Me: What did you learn in Putonghua camp today?
Rockstar: “Hamburger” in Chinese is “Han-pow-pow”. And….. I don’t remember anything else.
Me: You knew what “Hamburger” was before you went for camp.
Rockstar: Oh. Then I don’t remember anything. I remember one of my classmate’s names is “Thomas.” Like the train. So cool, right?
Me: How can you remember nothing after two hours?? If your Chinese sucks I’m going to put you back in classes. Increase the frequency of your lessons, instead of having camp and games.
Rockstar: Oh. Erm… There was a knight in story-telling. (Shows me a finger puppet of a knight they made in camp.)
Rockstar: There was a king. He tried to shoot the knight. But the knight had a very good plan. When the king tried to shoot the knight, he turned into Iron Man.
Editor’s note: You believe this is the story they told him at Putonghua camp? It’s like those cartoons where someone is talking and you turn off the sound and make up stuff for the moving mouths…
Rockstar: And so Iron Man shot the bad king and he turned back into a good king. The good king asked the knight if the bad king was killed and he said yes. So the good king said “Very good,” and took over the place of the bad king.
Me: Do you expect me to believe they told you this story in Putonghua class?
Rockstar: <nodding convincingly> Yeah! Yeah!! And then some bad guys stole the good king’s clothes so policemen came and shot all of them. (I notice a dad at the next table stifle a snort into his bowl of noodles)
Rockstar: <pause> You’re writing that down, right?
Me: Yes, but only because I find it funny, not because I believe you for one second.
Rockstar: Oh. Why… <half-heartedly> It’s true…
Me: You cannot expect me to believe your Putonghua teacher told you that story.
Rockstar: Oh. <shrugs> O-kay…