Amidst a sojourn in Hong Kong, I spent almost a month with my brother in the sauna-like heat and humidity of Singapore and briefly Kuala Lumpur, where my brother was. It was very enjoyable, though, because I enjoy the companionship of my brother even though he calls me “zuiington” after the Chinese word 嘴 or zuǐ, which means mouth and refers to my habit of talking about funny and silly topics from my youth such as the Famous Five Adventure Games. I absolutely hate being called “zuiington”, though I am not as nasty towards my brother as I have been in the past when my mother likened us to “Saint Bernards puppies”.
One feature of the trip is that with Chinese a prominent language in Singapore and dominant in Hong Kong, I relearned quite a number of characters from my high school Chinese studies. My brother still says I struggled with the tones, which I never tried to master and instead tried to use head movements to remember the tones because I do not have very good understanding of pitch as is needed for Chinese.