His name is Neo

Last Friday, Cheng Ayi’s 5th full day working with us, the three of us (Leo, Cheng Ayi, and I) were sitting around our dining room table. Cheng Ayi and I were trying to coax Leo to eat a few more bites of lunch, and I was telling Leo in Chinese to open his mouth. Cheng Ayi looked at me, hearing me call Leo by name, and asked me, “What’s his name?” It seems it’s just as hard for Chinese people to remember Western names as it is for us to remember Chinese names!

I responded, “His name is Leo.” I said, “It sounds just like the number 6.” Which it does – six in Chinese is “liu” – which sounds roughly the same as Leo. Her eyes widened in recognition and she exclaimed, “Neo!”

I had forgotten one important thing – Nanjing people switch their L sounds for N sounds!

I had to bite my tongue from laughing as images of Keanu Reeves from The Matrix began to run through my head.

So, according to Cheng Ayi, his name is Neo. She’s been walking around the house with him, singing songs to “Neo, Neo, Neo!”

Both JM and I have Chinese names, which really are necessary here. Most people will not remember our English names. Even on our formal documents, like cell phone contracts, leases, etc – we sign our Chinese names. It seems it is now a good time to pick a Chinese name for Leo.


3 Responses to “His name is Neo”

  1. 1 rachael June 10, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    I love that his name is Neo!!!! FDP would be proud!!

    what is your and JM’s chinese names??

  2. 2 Chris Burgwald June 11, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I’m with Rachael… what are your Chinese names?

  3. 3 Becca June 16, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Are they MaMa & HuHu? ;o)

    You know I’m diggin the name. I think you should be Trinity & JM should be Morpheus…or Mouse! (HA!) JK!

    So JM is Jian and you are…?

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June 2008
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