I’ve never done well in it. On the 1st day of school – some 30 years ago, the teacher forced us to write 我 (or me) about a hundred times. That’s 7 x 100 = 700 strokes. Turned me right off and things have gone downhill from there.
So recently while raiding a colleague’s desk for chocolates and being the pack of hungry wolves we were – distributing it among ourselves. One of my colleagues blurted 肥水不流外人田. On receiving the dafug-you-talking-dude look from me – he immediately recomposed it to hokkien and said “Sweet water cannot lau give baat-lang lim” and further to “good stuff must share inside the family” (sic)
That earned him a great laugh… but I was curious as to what he said in mandarin.
肥水不流外人田 – lit. don’t let one’s own fertile water flow into others’ field fig. keep the goodies within the family (proverb) (source)
It also recommended a podcast – PopupChinese – available on iTunes. So this year, besides continuing on my running journey, I’ll take one into my mother tongue – by at least listening to all the podcasts in this series. Hopefully I’ll level up the conversational mandarin.
Wish me luck!