The last day

Flying south for the, er, summer.

I’m off to Fuzhou early tomorrow afternoon from Shanghai Hong­qiao Airport which is west of the city. The flight takes just over an hour.

My boxes went yesterday, 11 in all this time. They only cost ¥550 (£42). I was expecting them to cost more than that, not that I’m paying for it. I’m leaving behind about 100 DVDs which I’m never likely to watch again. I saw no point in dragging them any further if they’re just going to be dead weight.

That only leaves the packing of my suitcases. I probably don’t really need two, but the smaller one was just the ticket for my trip to Hong Kong and I don’t want to abandon a perfectly good piece of kit. Actually, I could just about get everything into that one, as I discovered back in February.

I should be back online sooner rather than later, although my presence is likely to be sporadic.

I leave Benniu with no real regrets. The moment I arrived I knew that I had no intention of staying for more than a year, and that’s why I kept all my boxes from last year. Fuzhou should be much more cosmopolitan. A lot of people from Taiwan do business in Fuzhou and the islanders regard Fujian Province as their ancestral home.

The locals speak Min(nan) (aka Hokkien) which is also spoken in Taiwan. From what I’ve read on another blog, the Fuzhou dialect of Min appears to have the same sort of l~r allophony as the local language in Benniu. I’m not honestly certain which one’s the phoneme. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the locals have a flapped-r as the phoneme, just like Japanese.

From an online forum about the Chinese languages, I learn that the language allows [p, t, k, h] in the coda where Mandarin is limited to [n] and [ŋ]. I’m curious to find out how Min sounds in comparison with Cantonese. Min has eight (yikes!) tones. A page on Xiamen Missionary Romanisation reveals that Min has a mere three affricates left compared with the six of Mandarin, and it has no retroflex consonants.

From what I’ve found, Min seems to be a spoken rather than written language in much the same way Cantonese is.


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