Tag Archives: laowai
“Wow, what kind of whitening products do they use?” exclaimed local shopkeeper Bù Piàoliang, “I wish I could achieve an unattainable standard of beauty imposed upon Chinese women by culturally imperialistic advertising!”
“I don’t know but I’ve been told foreign frozen women’s toes are mighty cold,” commented US military attache Case Samsonite, “Hup-two-three-four, hep-two-three-four.”
“China invented frozen women during the Qing Dynasty,” noted Jīntiān Dàfēng, president of the Patriotic Frozen Women Federation of China, “This is yet another example of the rest of the world catching up to China.”
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In other news, Barack Obama and Hu Jintao agreed today to exchange recipes for Kung Pao Chicken.
“The instant noodles for an instant afro!”*Now that’s a brand promise! Think of the possibilities of Chinese versions of ethnic brands! Jheri-Curl potato chips! Afro-Sheen soy sauce! And, of course, J-Lo Steamed Buns! ### * P.S. For you cunning linguists out there, yes, the copy actually says, “NEW! straight noodles” which I suppose is funnier than “gay noodles” but that’s another post.
On my first visit to China some 15 years ago, a colleague taught me a lesson I’ve remembered to this day.
In China, you must order a “cold” beer otherwise, you’ll get a beer that’s been sitting around outside, which in the winter means you might get a cold one, but not in summer!
Thus, you must order:
That phrase got me a cold beer most of the time, “cold” being relative of course (repeat after me, “this is China!”).
Today, my Chinese tutor, Lǐ lǎoshī (teacher Li), taught me the “survival Chinese” version of that handy-dandy expression.
bù bīng bù gěi qién!
“no cold, no give money!”
Not only does Lǐ lǎoshī have a sense of humor, she really understands what I mean by “survival” Chinese!
As Confucius said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. And don’t forget the cold beer, dude.”
Being hopelessly illiterate in a language has never been so much fun as it is in Beijing.Armed with a digital Chinese-English dictionary on my trusty iPad, I’ll take a guess at these brand names. The “Good Friends (are) Interesting” brand of “thick side” potato chips comes in two fabulous flavors. On the left, “Lots of Juice Beef Extract Flavor” … which is obviously superior to just plain “juicy beef” favor. And on the right, “Pure Aroma Original Flavor” … gee, potato-flavored potato chips! My new Chinese instructor, Lî laoshi (teacher Li), will be surely be amused when I ask her about potato chip brands! ### Sent from my iPad
Chinese Ketchup: Nî håo!
Mexican Salsa: ¡Buenos dias!
It’s Friday night, following my first full week of work in Beijing, and a full week of shopping and getting the apartment squared away for @doramimy.A quiet dinner at home, followed by … tweeting and blogging! Not bad for a middle-aged couple. Of course, it helps when an old friend like Jameson’s Irish Whiskey has got your back. Good preparation for my first two-hour Chinese lesson tomorrow morning! ### Sent from my iPad
Steak and chips, pommes frites, meat and potatoes all have their origin in the Yunnan province of China.Okay, I’m making that up. But the Middle 8th restaurant in the Sanlitun area of Beijing does a remarkable job of serving up “steak and chips” a la Yunnan style in a contemporary setting. It’s a cozy, unpretentious place that serves great food at very reasonable prices. Very buttery tasting chips, a sweetish tomato-based sauce for the steak, altogether a lovely meal with an old friend and former colleague who has convinced me that Beijing, not Shanghai, is the the cutting-edge of creativity in China today. We had five dishes, all excellent, but way too much food for about US$12 per person. Remarkable by Tokyo or L.A. standards. Beijing today seems to be filled with creativity in not only presentation of food but also the fusion of old and new styles. ### Sent from my iPad
2. You can’t speak Chinese.
3. You can’t read Chinese.
4. You can’t write Chinese.
5. You’re not Chinese.
Something tells me I’m a laowai*.Laowai = Gaijin = Foreigner
老外 = 外人 = 外国人
###Sent from my iPad