Handy Phrases for Travelers in China

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? 洗手间在哪里?
I need to use an ATM. Is there one nearby? 附件有自动取款机吗?
No ice in my drink, please. 我的不加冰。
This is a medical emergency. 这是急诊。
Ha ha, no. I’m from Canada, eh! 啊哈,不,我是加拿大人!
I need a receipt. 我要发票。
Doggy-bag, please. 您好,我要打包。
Can you change my airplane seat to one in the Emergency Exit row? 我想把我的座位换到紧急出口那,行吗?
Does this taxi have air conditioning? 这辆出租车有空调吗?
I would like a massage, but not the sexy kind. I just want a regular massage. 我想要按摩,不是那种的啊。
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? 你能保证我要吃的这只狗是安乐死吗?如果是那样的话,味道会更好。或许你可以事先给狗讲个有趣的笑话,比如说像贵妇犬啊,藏獒之类的狗。
My hair is on fire and I require an extinguisher. 我头发着火了,快给我个灭火器!
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… 我发誓我从未有过这种感觉……但我看到你坐在酒吧那,我就有种不一样的感觉。就像一股电流穿我的体内……嗨,看我在说什么呢?!瞧我我这语无伦次的/瞧我这没出息样/。美女,我想告诉你我因公出差要在这待上几天,我住在一家五星级酒店。你要愿意,和你的闺蜜来我这一起过周末啊?这是我房间钥匙……
In 99% of cases, the State Department won’t grant your child American citizenship unless we were married before he was born, so don’t even try it honey! 百分之九十九的情况下,除非咱俩结婚后有了孩子,否则美国政府不会给他美国国籍的。所以亲爱的,你想都不要想!
China? I love China! 中国吗?我爱中国!
People of China, your attention please.
I seek The Drew
大家请注意,我要找The Drew。

Uncle Dave visits Huilin!

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!

3 years ago today!
3 years ago today!

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.

Huilin snarls at the newcomer...
Huilin snarls at the newcomer…

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.

Like father like son...
Like father like son…

Great uncle? or greatest uncle?

Daddy's lil' hooligan!
Daddy’s lil’ hooligan!

COD in the PRC

I like computers… a lot.

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.

I love you!
I love you!

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:

  1. they don’t sell the really bleeding edge hardware that’s readily available on the U.S. site
  2. 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?

The second quirk is worth a closer look!

Continue reading COD in the PRC


It has begun…

Hello world!
Hello world!

May 1st, to pretty much every other country besides America, is Labor Day. Here in China we get a three day weekend, which this year included Monday, May 2nd.

So on Monday I awoke not at my usual 5:30AM but at a far more leisurely 6AM to find that my wife… was not still in bed snoring like a pneumonic water buffalo? but rather in the shower?

“Bella…” says I, “what are you doing up?”

“It is time” was the reply.

Continue reading Fatherhood