Learning Languages

Languages are fascinating, if a bit difficult to learn, especially when the characters are completely different. Here in Aruba, there are many Chinese people, and they operate various businesses, including restaurants. Each December they give away calendars for the new year coming. An example of a particularly nice example is seen below:

Calendar with Chinese characters.

Calendar with Chinese characters.

That’s a nice looking hand out that serves the usual purpose of keeping the days of the week. But you can also use it to learn Chinese characters for months, days, and numbers. Take a closer look at the numbers here:

Chinese and western style characters on a calendar.

Chinese and western style characters on a calendar.

The western style numbers and Chinese equivalents are side by side, giving you the opportunity to see and learn them easily. Not that it is all that easy. You have to write them regularly to make them stick in your mind. Here’s a close up of more:

Detail from a Chinese calendar with western characters as well.

Detail from a Chinese calendar with western characters as well.

By trying to write the characters and pick up a few words in the course of a meal, you’ll be surprised how much you learn. Plus, it’s lots of fun. Not to mention, it would come in handy depending upon where you travel and who you encounter along the way.

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Published in: on December 22, 2013 at 9:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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Cultural Mashup in Aruba

In Aruba, you’ll find a crossroads of various cultures including Caribbean, European, South American, North American, and Chinese to name a few. A perfect illustration of this is the “Refresqueria Banzai” which is a little rum shop in the middle of Oranjestaad that you see in this photo:

Refresqueria Bonzai in Oranjestaad, Aruba, DWI.

Refresqueria Bonzai in Oranjestaad, Aruba, DWI.

Here you can get cold drinks, snacks, and more. Not sure exactly how the “banzai” fits in, but I’ll check it out soon. Going to make a little video of the Chinese operated rum shops and restaurants very soon. Therefore, you’ll want to check back frequently here at BentPage to view the latest. Bon dia.

Matchbook Memento

Matchbooks used to be a nice memento from restaurants and bars or weddings and other events. These days, I imagine, they are no longer the keepsakes they once were. Fewer people smoking and no real need for matches has taken away this micro-design memory jogger. Nonetheless, while cleaning out a drawer, I found this little book from Chumley’s, the old speak-easy on Barrow Street in New York City:

Chumley's Matchbook, circa mid-1990's.

Chumley’s Matchbook, circa mid-1990’s.

Had many great times at that little place: food, drink, laughs, and more. It was located behind an unmarked door, maintaining its speakeasy charm at 86 Barrow Street as the number on the reverse of the matchbook implies:

An "86" for the street number of Chumley's.

An “86” for the street number of Chumley’s.

As far as I know, the place is closed at this time. Ah, well, still have the memories and this little memento as a reminder. Cheers!

A Note About Safety

Recently, while riding my bicycle, I was struck head-on by a motor vehicle. Not good as the photo below shows in the immediate aftermath.

In the ambulance.

In the ambulance.

Things got worse from there. Lots of bruises, a few cuts, and other damage. I was wearing a helmet. The helmet is ruined, but my head is in one piece. Thus, despite connecting with a two-ton machine, I survived with much less damage than it could have been. So, ALWAYS wear your helmet. And, if you happen to be driving, keep a lookout for small fluffy creatures and the people (like me) on bicycles. Put the cell phone away. Watch the road. Thank you. I would like to thank the emergency personal for quick response and excellent curing during this incident.

Published in: on June 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm  Comments (3)  
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