Posted by: Megan | September 3, 2007

“Wo Ai Ni”

Above: The fun and games of spending time in the waiting room at Taiyuan Train Station! 

Would you go to your local train station, sing loudly; “I love you” in one
of the waiting rooms – you know, just to kill time? Attracting the
attention of the entire room – should you even dare to? More-over – would
you be thought of as a “hit” – in the process of humming a tune? I
wouldn’t (normally), and my guess would be that you wouldn’t – but then I
could be quite wrong …

Wo Ai Ni

Just the other day though I found myself in exactly the above scenario.
Well, not entirely (I admit) as it wasn’t my local train station – I’d at
least want to be a final contestant for Australian Idol if I were to pull
such an act at Flinders Street Station in Melbourne!!! There in the middle
of Taiyuan Train Station, with my group (all waiting to board our Beijing
bound train), I sang (in Chinese) “I Love You”! That would thus be; “Wo Ai
Ni”! Why? Well, for some apparant reason we all became the “attraction” of
the moment – simply sitting there waiting for our train. How to best
describe this … hmmm … it was like the 13 of us made up a foreigne
circus act for the locals (waiting for their train) by simply sitting there
… as they all gave us such intense stares of curiousity. Our standard
acts ranged from changing memory cards in our cameras to fumbling for words
in our Chinese phrase books in a means to communicate with all – all who
either stood at arms length from us or rather … simply leant right over
our shoulders! And, so that is when one of my passengers said; “Megan, do
something!” Like “something” basically that would take the attention off of
me!!! “What?”, I thought … I mean my Chin-Oz can only take my so far …
And, so that is when I just stood up and sang (in my best Chinese) “Wo Ai
Ni” over and over (and over) again. I suddenly felt like the Kylie Minouge
of the East – or at the very least The Pide Piper (drawcard for locals
versus rats). If some of the locals were formally missing from our crowd
then after a few lines of “Wo Ai Ni” they certainly weren’t. I was
confident that at one stage I had the eyes of every commuter on me. The
problem then became not stage fright, but lack of lyrics beyond “Wo Ai Ni”!
I mean I could have, in my usual tradition of speaking the language, have
blended every single word of Chinese I know into a song but then it would
have gone something like this …

“I love you, 150 yuan, too expensive, don’t want, 120 yuan, I love you,
goodbye, hello, 100 yuan, I love you, dumplings, vegetarian, 20 yuan, I love
you …”

Mind you, with the right beat it could have made for an interesting song?

So, I am not sure if I am a strong contender for ‘China Idol’ or not. I gave
it my best shot but I really think that I need to work on my lyrics … The
makings were hilarious, and I am now just wondering if Darrell gave me the
wrong job – blogging as opposed to singing? Some, I believe would say he
gave me the right one …

Actually, it was Darrell himself who pointed out something quite true when I
sent him this picture the other day – for a sneak preview of my hidden
talent. He commented on the fact that I actually got the Chinese to smile!
True true … it is not an easy thing to do here. They pretty much all look
harder than a week old dumpling! And, it was only the other day waiting for
the local bus in Pingyao on our way to Taiyuan ( I tell you – local
transport is so the way to go for those “real life experiences”) that I
asked some of the group members if they wanted to join me in a little game
of “Let’s make the locals smile” – again to kill time. It was simple. We
were standing on the side of the road, and so everytime someone either
walked or rode by we would say a huge “Ni Hao” (hello)! I have to say that
about 9/10 it worked – but trust me we worked hard to bellow out those “Ni

I’ll let you know how I get on in some other parts of the nation. I’m
guessing not as good here in Beijing as clearly it seems that the locals
here have had way more contact with foreigners than the local folk of

It was a simple transit stop that certainly became a highlight of the trip!

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  1. what a great photograph

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