with me?
Shall we go now, or at three?
I can say Miss, I’d like two beers
I’d like one there and I’d like one here.
I can ask, To the hotel? My place? Or yours?
and, Shall we go to eat at four?

And I can say Not my place or yours
Not at five and not at four
Not at one and not at two
I don’t want tea and not with you
It is impossible you see
I will not drink with you at three.
I do not want a beer
And I don’t want your beer here.

So now I am at lesson nine
and pretty soon I’ll start to whine,
for that one thing I cannot ask
(Pimsleur, I take you to task)
That which would put me most at ease
is how to ask Where’s the bathroom please?
-Claire Rogers


Claire Rogers’ Language Lesson Lament (read to Green Eggs and Ham) — 5 Comments

  1. Excellent, Claire!

    That always seems to be one of the first phrases I learn. Have you gotten to it in your lessons yet? I’ll be happy to help if not! 😉
    (And I can also tell you how to say it in Thai and Malay, if needed.)


  2. Dear Claire and Bob:

    I wondered if you have tried the “shia fan” dishes I talked about in my last article. I am reading everything you write with great interest. Have you tried the “Hundred year egg” yet? They are really not a hundred years old but several months. They are duck eggs then covered with ashes of pine and buried in a clay jug. When they are ready, the egg is not runny anymore, the outside is a hunter green and the inside should be still a little bit runny, and a pale green color. I love it. I just drip a few drops of toasted sesame oil, and some “HOT” sauce and eat it with rice and porridge. Since you are the most adventuresome couple I know, why not buy one and try it. When I worked with the Chinese Embassy in Athens, Greece, that was one of the items the Ambassador imported from Taiwan. Something like caviar to the Russians, truffles to the French, or saffron to the Spanish. Except not as expensive.

    I hope you read my article about Taipei, Taiwan, the island is really rich and beautiful, but I did not see any Americans. I asked about it, and I was told that the Americans and other foreigners go straight to Shanghai.

    A young friend of mine that I played tennis with admitted to me that he was in a dead end job, and thousands in debt. I helped him with his airline ticket and send him to Shanghai. I told him to call my friend the minute he arrived there. Three days later he found a job to teach English at the University with room and board, and also two hours after school at a gift shop. I was so happy for him.

    We are playing poker tonight at my house, so I must stop. The game gets wilder as the night gets later. My favorite is Low Hole Card wild. Don’t stop writing.

    I want to wish you “Yi Lu Shun Feng”, means go with the wind.


  3. Sorry Chi. I think our China worlds are far apart. We eat street food and at small fandians that don’t do the fine cooking you remember. We are on a see food diet; we see food and we eat it! I would love to try it someday. Hint!!!
    We preferred the Northern Chinese food on our Silk Road trip to the food we found in the South, but we were inland here in the South and didn’t experience the coastal food. Someday.

    We are in Laos and like the food here very much. There are more vegetables available, and more meat than rice and noodles. I got really tired of noodles!

  4. Hi Claire and Bob,

    It is me, Orkun from Nallihan/Ankara-Turkey.We met in Nallihan during your Silk road trip and exchanged e-mails since then.I think you remember me easily.I have been following your adventures through your web site and really enjoying it.I stayed in SouthEast China for a year in 2009 in Guangzhou.I studied chinese at Sun Yat Sen University there so if you need any help concerning chinese, i am here to help you guys.I have also traveled a lot around the world and collected all my adventures at my web site and I have to say that you guys were my inspiration and driving force for my travels, thanks a lot.I really admire what you guys have done and are doing.

    Best regards,

    Orkun from Nallihan-Turkey

  5. Orkun! Of course we remember you, well. You made our stay in Nallihan very special. We are both jealous of your facility with language. After two tours in China, we still struggle with the basics. We were in Sichuan in 2009, and biked from Chengdu across Tibet, into Yunnan, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and ending in Bangkok. You can find videos and posts at In Search of Shangri-La link on our main page.

    We think about you often and wonder how things are going for you. You are so talented. I hope your efforts continue to bear fruit.

    We tell everyone Turkey is the place to bike tour. We loved our month going from Georgia to Estambol.

    Keep us informed!

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