Saturday, February 10, 2007

Being A Banana Sucks

I have been living in Skudai (a Mandarin-speaking town) for almost one and a half year. Though I'm no where near able to carry a decent conversation in Mandarin, I have become pretty confident when it comes to ordering my food in the language. Today, that confidence is shattered:

(In a coffeeshop)
Ben: I'm having yee mee, what about you?
York: If I told you, you're gonna have to order it for me.
Ben: No problem.
York: Hah, really?! Hahaha!
Ben: HEY I CAN DAMN WELL ORDER ANYTHING YOU WANT IN MANDARIN, OK?!
York: Ok, let me make it easier for you. I want the exact same thing you're having.
Ben: Grrr.

Now, ordering my food usually involves me just walking to the hawker, telling him/her what I want, how big I want my portion to be, and to leave vegetables out of it. That's it. They always just say, "Ok." and I return to my seat with a huge sense of accomplishment. Not today:

(Ben walks up to the hawker stall. Mandarin in italics.)
Ben: I want two yee mee please. Both of bigger portions.
Hawker: Huh? You want two bowls of yee mee or two portions of yee mee in one bowl?
Ben: [What the hell did she just say?]
Hawker: Well?
Ben: I want two.
Hawker: Two of what?!
Ben: Two.. Two. Two.
Hawker: Maybe you should call a friend over to help you order.
Ben: Two. No vegetables.

York was laughing his ass off as he was rushing over to help me order. The yee mee tasted sour that day.

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Side note: Hearts & Lightbulbs Valentines Charity Event. Venue changed to Laundry Bar, The Curve!
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9 comments:

leci

i stumbled upon your site. I gotta say I enjoy reading your blog, very cute and very funny!! i have lots of banana friends and understood the frustrations you are going through. my advise is get a gf who speaks mandarin to help you polish it up. :)

Benjamin

leci: get a gf? have you read the post before this? -sobs-

anyway, your theory won't work. my ex was Chinese educated but we ended up speaking English 24/7. Me too stubborn :D

Cenn

lol. I'm also a banana, and all my relatives urge me to at least learn to speak Mandarin. But it's just so hard to speak it out :( Wonder their reaction if they know I'm taking a French course instead of Mandarin, heh.

leci

Bonjour, messieurs. Comment allez-vous aujourd'hui?
Perhaps you can share your french lessons so we all can benefit. Adding yourself a wow factor so you won't choke up on the girls the next time. LOL.
Most my banana friends manage to speak some dialect especially cantonese (due to KL region). i guess it has to do with the surroundings.

CLare

You poor thing...!!! I can understand how you felt. LOL!!!

I'm a banana as well, but not 100% banana like u lar, i can speak Mandarin since young but couldn't read or write. Relatives always tease me wan. Sigh!

But I'm proud to say that I understand a lot of dialects - Hokkien, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Foochow.

Ben, learn mandarin lar, it wont do u any harm wat.

CY

Ah, the hawker was confused. Actually you could just make your regular order, then say "jia- yi\ ge\(add one more)".

That'd help, I think. I'm a banana myself xD

pinksterz

why do you call those chinese who can speak chinese (or is it just mandarin?) banana????

Benjamin

cenn: i'll tell you right now what their reaction would be. they'll totally flip out. i took french for two semesters and my parents kept pestering about it.

leci: Je suis très bien! In order to do that, i have to actually start brushing up on my french that i've totally neglected one semester ago.

i don't surroundings play a really important role. friends do.

clare: oh then u not too banana la. i wan to learn mandarin one, just that all my friends are speaking to me in english! how to learn?!

cy: u can speak hokkien. same like clare la, not too banana.

pinksterz: bananas are yellow (chinese) on the outside but white (caucasian) on the inside.

CY

So is a banana that is not too banana, a banana or not a banana? Lol lol!

Here, have a banana xD

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