You are just too annoying!

It often happens here that we’d like to thank people for their kindness. Like the wonderful lovely waitress at our favorite Indian restaurant who gave us a free order of nan on our anniversary and who watches Leo for us for a few minutes so we can eat. Or, another example, when JM was in Tibet and I was having trouble one night with a very tired Leo who needed to go to bed, the restaurant at the bottom of our building delivered dinner to my door without asking for anything in return. These are the moments, among many here, for which we are very grateful for people’s help and generosity. Naturally we want to say thank you, and tell people how kind they are.

Now, here’s where things went wrong for a while. It turns out that I’ve been mispronouncing the word “kind” for a good number of months. And, unfortunately, my pronunciation does make another real Chinese word. It’s also an adjective, so it’s pretty close. Except it means “annoying” rather than kind. Oops. So I’ve been telling our sweet waitress how annoying she’s been when she’s watched Leo for us, and thanked our generous downstairs restaurant owners for being so annoying. Nice of me, eh?

Thankfully, actions speak louder than words, so I’ve never offended anyone. It’s clear by my smile and behavior that I’m grateful and not annoyed. But I am grateful that I now know, and can look a little less foolish and a little more polished in the future. No one has ever corrected my pronunciation (it’s a rare thing here anyway; I actually wish people corrected me more often!). I only found out because JM and I were having a debate over it in a taxi one day, and we looked it up at home (I lost that debate!).

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1 Response to “You are just too annoying!”


  1. 1 Becca March 4, 2009 at 2:34 am

    So basically with your humility you’ve just eaten bitter?


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