Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday March 30, 2009

  1. Wake up - still sick, 2 weeks now
  2. Breakfast
  3. Leave as the AYI arrives
  4. Drop Postcards off at the Post Office
  5. Stop by MRKT to grab Jason for lunch
  6. Muslim noodles (lanzhou lamian)
  7. Go to KFC to study and grab a 5.5 rmb cup of coffee (This is where it gets weird)
  • Take a seat at a table behind a migrant worker just "hanging out", he smells like a horse barn
  • Within 15 minutes and 2 sips into my coffee his arm is reaching over showing me a hologram,"make shift " McDonalds name tag. He points to something, I read "2005 McDonalds". Shows me the back, written is "DaBangEmperorManager"
  • Through his very few English words and my awful Chinglish, I ask him if he needs to get to McDonald's. He has shown me his McDonald's button up shirt under his dirty blue hoody and red sweater.
  • He his now sitting at my table about 12 inches away, this happened as soon as I opened my mouth to speak.
  • He then writes "ShanghaiTheArteAcademy"...I say, oh I don't know where the The Art Academy and he looks at me strangely and then I say..."oh, the Shanghai THEATRE Academy!!!" He looks happy, I ask him if thats where he needs to go (in English).
  • I get the info into my cell phone via Guanxi, write down the address and phone no. Now he wants to call.
  • I dial, hold the phone on speaker to him (hell if I am going to chase him down the street after my iPhone). Very short conversation.
  • I help him pronounce "Theatre"...He now wants to call the Shanghai Grand Hotel...see above process.
  • Whole time thinking - "I thought when moving to a foreign country the crazies would not be attracted to me the way they were in the states, and I can't believe I am practicing my Chinese with a crazy".
  • The phone calls are very short and unsuccessful for whatever he needs. He then tells me he is a "Manager" at KFC, McDonald's, The Shanghai Grand Hotel, and that he teaches Ballet at the Theatre Academy - I am a pro at charade's and pantomime.
  • He try's to help me with my Chinese homework, but he doesn't realize that I can't read more than about 10 Charachters...I then catch through our Chinglish that he doesn't think PinYin is real Chinese, that its like English.
  • He was able to write my name in Characters for me.
  • He is able to read, and he would be the correct age for the Cultural Revolution, so I realize he was probably raised in the countryside away from the city.
  • I ask him if he is from Beijing, confirmed. Difficulty in understanding the Beijing dialect.
  • He says "passport" in a sentence and realize he wants to know my area, tell him I am from the US. He tells me he has a passport from there, and then writes down "England" and "Japan". I tell him in Chinese that "YingGuo" is not the same as "MeiGuo", poor guy has no idea that there is a giant body of water separating the two.
  • Now he begins to get fired up about something, seems to be telling me a story, I hear a "f*%k you" in the story. Of course people are very interested in our conversation and I see people staring, even stopping right at the table to stare at him. Finally, eyes are off me! He is getting more and more fired up, moving his arms around.
  • My sign to leave. I have no idea what he is saying, but he begins to tell me he is a Chairman, and I was sure I heard a "Mao" in there. And THE LAST thing I am going to be sitting next to a person saying stuff I have no idea what he is saying, but it was after I told him I was American, and tells me he is a Chairman...whoa buddy, Im outta here!
  1. Go to Burger King to wash my hands and pen that he and I shared. (you know about the lack of toilet paper used by the countryside and not ever accepting food served from the right hand - more noted in India)
  2. As for coffee here, it's a Western luxury, my only options are KFC, McDonalds, BK, or Starbucks, Costa, The Coffee Bean, the last 3 very expensive...USA prices
  3. Loud table of 4 American college age guys at BK - shameful
  4. Chinese class, again, the only one that shows up
  5. Walk home and stop by the Muslim restaurant that sells Naan bread on the corner and kabaabs.
  6. Get two, ask me where I am from, I respond with "America", and they reply "OBAMA"!! in a half singing type voice. I respond with, "Obama" and show them my button of Obama. The older one says something I don't know and pinches his cheek and smiles. As my bread is being handed over he turns and says, "what about Bush", I give 2 thumbs down and respond with "bu hao". The young one that warmed my bread is like a parrot the entire time and says, "bu hao". As I walk away, I hear "Down with Bush".
  7. Home, eat bread, strange day.

1 comment:

Ed said...

Perfect day! (?)