I remember people used to ask me, “How could you be so optimistic?” I couldn’t quite give an answer. Now I do. It is because of a phrase that I have not used for a very, very long time.
Not a very familiar combination. Heathrow Airport was closed. I monitored the airline website, airport website and weather forecast, like everyone else who was eager to fly out of this country. I nearly burst into tears when I know realistically, it is almost impossible that I can fly out tomorrow on time.
” 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 ” I said to Tim. I was truly upset, thinking that I couldn’t fly out on time. I didn’t pick the right time to fly. My holiday plans didn’t have a good start. But he said, “Stay positive. Have faith.”
When he said that, I realise I don’t remember a moment before when I was so upset over a change of circumstances. What Tim said were actually my lines, weren’t they? I knew I needed to calm down and have a shower to clear my head.
“Da bu liao…” This phrase popped into my mind. It is a Chinese kind of expression which I’m sure can be explained in many, many different ways. It’s a way of saying, “Come on! Not a biggie.” “Nothing can be that bad.” “What’s the worse that could happen?”
For example: “Hey! Heard Jubilee Line is suspended this evening! How are you going to get home?” “‘Da bu liao’ (Not a biggie/Nothing can be that bad/What’s the worse that could happen), I’ll take the bus and walk home. Otherwise I could take a cab, just have to make sure I have money. (What’s the fuss?)”
It’s a phrase that I don’t use a lot nowadays especially in England, and I think this phrase has a lot to do with the optimism that I used to have before I came to this country. Looking at how this snow/flight-cancellation malarkey were described, we used these phrases the most: “Fingers crossed.” “Such a nightmare.” “We’ll see.”
Compare these phrases to “Da bu liao”.
Now, I think:
“Da bu liao, I’ll fly on Wednesday and arrive on Thursday – the same day as Tim. In the meantime, I could do this, this and this.”
Optimistic is not stubbornly think that I can fly tomorrow according to schedule, but what I call, “Da bu liao”.