Monday, August 13, 2012

When there is love, does Language matter?

That's a good question.  In any relationship, communication is the key, and language is definitely one form of communication.  I do agree that when there is love, the tolerance is a bit more, such as, trying to listen in and understand each other.

Is there any language barrier?  I would say... sometimes.  That's definitely part of our cultural adventures.  There is a higher rate of possible "misunderstandings", but sometimes, these are the fun part.  Like, keep talking and talking, then, realize we are not talking about the same thing.

But as time goes on, the communication style will mature, and even evolve into a new "language".

For me, it might be a bit easier, cause I know English, though it is still a second language. Being married to an English speaker, one might think that it would give me much more opportunity to "practice" my English.  I have to say, actually, since I know Dave would understand me no matter how I say it (in English), actually, I say my English actually becomes "lazy"!  The only time I find myself practice my English really well, is when we have serious "Discussion". uh-um - you know uh-um - to get my points across clearly.  Somehow, at those heated moment, my verbal communication seems to improve a lot!  
As for Dave, I have to appreciate his enthusiasm in learning Cantonese.   Of course, none is more memorable than the song he sang in Cantonese at our wedding (see here).  Over the years, he also tries to learn a lot more words in our day to to day living.  Things such as "Good morning", "eat", "take shower", "sleep", "tired", "rice", etc.  ah, and of course, the Cantonese phrase we hear everywhere especially in Hong Kong -  "hurry up" 快D!   Actually, I would say, he catches on even among friends when we speak in Cantonese.  That's actually a fun part of our marriage.

At home, I would purposely try to say things in Cantonese (thus, my lazy English), and Dave would also try to speak things that he know in Cantonese.  That's actually very effective.  Practice Practice Practice.

Well, if you ask, so, do you miss being with someone you can speak in my mother tongue? I would say, the only time maybe when watching Chinese movies, especially comedies, and some of the jokes you really need to understand the slang and culture to catch the funny parts.  Maybe a little, but for the most part, Dave can read the subtitle and "get it" pretty well!

All in all, of course, verbal language is important, but none is more important than non-verbal language.  The love languages, the ones really "speaks".  A while back I've read this book.  It is a very famous book, you probably have heard of it.  The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts   Great book, take a look!

I appreciate Dave for his diligent work on the Cantonese.  Ah, of course, YouTube star like Carlos Douh  taught him a couple of interesting slang too!  Dave even learned what Chok  is!  Fun!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What is ... Amaebi?

What is ... Amaebi?  My husband asked.

One interesting thing about being in a marriage of different cultural backgrounds, is the encouragement we get from each other to try new things.  I am sure it's true in a marriage in general, I mean, in the context of different cultural things.  

I am a big fan of Japanese food.  Sashimi, sushi, hm... Dave never wanted to try anything raw, and I would suggest, how about California Roll?  Even then, it would say, the rice is too vinegar-i.  really?!?  He would use any excuse NOT to have any sushi . LOL.  (Chicken feet was easier :D)

So, usually, I only go to sushi when I go out to lunch with coworkers, or when Dave goes out of town for business trips, and I would gather friends and go sushi!  haha, maybe that's the motivation.  So, one day, he said, I like to try sushi!  I was like, what?  

Sushi: A Pocket Guide

Here is the historical moment, he's actually trying a Amaebi!  (Japanese Sweet Shrimp)

Now, Salmon and Yellowtail are his favorite.  He would also eat Uni (sea urchin) which is my favorite!

So glad that we can enjoy Japanese Sushi together now, the problem is... it's getting expensive!  Before, I could order any sushi I like, knowing that he would just order his Chicken Teriyaki.  But now that both of us enjoy sushi, need to budget this item in!  

Dave said to me the other day... "My taste buds has changed a lot since I know you, and it's a good thing :)"    Ha Ha.

Everyday is an adventure, glad we can do it together.  

Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons: How to Find Your Soul Mate

Thursday, April 12, 2012


My husband did this project over the weekend!  It's a 

DIY - How to make a custom size table.  

That's one nice thing that he grew up in the farm and learned all these skills from his Dad and Brother.  :)


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Would it work?

There was an interesting news on ABC News about Interracial Marriage (here).  Thought it would be nice to share a little on my own experience.

No doubt, it is not conventional.  It's not new but it feels way more natural nowadays than years ago.  No doubt there is fear, but we stepped forward anyway.

My husband and I came from the far end of the spectrum in terms of cultural and background differences.
Me:  Big City, Everything Fast Fast Fast, typical Asian education and culture, etc
Hubby: Farm land in the heart land of America, relax and slow environment, American culture, etc.

Honestly, there were times in our relationships I ask myself - Would it work?  It's a fair question, for the both of us.

I would think about very practical stuff - 
Family very different - for us to adapt both of our families.
Language - we can't enjoy the Cantonese movies together as much
Food - Could he stand my cantonese style family cooking?  

Lots of What-if on my mind.  But the fact is, race does not matter as much as love.  It's the person you love, not the race.  We've gone through our share of long road before coming before the altar.  Not because of our culture, but it's things that are Not related to our cultural background that we needed to sort through.  Ultimately, the most important thing that bond our strong marriage, is that we share the same value, same Christian faith.  Doesn't matter what skin color we have, as long as we have the same value, we have the same basis.

Though, I must say, being in a interracial marriage is actually quite fun -
We never feel tired of learning more about each other.  I feel like I get a share of life in the Farm when I never had a chance to, and he get to experience the fast pace lifestyle.  I enjoy listening to farm stories and he loves Hong Kong!  We get to see things in various perspective.  When I tend to go fast, he can calm me down.  When he's too slow, I can speed things up.  I guess it works out, at least for us. :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dim Sum Yum Yum

We just came back from visiting my grandma in Hong Kong.  Thankfully, as 91 as she is, she is doing remarkably well.  My husband and I had a great time, and enjoyed all kind of food!

It's been 9 years we know each other.  Over the years, my husband has learned to use Chopsticks really really well.  Even I hold it the wrong way, he holds very properly and can function no problem.  Of course, that is a big contrast of some "projectile flying food" incidents in the beginning, including one time to his future father-in-law.  haha

Of all things, it took years before he would be willing the try "chicken feet" (點心 - 鳳爪)He grew up in a farm, understandably that is a big hurdle to get over the thought of where of these "feet" had been.  So, finally, he said to me "I would try it within this (2010) year".  Well, he finally did and he loves 鳳爪 ever since!  Take a look!

But several things he still wouldn't eat - 
  • Red Beans 紅豆 (but he would eat Green Beans?!?!)  - he said it's the texture.
  • Chinese Mushroom   - he said it's the texture.
I will work on those.  haha.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Wedding Surprise!

Three years ago (Jan 10, 2009), my husband gave me this wedding surprise.

Actually, it was a gift from my best friends.  They "trained" my sweet but shy husband to sing a song to me during the wedding... in Cantonese !  First, they showed a video, then, when my husband stood up, I was like "why are you standing up?!?".  Wow, I couldn't hold my tears.  Even today, every time I thought of that moment, it's like sweet honey flows in my heart.

It's a song originally sang by Andy Lau 劉德華 in Mandarin.  As famous as Andy Lau is, this song is not that popular.  It's about wedding.  Since I am from Hong Kong, my friend changed the lyrics into Cantonese and trained my American husband to sing it.  Some of the pronunciation can  be very "tricky".  Especially the first word "能".  It could have a totally "different" meaning if you say it in a different tone, some can be very "bad" words.  My husband was so nervous to pronounce it right, especially in front of at least 100 guests who actually speak the language!  

I admire my husband's courage, and I am so thankful for his love.  So, three years later, my husband still knows that song.  Maybe he is getting a little bit more "Chinese" now, could actually say a few words in daily conversation in Cantonese.  But this is the sweetest.


Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs