I don’t know if other people do it, but I sometimes dream in Chinese.
It started sometime after I arrived in China. I thought it was pretty cool, even though I didn’t understand all that was being said. When people would talk to me, I would respond to them like I would in real life – a few key phrases or words to try and explain what I needed or wanted them to know. My vocabulary has always been rather limited.
I always wondered why my mind didn’t pretend that I knew Chinese. I guess it didn’t know how to fake the language.
Even after coming back to America, I still sometimes dream in Chinese. It amazes me that in my sleep I can recall vocabulary words that I haven’t used in ages. My most recent dream was rather entertaining, and I thought you would enjoy hearing about it – although I doubt you’ll find it as funny as I did. I think it is hard to appreciate other people’s dreams because you lose so much in the explanation. It’s like trying to turn a book into movie or vice versa.
In my dream, me, Phil, and Holy(our Chinese friend) were running away from some Chinese bad guys. We had been running for a long time, but the bad guys were still hot on our trail. At some point we decide to hop on a train. The train was headed to Hong Kong. Well, once we boarded the train and left the station – my dream decided to go completely nuts. The train, in its attempt to flee the bad guys, jumped the tracks and started traveling at very high speeds over mountains, valleys and streams. It reminded me of a cartoon. Somehow we managed to put some ground in between us and the bad guys and were able to rest for a while in our seats that I don’t remember paying for.
As the train started to pull into the Hong Kong station, we started gathering all of our stuff. In real life, I probably would have been running from the bad guys with only the clothes on my back, but obviously, the same does not hold true for my dream life. I had apparently crammed every single one of my possessions in numerous suitcases, pockets, and bags and had waited until the last moment to gather them back up. This is not what I found funny though. If anything, this part of my dream cause me panic and loads of stress. What made me smile in my dream would have sent me into side splitting laughter in real life.
As the train pulled closer to a stop, I noticed that there were thousands and thousands of Chinese people waiting to board the train. There were so many of them, that they had built stadium like seats in the station. All of them were standing. And of them were chanting. Can you guess what they were chanting? If you have ever been to China for any extended amount of time, you should probably be able to guess.
For some strange reason, every single last one of them was chanting “Jia you! Jia you! Jia you!”
For those of you who don’t know have any idea what “Jia you” means – there happens to be a YouTube video that will teach you all you need to know. If my dream doesn’t make you giggle, the video should.
I have no idea what happened once the train stopped because I woke up. I can only imagine what would have happened had I stayed asleep and the dream continued. All I know, is that it was the strangest dream I have had in Chinese yet.