Knowing a little bit of Chinese in China is both a blessing and a curse.
Blessing: when you go to the movies with your friends, and the movie is supposed to be in English. But then it’s in Chinese, with no subtitles of any kind. Yeeeeeah, that’s a good time to know a little Chinese. Although I didn’t laugh at all the appropriate times in Wreck-it Ralph, I definitely understood the story line (because it’s a feel-good Disney movie made for children). And I probably got a full 1000% more of the video game jokes than everyone else in the theater. Thank you, Nintendo childhood.
Curse: when you’re in the grocery store after hitting the gym, and you’re wearing a quite tacky outfit of T-shirt, running tights, and basketball shorts. You’re minding your own business, finding those delicious Ritz crackers with the yoghurt filling, when a guy tells his girlfriend to look over at me. “Hey, look at her. That’s going to be your destiny.” Then the girl play-hits him and says something about how irritating he is… But wait, if you’re going to make fun of me, at least let me understand the joke! I wanted to understand why this girl’s destiny was to go grocery shopping in sweaty and unattractive gym clothes, but alas, I was left out of the loop.
So knowing some Chinese definitely comes in handy. It lets you know when people are talking about you in the elevator, and helps you pay 35RMB for sweatpants instead of 45 (seriously, she was trying to pull a fast one on me–I’m white, but I’m not stupid sometimes!) For real, check out these pants. Classic. And the best part is, these XL pants are only slightly cozy in my buttocksal region.
Anyway, here are some additional revelations from this weekend:
- Popcorn in China is ALWAYS kettle corn. Delicious, but sometimes it would be nice to have buttery salty goodness when you go to the movies. Especially when you tell them not to supersize it for a penny more, but they do anyway, and you’re stuck with a 15 pound bucket of popcorn and 3 liters of soda between two people. Oh, America ❤
- Car owners: they do exist! I got to ride in a sweet, tiny hatchback that a friend of mine owns. I even wore a seatbelt for the first time in China. Safety is sexy, people.
- The only Western folk in the Teda area are over the age of 40 and inevitably have a hot 20-something Chinese girl on their arm. Fact.
- My dorm/apartment thing on campus isn’t that bad. After seeing my friend’s miniscule apartment, I should be grateful for having as “roomy” and “spacious” a place as I do. It’s all about perspective. BUT her heater totally kicks my heater’s ass, so I’m still a little jealous.
- Ritz with yogurt filling. Best. Crackers. Ever. Sorry, you’ll have to crane your neck to see the glory of the package.