Zai Jian Jezza

Jezza eating scorpion in his first week in
China.  That’s when I knew I was going to
like him.

I love the sweet simplicity of “goodbye” in Chinese.  

“Zai Jian”

Go ahead . . . You try it.  I’ll wait . . .

Nope, you said it wrong.  The “Z” actually has kind of a “dz” sound to it and then the “AI” sounds like “eye” and the “Jian” sounds more like a girl named “Jen” than “gee Ann” or “gee on” . . . that means “a chicken who can’t sit still” and frankly, that’s just weird.  It’s ok.  Everybody get’s it wrong the first time. Go ahead and give it another shot.  Ready . . . “DZEYE JEN” . . .

Um . . . No . . . Your tones were wrong (click here for more about tones).  You said “I’m in between places” which is a little confusing without context.  Are you literally standing in between two places? more figuratively stuck between a rock and a hard place? looking for a job? just broke off a relationship but looking for a new one?  Maybe try waving your hand when you say it and then pointing to yourself and the door.  Just don’t stop in the doorway because then you would actually be between two places that would just add to the confusion.

But really . . . when you say it right (which you’re obviously not going to do today) it’s actually quite nice.  “Zai” means “again” and “Jian” means “to see”.  “See you again.”  I like that.

Especially on weeks like this when we say farewell to our intern Jeremy.  You can call him by his Australian name Jezza (even though he’s not Australian).  You can also try to call him by his Chinese name “Jie Li Mi” but we’ve seen how well you do with “goodbye” and there’s a good chance you’ll actually call him “Secret Plum Festival” . . . which is weird.  Jeremy has been here for a year and will be going home Tuesday (at least for a few months) leaving a cavernous hole in our existence (guilt trip intentional).  He has become a vital part of our company and a fully functioning member of our family.  He has taken on every task we have assigned him without complaint and done it well.  He has changed my sons poopy diapers, lost several limbs in light saber battles with my daughter and gotten us to world 6 on Super Mario.  He has fully engaged China and the expat community in its many forms and he will be deeply missed.

Thankfully this is not “goodbye” it is only “zai jian.”  So go love on your other family for a bit and then get back here as soon as you can.

See you again Secret Plum Festival.  We love you. 

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