Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In Middle Earth, everyone speaks in the common tongue. Lucky bastards.

Yesterday was just awful. My apologies for the lack of communication; it will not happen again. I do not wish to speak of the particulars at the present time, except to say that had I the ability to fly home right then, I would have used it.

There were, however, moments of interest. One moment involved my daily attempt to use Chinese. Like Wang Rui, Mu Zhou is hesitant to sit with us during meals. Thus we are often left alone precisely when we require assistance. While she was away at one point, we ran out of Sprite for the kids. The kids do not like any other sodas. I stop a waitress and ask her for a bottle of cola, hoping that she will ask types and I can pick out “Sprite” from her list.

“Ni keyi gei wo yi bei kele ma?”

“Hao.”

Crap. No list. What to do? I wait. The waitress approaches me with a can of Coke. The measure words for liquids are either “bottles” or “glasses”. I asked for a glass. I try again.

“Duibuqi. Wo yao yi ping kele.” I gesture to an empty bottle of beer on the table. “Yi ping, hao ma?”

“Hao.”

Now I hope for a bottle of Coke, and I will negotiate my way to Sprite. Go me! The server brings out a bottle of Coke.

“Duibuqi,” I apologize. Again. I pick up my glass, still half-full of Sprite. “Wo yao zhe ge.” I want this. “Hao ma?”

“Shi bei zi ma?”

Now we’re getting somewhere. The name for Sprite is something like “shi bei”, so I should get what I want. Huzzah!

The server comes back with a single plastic glass. I stare. The girls giggle. “That’s not Sprite,” says Victor.

I shan't even tell you what happened when I tried to get soy sauce.

1 comment:

Cy said...

Lol,really funny:)