And on the other hand...

Click here for The Yin Side where the other half of me holds forth!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Firecracks and Shiny Days

Our adorable, chic in a very original way, energetic, extremely knowledgeable and competent Chinese guide, a 35-year-old young woman from Hangzhou,  with a three-year-old son and husband, who detested the country food in Wudang, preferring "delicate" food from her delicate hometown, had the most entertaining ways of describing things. 

Her interpretations, audio versions of the Chinglish signs and menu items tourists find deeply amusing, were uncannily accurate.

The exit of a wedding party at the Hangzhou Holiday Inn Express, which had the best beds of our tour, was punctuated in the parking lot, loud and long, as she said, by "firecracks on a shiny day."
 Nuptial Firecracks
There is an effort underway, I learn from my now routine visits to China Daily dot com, I hope not to be fully realized, to eradicate Chinglish. Nothing amuses Western tourists more than twisted and bizarre signage, T-shirts and menu offerings ("arrogant chicken" is REALLY good). I've always thought it was done on purpose. **
I really liked this guy, whose gaudy T-shirt said, "Sparkly Active." I think he was carrying his girlfriend's bag. But my memory is not serving me well. He was very pretty. I would like to have seen him wielding a sword instead of a digital camera.

**I am still trying to figure out a laundry list item from my Beijing hotel: "The horse is gripped."  An item on the "gentleman's" list, I thought at first it might be a jock-strap that you could have washed for 10 kuai.  But it was a dry cleaning item.  Bob, our group engineer asked, "Who would dry clean a jock strap?"  After much consultation with a pinyin dictionary, I can only conclude that  it might be a cummerbund.  But who ever dry cleans such a thing in a hotel?  To say nothing of yet another item, a gentleman's "courtepy," which costs 20 kuai to dry clean.

1 comment:

sybil law said...

I am loving the updates!! (Read them all -I was like, whoa - 3 updates? Where have I been?!)