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Thursday, November 4th

Sleuthing for an interpreter


Washing clothes on the hotel's 3rd-floor patio

The hotel staff man helps me get the washing machine started. I already bought some detergent at the supermarket. He sets it on 46 minutes for the full washing cycle.

I was about to run out of clean socks and undershirts.


<<< My first time to "hang up" clothes in 40+ years

I always had access to a clothes dryer before. But I remember helping my mother hang wet clothes on the clothesline in our back yard in Flat Rock, South Carolina.  

With this clothes-drying apparatus, I just drape my wet clothes over the bars without using clothespins.

Finally, a USB hub! >>>

It wasn't essential. I could get by using just the two USB ports on my Mac Mini. But I really needed three ports so I could also plug in my webcam.

I asked Heidi to order a USB hub on Jingdong (similar to Taobao) and deliver it to my hotel. It cost 50 rmb with next-day delivery. It came today. So nice!


Target for the day: find one or more interpreters

I had thought I would have little problem finding one or more non-professional interpreters and companions to accompany me every afternoon in my explorations around the city. I was wrong.

So far, my attempts to find an interpreter, mostly through requests of the locals who added me to their wechat, has failed. 

Today I have two ideas. The first is to visit high-end hotels where there should be some staff who can speak English. Maybe they will know of someone to interpret for me.


Linan Hotel, only five-star in Jianshui >>>


I was a bit shocked that none of the staff at this hotel could speak any English. They finally did find someone for me to speak with on the telephone. That lady was not encouraging about finding an interpreter, but she said she would "try." 


<<< Jianshui Upland Internation Youth Hostel

Riki told me that she had stayed here before and some people there could speak English.

Speaking (using my mobile phone translator) to two very solicitous desk ladies, they assured me they knew no one at the hostel who spoke English. And they could think of no one they personally knew who spoke English.

Second idea: talk with students at a university

At a university students would likely know of classmates who were pretty good at English. I thought there would be no problem finding one or more interpreters this way. 

From Google searches and talking with Riki, we thought there were at least two universities in Jianshui. After talking with several people here in this city of 490,000 and asking very specific questions like, "schools where the students are 18+ years of age," I discovered there are no universities or colleges in Jianshui. I get the impression that sometimes Chinese use the word "university" to indicate certain times of middle schools or high schools.


Discoveries as I walk back to the Old Town area

As I walked over an hour back to the Old Town area, I discovered other parts and peoples of Jianshui. First I walked through a Disney-style amusement park, virtually deserted.


<<< More retiree card players


Woman uses her mobile phone GPS to help me with directions >>>


<<< Chinese Welfare Lottery

Does it mean the profits from the lottery organization are used for charitable purposes? I don't know. Heidi assures me that is what it means.

Another cutesy car >>>


<<< Another honey snack vendor


I will continue to look for an interpreter, but...

My working holiday will be plenty of fun without one. That would just be some more icing. 

Here is the request that I'm sending out to new Jianshui friends

I have sent this out, both in English and with a Chinese translation, to my new Jianshui wechat friends. I will continue to do so as more people are added to my wechat.


If you don’t live or study in Jianshui, then you may not be able to help me.


But if you do live or study in Jianshui, please see if you could introduce me to someone who currently lives in Jianshui who might be able to do some part-time non-professional interpreting for me.


Let me explain.


I am on a working holiday in Jianshui until November 21st. As a life coach, I will be working in the mornings (Monday through Friday) from my hotel room, talking on the telephone with my clients who live in the USA.


By 1:00 pm or 1:30 pm each day, however, I will be free to walk around Jianshui, mostly in the Linan area.


I love talking with strangers. But I only know 40 words of Chinese. I have been very lazy to learn Chinese.


So I need someone to interpret for me. It is a great opportunity for someone to have some fun and improve their oral English also. And I hope this person will join me for dinner at a local restaurant when we take a break to eat at about 5.30 pm. This will be my treat. I usually go to bed early so we’ll finish up for the day at about 6.30 pm.

I don’t expect one person to be able to do this with me until November 21st. I will probably end up having several interpreters.


Do you know of anyone who might like to try this out? Please introduce them to me by wechat.


I can talk with them on wechat to tell them more about the “job” and see if their English is good enough.


I have had many interpreters who have been great. It’s a much easier thing to do for me than you might think. I speak slowly and there is no problem if my interpreter and I have to use the automatic translator on the mobile phone sometimes.  The interpreter does NOT have to be professional! It’s very easygoing.


I promise you that this opportunity is something they will be very happy they took advantage of. They will also be grateful to you for introducing us.


I prefer this to be just a volunteer “job.” For fun and learning. But, if it’s important for the interpreter, I am happy to pay 50 rmb for each day (just a small amount) to express my appreciation to them.


If you have any questions, please ask. Also, you can find out more about me from my website:  Check it out.


With much appreciation, Dwight


Steps todays: 11,744

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