I had two simple but effective interactions this afternoon. When I popped over to the school to get some printing done around noon, I saw some of the maintenance workers outside of the school fixing the fountain, one of whom I still owed ¥10 for the ice cube tray he brought me last week. Since I didn't have exact change, I decided to break some money at the pharmacy (to where I was heading next). My change was ¥26.50, so I said to the cashier, "ni hao, wo yao liang ge shi kuai" (which I intended to mean, "Hello, I want two ten kuai (notes).") She didn't understand, so I pointed to the total and said (completely forgetting the word ling qian (change), "er shi liu," (26) then made a gesture as if I was handing her money, saying, "yige shi kuai he liang ge shi kuai" (intending, "One ten kuai (note) and two ten kuai (notes).") She smiled at my attempts and gave me two tens as requested. Success!
When I returned from the shop, I went to find the worker but he was no longer at the fountain. So, I asked the others, "zai nar yige da ren?" (which I meant to mean, "Where is the one big person?", as he is exceptionally tall). One of the workers called him on his phone and he arrived shortly, I gave him the money and thanked him, "xie xie ni." I knew that there was a lot grammatically and linguistically wrong with my question; for example, zai nar (where) should have been at the end of the question and da means big, not tall. Nonetheless, I was understood and was pleased with the interaction.
Although my Chinese is still so limited, simple interactions provide me with more motivation to continue with my learning. I'm looking forward to my classes this week.