The Bride of the First House (bride) wrote,
The Bride of the First House

Random Childhood Memory: Driving

weather: cloudy
outside: 16.3°C
mood: ...
Background: In Chinese, we don't have a direct match for the verb "to drive" (as in "to operate a motor vehicle"). Instead we use 開 (kāi), which has a multitude of definitions that are all loosely related to a starting action. Depending on the direct object that it takes, it can mean "to write" (as in a cheque), "to boil" (as in water), "to open" (as in a window), "to run", "to start", "to begin", etc.

A year or two after we arrived in Canada, my father began taking driving lessons. Shortly after he had gotten his license, we bought our first car. It was a 1978 or 79, sky blue, 4-door Chevette... which was marketed in some regions as GM Acadians. Dad's best friend, Uncle Kevin, came over to gawk at it the first weekend after we got it. They were chatting about driving and cars and mileage and stuff.

I was feeling a bit left out, so I blurted, "我也會開車!" ["I can drive too!"]

They both looked at me with that amused and incredulous look that adults get when kids say dumb things.

"OK, show me." challenged Uncle Kevin.

Dad checked his back pocket for his keys. Heh. =)

I smugly walked over to the car and wrestled the front passenger door open clumsily.

"開車!" ["Driving/opening!"]

Tags: linguaphile, reminiscence

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