For Lindsey’s birthday treat, yesterday we had lunch with her mother at the Royal Scots Club, and then went on to see the giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo. I know from past Comments that at least two of the regular readers of this blog will be more interested in the toilets at the Club rather than the pandas, and I’ll come to that in a minute.
What a nice place to have lunch! Men must wear jackets and ties in the dining room. Fat Mac doesn’t own a tie, so thankfully it’s not the sort of place that anyone might bump into him in by accident.
At the zoo, you have to book a slot to see the pandas. There are two of them, and there is a Giant Panda Cam. The male is called 阳光 (Yang Guang = Sunshine), and the female is called 甜甜 (Tian Tian = Sweet). They are expected to mate soon, but until then they are kept in separate compounds, otherwise they might fight.
This evening at the Mandarin class we had a discussion about the female panda’s name with the teacher, because ‘tian’ can mean several things, depending on the context and accents. Frankly, I’m not much the wiser, but in Pinyin, and without all of the accents which tell you how to pronounce the words, saying: ‘today we went to see the giant pandas’ is something like: jin tian wo men qi kan xiong maio.