Today I did just that - but no fear, just pleasure. I took the day off work today (legitimately - I didn't take a sickie!) and "tricked" myself into having a great time around London, and this is what I did ...
- I found a foreign language bookstore near Oxford Street, and spent ages browsing the Chinese book section. Bought a Chinese version of the cartoon book "The Adventures of Tintin" (in Chinese it's called '丁丁' - dīng dīng).
- Strolled towards Chinatown, pausing to read various signs as I got closer, practising as many hanzi as I could - and pleased that even knowing only 500 characters I could get lots of them.
- We ate at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, making sure that I had a Mandarin-speaking waitress - who was more than happy to chat at my level and my speed.
- Also in Chinatown, we went for a 20 minute massage, where I got to speak Mandarin. Sara the masseur was flattered that a foreigner would self-study Chinese, and was more than happy to follow my speed, and teach me new words along the way. (£16 for a massage and Chinese lesson - 还不错)
- Decided to finish the day with a Pearl Bubble Milk Tea (珍珠奶茶 - zhēn zhū nǎi chá). Tried about five places before I found one which sold it, so I got to practise my Chinese several times over - much to the amusement of the staff on duty at the door of each restaurant).
Have you done anything similar? Are you planning to? Leave a comment below to share ...