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A pen, anyone?

If, like me, you lack creativity, and find it difficult to think of a name for your blog site that you like, here’s a tip: Ask a Chinese taxi driver.
However, if it turns out that the name is already taken, I have no advice. In my case, I quickly settled for an uncreative name.
For those of you who don’t understand any Chinese, I will try to explain, but we all know what happens when you try to explain something amusing…
Over a week ago now, I had my first experience with a Chinese taxi driver on the ride from the airport to my hotel, where I’ll be spending a few nights until I can move into my new accommodation.
My friend and I were asked our names; not in the mood for repeating my name multiple times and then almost certainly still having to correct the taxi driver, I gave him my nickname, Ibby, to which he laughed and said: “ibby jì hǎo” (Ibby is easy to remember).
Shortly afterwards, when our names came up again in conversation, he turned to my friend sitting in the passenger seat, pulled an imaginary pen out of his shirt pocket, and offered it to her, saying ‘yī zhī bǐ!’ (literally meaning “a/one pen”) and then proceeded to laugh heartily at his excellent joke. (Just to add, I have seen him several times around the place, and each time, he says, “Iiibbyyy!!!” with a big laugh, so his method of remembering certainly has worked.)
Yī is pronounced ‘ee’ and means ‘one’.
Bǐ is pronounced ‘bee’ and means ‘pen’.
Zhī is simply a measure word (Chinese has LOTS of these) for objects such as pens, which I’m choosing to ignore here, for purposes of making this story work…
I then decided that yibi would be my blog site name, discovered that it was already taken, hastily settled on a boring name, took a few days to get past the Great Firewall of China to make an account and another few days to make it allow me to post this.
Not a very successful first post, but I hope to get better at this, so please do check back soon!
(I just managed to make ‘yibi’ the blog name rather than the site name, which is what I had originally intended, but I’m more than happy! I won’t edit the whole post though, after the time it took for me to get that one up.)

About Ibtehaal

I graduated with a degree in Chinese and Economics, which involved spending a year studying Chinese in Beijing. This turned out to be the hardest but most rewarding thing I think I have ever done. I've now returned to China for another year, to study in Shanghai and figure out my next steps.

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