Sunday, November 11, 2007

For Books I Will

It's a testament of how much books mean to me when I remember any little detail I ever learnt that has to do with books.

Lone was testing my Chinese knowledge a few days ago, asking me about the 'penjodoh bilangan', you know, like, a loaf of bread, a pack of wolves, and etc.

So he asked me, what 'penjodoh bilangan' do you use for a person?

一 (blank) 人?

I said I didn't know. He asked me to guess. I couldn't, coz it wasn't something I studied recently, he asked just to see how much I knew.

He ended up telling me, 一个人, yi ge ren.

What about for fish? 一 (blank) 鱼?

I didn't know. He answered, 一条鱼, yi tiao yu.

So far so good, I'm learning new words.

Then he asked. What about books?

And I surprised both of us by jumping up and saying, "I know, I know!!"

"一本书!!" yi ben shu!

I replied so fast that I startled the both of us, and he laughed at me because he found it hilarious that I knew the answer to this particular one.

What does that say about me? That I don't remember the 'penjodoh bilangan' for everything else, but I remember the one for books!

In fact, the main reason I'm even trying to learn Chinese now, after all these years, is just so I can read Chinese history books in their original language! I didn't want to read the English translations of Chinese history because too many things get lost in translation, and there are many imbedded meanings in the Chinese language that can be stories in and of itself.

And god help me if I don't love stories.

The things I do for my books...