30 August, 2006

They do have to learn English!

I had a lunch meeting with some guys from WorkSoft today (very weird lunch, can't tell you what it was...but it reminded me of when I was a kid, when I would hide my peas under my mashed potatoes so my mom would think I ate them...I did that today, but they weren't peas and I used rice). We were talking about my long ass commute into Shangdi (where Lenovo is) each day and how the taxi drivers always take me a different route (some times the long way, to get more RMB).

Anyway, as I was wondering in my post a few days ago, the taxi drivers in Beijing do in fact have to learn some English prior to the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. They have to learn some basic English worlds/phrases ... "Hello"..."Where to?"..."40RMB"...etc.... They also have to understand and pronounce some Olympic terms/event names, hotel names, reastuarants, etc.... As I understand it, they will be tested over the next year & leading up to the Olympics, if they don't pass...they don't drive.

What a coincidence. I was on my way out to dinner tonight, and the taxi driver had a tape in...teaching him English! He was trying to learn the word "equestrian." You know, horseback riding, an Olympic event. So, I helped out a little, kept repeating it for him so he could here an American say it. That lasted about 5 minutes, then I had enough and listened to my ipod.

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