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Nine ways of killing time during the pandemic

Written by April Zhang on Sunday, 25 October 2020. Posted in Front Page

Nine ways of killing time during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been raging for nearly a year now. It has put many things into a stop, and freed up some time, which has to be dealt with seriously. The following are nine ways you can use to kill time. All of them are one-person activities, and can be good clean fun. Learning how to say them in Chinese is the side benefits.

#1. Playing video games 

Time goes fast when we are playing video games on our computers or mobile devices. Game engineers know how to get us hooked, and know how to incentivise us to continue. Many times we want to play for a mere thirty minutes, but end up playing for three hours.

There are several ways to say it in Chinese: 

  • 玩电脑游戏 (wán diànnǎo yóuxì)
  • 玩电子游戏 (wán diànzǐ yóuxì)
  • 打电脑游戏 (dǎ diànnǎo yóuxì) 
  • 打电子游戏 (dǎ diànzǐ yóuxì)
  • 打游戏 (dǎ yóuxì)
  • 打机 (dǎ jī) 


#2. Watching TV series

Time flies when we are following a gripping TV series and dying to know what happens next. If there are eight to ten episodes in a season, it is guaranteed that we’re going to be glued to TV for a whole day. 

This is how to say “watching TV series” in Chinese:

  • 看电视连续剧 (kàn diànshì liánxùjù)


#3. Surfing the internet

Internet has fundamentally changed our lives. Fifty years ago, nobody could imagine that we could spend hours facing a small screen. News channels, social media sites, and videos sites, there is always something interesting to read or to watch. 

To express this in Chinese is:

  • 上网 (shàngwǎng)


#4. Chatting on the computer

Besides surfing the internet for content to consume, there are also many chat groups or chat rooms we can join, and many topics to choose from. We can give ourselves a different look or a new identity if we want.

In Chinese, this is:

  • 上网聊天 (shàngwǎng liáotiān)


#5. Reading easy-to-read novels and magazines

Reading has been the traditional way of killing time for a very long time. It still is after we’re tired of video games, tired of TV dramas, tired of junks on the internet. Words do and still have their particular charms, that they leave rooms for our imagination. 

Let’s say it in Chinese:

  • 看小说 (kàn xiǎoshuō)
  • 看杂志 (kàn zázhì)


#6. Listening to music

When our eyes are tired of reading or watching, we can use our ears to get entertained and to kill time. We can listen to old fashioned record player if we have one, or our mobile phones are capable of playing our favourite music for hours and hours nonstop. We can find a comfortable spot in the sofa, and simply let us immersed in music. 

To express “listening to music” in Chinese is:

  • 听音乐 (tīng yīnyuè)


#7. Drinking tea

Drinking tea is a great way of killing time, especially when we follow a particular set of rituals. Get the tea set out, boil water, put tea in the tea pot, pour hot water into the pot, rinse cups with tea, pour hot water into the pot again, let it sit for a couple of minutes, pour the tea to the cup, smell the fragrance of the tea, and slowly drink it. This is only the most rudimentary steps of drinking tea. 

This is how to say “drinking tea” in Chinese:

  • 喝茶 (hē chá)


#8. Window shopping

Everything we’ve mentioned previously does not require us to move much. However, if we want to move a bit, but do not want to have a workout of any sort, window shopping will be a great way to kill time. And closed shops do not deter us at all, as long as they have their display windows decorated.

Let’s say it in Chinese:

  • 逛街 (guàngjiē) 


#9. Taking a nap

The last but not the least way of killing time is to take a nap! We can do it anytime during the day. A day-time nap has many benefits. According to many scientific researches, a nap during the day is good for our body and mind. For our narrow purpose of killing time, we’ll certainly get our eyes, fingers, ears and feet fully rested. 

There are two ways to say it in Chinese:

  • 小睡 (xiǎoshuì)
  • 午睡 (wǔshuì)


There you have it, nine ways to kill time during the pandemic. 

However, if you are tired of killing time, and want to actively use time for a purpose, you can always learn Chinese!

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About the Author

April Zhang

April Zhang

April Zhang is the founder of MSL Master and she enjoys teaching and interacting with students. She constantly explores new and interesting ways of teaching Chinese through creative and imaginative activities.

With her help, many students have achieved outstanding result, which has enriched their understanding about China and has significantly contributed to their work.