The Parents of the Drew will arrive in China on Monday night to lay gifts at the feet of the Exalted One.
To help them better navigate the currents of Modern China, I have prepared a concise list of handy phrases, both English and Chinese. The bearer of this list need only select the appropriate phrase needed given the situation (or desired situation), and point to the matching Chinese equivalent.
For the greater good of all Mankind, I have deigned to post said list here on Drew’s Journal. Behold:
Drew’s Handy Phrases for Travelers in China
Where is the bathroom?
I need to use an ATM. Is there one nearby?
No ice in my drink, please.
This is a medical emergency.
Ha ha, no. I’m from Canada, eh!
I need a receipt.
Can you change my airplane seat to one in the Emergency Exit row?
Does this taxi have air conditioning?
I would like a massage, but not the sexy kind. I just want a regular massage.
I would like a sexy massage.
Is there any place offering that around here?
Could you please make sure the dog I am about to eat is happy before you kill it? They taste better if they are. Perhaps you could tell it a funny joke beforehand? That one about the poodle and the mastiff?
I swear I’ve never done this before… but I saw you sitting there at the end of the bar and I just, well, I felt something. Like electricity just shooting through my body… what am I saying? Look at me I’m acting ridiculous! Hmm… Hey, tell you what – I’m in town on business for a few days and staying in a really expensive hotel… how about you and a few of your hottest girlfriends come and stay with me for the weekend? Here’s my room key…
Liverpool Dave is the oldest friend I have in China. By oldest, of course, I mean longest relationship… though he is getting up in years (you reading this, pal?) – haha.
I met Dave only a few weeks after I arrived back in Autumn 2007. We were both on staff at the same university. We discovered mutual appreciation for football, good beer, and games… and that was that.
Since then he’s been my most dependable, steadfast friend here. He even served in my wedding!
Each year at Yuletide, Dave and I do a themed gift exchange. The theme is usually “things our wives won’t let us buy for ourselves, so we’ll give them to each other” like wargames and such, but for 2010 it was hometown team jerseys. Dave got me a lovely Newcastle United kit (“Liverpool” Dave moved to Newcastle when he was still a young lass) and I got him the always badass black Tampa Bay Lightning sweater.
Dave was back in England visiting relatives when Huilin was born, and finally had a chance to stop by to see the Heathspawn a few days ago.
But Dave wasn’t finished! During his swing through home he visited the Newcastle United shop and picked up a full kit for little Huilin, customized with his name and number – 2 being the day of May on which he was born.
As a student, my lack of real income always prevented me from indulging in computational excess.
As an adult male, I have ample income for such frivolity, however I also have a wife. The outcome is the same.
Even so, occasionally I do get the opportunity to purchase this or that bit of Turing perfection; and like any good geek I head straight to newegg.
Moving to China, I was heartbroken that I would no longer be able to give newegg all my money. They don’t ship to China.
Why don’t they ship to China? Because they have their own special Chinese version!
newegg in China is called “xin dan”, which literally translates to “new egg”
Anyways, there are two quirky things about Xindan:
they don’t sell the really bleeding edge hardware that’s readily available on the U.S. site
they let you pay COD
The first quirk doesn’t bother me because my wife won’t let me buy I can’t afford bleeding edge hardware. I suppose they figure there isn’t much market for it? Too many Chinese wives in China? Average Chinese income too low?