Turned out the “girl” I was asked to arrange transport with? An auntie. Uh, a 50 sth lady. She had dyed pure black hair and quite proud that “I still mix with you youngsters.” :)
She had worked in the company for more than 10 years, if I remember correctly. Ten long years!
She asked me a question in Mandarin and I replied smoothly in Cantonese (I had lots of practice), “I don’t understand Mandarin much. What did you say?”
“Oh? You don’t know Mandarin. You go to Malay school?”
“Yes. We learnt Mandarin in POL but that was during the weekends only. And in primary school only.”
“Oh.. you should learn Mandarin. It’s very important. China, you know.”
“Yes, Mandarin’s going to be big,” iPay agreed.
“You can understand a bit Mandarin? If. I. Speak. Slow-wwwly?” Auntie asked.
“Can. It’s not about the speed but how deep.”
“Then if I speak slowly, you’ll catch the words easier, yesss,” she murmured.
“It’s not about the speed but how deep your words are,” I clarified again. It doesn’t matter how slow/fast a person speak in a language – if the receipient doesn’t understand the word/meaning, he/she couldn’t get it.