When I first went to Yantai, I imagined I’d come home and slip effortlessly into fluent Mandarin to quote ancient Chinese wisdom. Fortunately for people who have to put up with me, that didn’t happen.
A few characters have somehow made it into my notetaking, which is completely mindblowing to me. I tried to train myself to write any characters I did know at every opportunity as practice, and some of those words stuck. Which now makes my handwriting extra illegible!
I don’t have any complete phrases, or ancient Chinese sayings, but one Chinese word has made it into our everyday vocabulary. Stick and I both use la da to talk about food, instead of saying spicy-hot-not-hot-hot.