I spent the past week in South Africa with my wife and daughter, much more concerned about cheetah sightings than Mandarin viewing.
The isolated Mandarin-experiment highlight of my week was during the wee hours of my Emirates flight from Dubai to Cape Town. After finishing the first draft of a paper due the next day for my Property Law class, I was too caffeinated to go right to sleep. So I browsed the extensive in-flight film collection, and to my delight, there was a whole section of Mandarin-language films. I decided to watch the first 15 minutes of Brotherhood of Blades. An hour and 15 minutes later, the sun was already rising and I realized how badly I needed to sleep. (The next day, I had to drive four hours on the left side of the road for the first time.) Fortunately, the movie was rather lousy and I was able to pull myself away from it—which is ne’er an easy task for me.
After that, I had a Mandarin-less week, except for one morning that I had a terrible headache, missed the safari drive, and instead watched Dragon for the umpteenth time. We will be in Cape Town now for another week, during which I will be working rather intensively, but hopefully I can squeeze a little Chinese in on the evenings.
Regardless, I’m very excited for the flights back to Brazil next weekend. I have two 10-hour flights on Emirates. I expect I can watch four to five new Chinese movies during these flights and clock in some 8 hours of Mandarin viewing—a true marathon and definitely a new record!