last week I took my boy to one of those little volunteer run hospitals to have him get his immunization shots. When I arrived a lady from the stuff asked me some questions from a questionnaire.
lady: is your wife still breast feeding?
lady: very good, how many times a day?
me: well, let’s see, after work and the evening, I dunno, throughout the night and
often in the morning, if she’s not late for work.
lady: ok, so we can say once a day.
me slightly irritated: no, that is not what I just said, is it?
lady: well that’s ok, it doesn’t matter.
me: wow, well then why do you ask me this questions anyway?
lady all warm and smiling: because we care for your infant!
the lady was nice, I got a little irritated, that in turn irritated the lady still smiling, the nurse girls around were all giggling and applauding me for my good command of Chinese.
I had thousands of similar communications during my years here in Taiwan and often wondered what my dialog partners think when they communicate like this.
And it’s not just verbal communication.
The rules on all playgrounds I have been here on this island state, in Chinese and English, that the facilities are designed to be used by kids between 6 and 12 exclusively.
Some of the slides are just 1 meter high, it does not make sense at all. Maybe playgrounds are not for young children, maybe it is a good place to make out after school. But then the age group is wrong nevertheless.
try to ask a Taiwanese parent about that and you probably get into a conversation like the one I posted up here in this post.