Published: August 2nd 2012August 2nd 2012
Speaking to my teaching assistant Elyse, I learned that most Chinese children are given an English name by their parents and sometimes change it when they’re older. Elyse was originally named Venus but decided to change it after the boys at her school decided they preferred calling her Penis (after being called Scabby and Flabby at school I can definitely sympathise with this). All children on OSCA hence have an English name, this caused me a few problems on Monday; I asked all the children to write their own name tag and one boy got out a Star Wars Lego brochure and started pointing at it saying “that’s my name, that’s my name.” I told him to stop being stupid, of course his name wasn’t Star Wars.At this point he said, “no, not this one, that one,” and pointed at the word Lego, I laughed and told him to stop being silly and write his name. When I was giving out tape for them to stick on their tags I took the one saying LEGO, threw it in the bin and told him to be sensible and write his real name. Hearing this, the teaching assistant Cat came over to me and whispered “No, his name actually is Lego and the boy next to him is Monday.” Oops! I gave Lego a new sheet of paper and told him I’d thrown away his old name tag because I thought he could’ve drawn a better picture- inevitably he then drew a block of Lego.
I later found out that Monday had never been given an English name and the only name that Cat had suggested which he had been willing to accept was Monday! I spent the rest of that lesson telling Lego and Monday to stop fighting; it’s quite bizarre hearing yourself shout “Monday, let go of Lego!” On Tuesday I asked them to write their names on their work and one of the other boys in the class pointed at Monday’s work and said, “you’re wrong, it’s Tuesday.” Hilarious. In my lesson on London they insisted on calling London Bridge “London bitch” and changed tennis on my sports hand-out to “pennis” – I told them they needed to practice their spellings! I also spent the afternoon activity squatting on one foot (called a teapot in ice-skating) because Lego was trying to show off and I didn’t want him to get one up on me – I found out the next day that he has been ice-skating since he was five and is pretty good at it and today he brought in his medals to show me. Why do I always end up liking the troublemakers?
We also have a Winkie, Moon and Ghost this week and, although they are perfectly normal English names, I find it funny that I have a Tom, Dick and Harry in my class. Interesting names from previous schools include Wing Wong, Dong Dong, the boy who insisted his name was Yellowman and a girl named Happy (I kid you not, her surname was Li).
Last week I went to Victoria Peak and whilst I was in the shopping mall there I was approached by a woman called Panda. In typical Abi fashion, I failed to make an excuse and walk away and instead spent the next thirty minutes with her trying out the world’s most expensive skin care range on me whilst I was trying to signal to her to leave me alone as I would most likely react to one of the ingredients. I admit the range was quite impressive but she was very offensive when she kept saying it could sort out my yellow skin and the ugly marks on my face (she meant my freckles), she then tried to demonstrate some whitening lotion on my hand as a result my left hand is freckle-free whereas my right is still covered in freckles – never take advice from a Panda! Besides, if I had got rid of my “ugly marks” I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of being compared to “the annoying orange” by my class or having a quiz team call themselves “the big freckle.” Although this wasn’t quite as disturbing as the team that called themselves “Abi, I am your father.”
P.S – I’d forgotten to mention Miss Woo (hopefully my sisters will find this reference amusing even if it is a bit of a private joke).