Friday, September 9, 2011

Bits and Pieces

A lot of people here like to wear t-shirts with English writing. I’m pretty convinced that many of these people have no idea what their shirts say. I think it’s somewhat similar to how Americans get Chinese character tattoos. I’ve seen shirts that say everything from “Haters Welcome” to “Create Your Own Music” to “I want to be a lovely bear”.

I like to try to find the Asian version of people I know from back home in the States – yesterday I found Mark Wahlberg and Barbra Streisand.

Some street-side dentistry.
As my friends and I like to say "Feichang China" (probably best translated as "that's so China")

On Wednesday, I had my first full day of work (I’m interning at an IT firm called VanceInfo, teaching English and revising English documents) and started my commute at around eight in the morning. The station was flooded with people all on their way to work. I wasn't able to get on the train my first try because it was literally at capacity - with no regard for personal space, each passenger stood less than an inch from his adjacent passengers. When the next train arrived, I saw others elbow and nudge their way on board, as if other people were merely obstacles in their way. I was a little dumbfounded, but I followed suit.

In China, guilt about not finishing your plate is on a whole new level: "Finish your food, there are starving kids.. outside the restaurant"

I have determined that the most popular American musical artists here are Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Eminem.
Saw this gem at the local bookstore. In Chinese, his name is pronounced Jiasiting Biba.

The instructions on the wrappers in U.S. Chinese restaurants about how to use chopsticks are definitely wrong. I’ve already been called out twice for not using them correctly.

The other day, I saw a woman with her pet dog. I was so tempted to approach her and say “wow, it looks delicious”. I really didn’t have it in me though; I was too scared she might respond, “thank you”.

After lunch break in the office I resumed working on my preparation of an English lesson. Taking my eyes off my computer screen for a moment, I looked around the office and found countless employees at their desks with their heads down and resting on their arms. I wanted to laugh, but I realized I might wake them.

As white people in China, we are very noticeable and are often the subject of fascination among the locals. In fact, people often stare at me as if they’ve never seen a white person before.  I’m still waiting for the day I see some guy on a motorbike stare a little too long and crash into a street sign. One day, one day I tell you.

Don’t talk to strangers, unless they don’t have candy and you want to practice a foreign language.

Almost every morning, I go to the backstreets of the university to buy baozi (steamed stuffed buns) for breakfast. My favorites are dousha (sweet bean paste), qingcai (Chinese cabbage), and luobo (radish). I can get six for 3 kuai or $0.48.

 And now it's time for The Bad English Translation Picture Gallery.

Notice in front of an elevator.
Don't worry, I obviously took the stairs.
Failed attempt at "luggage room".

This was a cute try.



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