4Point, Nod & Smile: Communicating in China
Communication here has been a challenge. The language is tonal, so there’s no good way of expressing it phonetically. So far, I know two phrases in Mandarin: "hello" and "thank you."
Fortunately, I have a lovely host student named Hou Lin. She helped me buy a bike and a cell phone, get a meal card and get hooked up to the Internet. I don’t know what I’d have done without her. When I’m out by myself, I point, nod, smile and hope for the best.