Tardy?

Today was a horrid day. Spending my next 36minutes to blog, so that a new day can quickly dawn. Figuratively, at least. It will be another 6hours 36mins before dawn. I had my head swimming in a sea of unrelated words and it was frustrating trying to figure the logic. I almost had to draw concept diagrams to put chunks of text in boxes and move them around for a sensible train of thought to emerge. If there be words that can move me to tears, it would be a whole ocean of incoherent and unrelated words that I have to work on.

At one point, I had to turn on Youtube to watch some children’s songs to maintain my sanity. What an odd way, and it does not sound exactly sane either. But I really have to close the day on a happy note, so let me share a very nice Chinese nursery song with you.

The song title is actually “The Snail and the Orioles”, but my family knows it only as “Ah Men Ah Qian” which are the first four Chinese characters of the entire song.

When my sister was outstation earlier this month, I tried teaching Babyboo to sing Chinese songs but could not get anything out of him. She texted to tell me he can sing AhMenAhQian, so I continued trying in a more targeted manner. That was when I realised all these decades my dad had been singing this song to us, but I never knew how to sing it. Even after two days of playing and singing with babyboo, I still cannot remember the words.

It is very cute. It splits the first word (two characters) up by adding an Ah in front of it. Ah holds no meaning, but we use it to address people endearingly, like my aunts and uncles call us Ah-Ling (Ling is my sister), Ah-Ping (me), and Ah-Qi (my bro). My parents skip the Ah altogether, so they call us just by Ling, Ping, and Qi.

So Ah Men Ah Qian actually just means “in front of the door” (Men Qian). Hahahaha. I was going to type the explanation for the whole song but found it here!

阿门阿前一棵葡萄树
阿嫩阿嫩绿地刚发芽
蜗牛背着那重重的壳呀
一步一步地往上爬
阿树阿上两只黄鹂鸟
阿嘻阿嘻哈哈在笑它
葡萄成熟还早得很哪
现在上来干什么
阿黄阿黄鹂鳥不要笑
等我爬上它就成熟了

There is a grape tree (which is pretty low, as we all know) and it is just the beginning of spring. A Snail carrying his heavy house started making his tardy journey up the grape tree. There are two Orioles on the tree laughing at him, “it’s too early for the grapes to ripen, why are you heading up here now?” Snail replies, “Orioles, don’t laugh, by the time I reach the top, they would be ripe.”

Ouch, but it makes a good allegory. It is never too early to take the first step, neither is it ever too late. But to capture the best timing, know yourself, plan your time.

We all have our inner rhythms. Find it. Follow it.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for showing me a brand new nursery song! I feel so happy — it really appealed to my inner child!

    Liked by 1 person

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