Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How do you spell that again?

I have a Chinese name. I've had this name for a while. My friend, Wen, actually named me way before I left for Taiwan. My Chinese name is now officially being used by the university I work for. In order to get paid, I needed a Chinese name. Done and done. Happy as a clam, I took my check issued to 安以仁 to my bank. Yes, that's me. I'm the pretty pictures. (It still hasn't quite sunk in that Chinese characters are anything other than art, even though I can now recognize the Chinese character for scissors)

Then horror of all horrors, the teller asked me to endorse the check in Chinese. After flipping the check back and forth several times, I made my best effort to write my name. The teller looked, laughed, and said, "I go ask. Wait." I heard my Chinese name thrown between her and her supervisor, and then she came back. "She say ok you to cross out, write again." So I crossed my name out, and stood there sweating and embarrassed because I had(have) no clue as to how to write my name. She said, "Thank you, no worry. I write." And she wrote it for me in Chinese. While having someone else endorse my checks is a bit scary, I can't explain how relieved I was.

"What's your name little girl?"
"I have no f-ing clue."

1 comment:

otis said...

writing is the hardest thing. Trying to call up all those lines, dots, and squiggles from bare memory is just damnably hard.

The good news is that if you progress from "hopeless" to "terrible" on writing you'll have accidently progressed from "uncomprehending stare" to "hey I can kinda do this" on reading.