Rain or Shine

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Mar 27, 2018 01:32
I came back from Malaysia a couple of days ago. I’d stayed there for a week and really enjoyed it. Taking international flights can be exhausting but I’m fine with that. My homebound flight took off at 7 AM so I had to get up very early. Kuala Lumpur International Airport is very big and far away from the urban core where my hotel was. I checked out at 3:30 AM and got an Uber to the airport. The flight took nearly 5 hours and landed around noon, but I didn’t go straight home. Instead, I went directly to the city library and attended an English class that started at 2 PM.

Though I wasn’t very tired, I was not fully awake either. It was also weird that a few hours earlier I’d been basking in the tropical wind in my flip-flops but now I wore a down jacket, heading off to a class in the freezing cold. Anyways, I’d gotten into the routine of attending an English class at least every other week. I would try as much as I could to follow it.

The Chinese are the second-largest ethnic group in Malaysia and many of them can speak Mandarin very well. Many signs in the cities there are also written in Chinese. Therefore, Chinese nationals who don’t speak Malay or English can easily get by when traveling in Malaysia. However, when I was there, I tried to speak English because I wanted to practice it. By the way, I found Malaysians’ English pretty good, or perhaps most people I encountered worked in the service industry.

In order to study English, I try to use it and try to create an environment for myself, even if no one around me speaks it. When I heard that some Chinese students in the US don’t speak much English after class, I was full of pity for them because IMHO, they're wasting their potential. When a friend of mine who once worked in Mexico told me that he’d hardly spoken Spanish there, I thought that was also a pity. If I were him, I would definitely have grasped every chance to learn Spanish from the locals…. Anyway, it depends on the person. Some people are just not interested in studying foreign languages at all.

[Edited]
我几天前从马来西亚回来,在那边待了一周,很喜欢那里。国际航班通常很累人,但是我觉得还好。我回国的航班早上7点起飞,所以我必须很早起床。吉隆坡国际机场很大,离我酒店所在的市中心也很远,所以我3点30就退了房,搭优步去机场。航班飞了将近5个小时,中午落地,但我没有先回家,而是先去图书馆上一节英语课,两点开始。

尽管不是很累,但我也没有完全清醒。而且几个小时前,我穿着拖鞋吹着热带地区的暖风,现在却穿着羽绒服赶去上课,感觉有点奇怪。不管怎样,我已经养成了至少每两周上一节英语课的习惯,只要条件允许,必定风雨无阻执行。

华人是马来西亚第二大族群,而且很多华人中文很好。城市里很多标识也写有中文,所以,中国人不懂英文去马来西亚玩,也不会遇到什么难题。不过,我在马来西亚的时候,基本上是说英语,因为我想多加练习。我发现马来西亚人的英语挺好的,或许因为我遇到的马来西亚人都从事服务业吧。

为了学习英文,我尽量多使用这门语言,为自己创造环境,即便周边没有人说英文。每当听到一些中国留学生在美国课堂外基本不说英文,就替他们可惜,白白浪费了那么好的机会。有一个朋友跟我说,他在墨西哥工作的时候,从来不说西班牙语,我听了也觉得好可惜,如果是我,我肯定会和当地人混一起,学习西班牙语。总之,这取决于个人吧,有些人根本就不喜欢学习外语。