Continued from my earlier post Welcome Home: Guam 2002 (part 4). I liked this e-mail my husband sent to his parents. His feet hurt so badly sometimes that he pays our children to rub them.
“2/19/03: Hello Home, We just pulled out of port and I had a wonderful time. I always seem to try to immerse myself in the local culture a little more than the people that I am with want to, but, hey, you only live once. I learned that Chinese is difficult but still…making the attempt is worth it every time.
I was waiting for three of the guys on my detachment to get haircuts when I saw a place next door to get a foot rub. They are everywhere here, and I had the time, so I gave it a try. These three Chinese women came out and proceeded to yatter away in Mandarin. I gave it a shot, and they all went crazy. It turned out that they are all trying to learn English, so we were a perfect match. This one lady proceeded to put the most excruciating hurting on my feet that I have ever felt (much less paid for), and the other two practiced their English. It was a blast. Halfway through the conversation I accidentally said, ‘Hai’ for yes, and the lady asked me if I spoke Japanese (in Japanese). It was so cool; we blundered our way through one of the greatest conversations I have ever had – in three languages. Just about the time it was over, my three pilots came in to get me. By now they probably think I am nuts, but it doesn’t matter because I take care of them, and they think I am smart (got ’em fooled). A little while later I bought this really neat Chinese mandolin. I will learn what it is really called later. It sounds kind of like a banjo with an oriental twang. Zai Jian, G8r”