Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mang Guo

"Man guo" or mango, is the ONE fruit I am able to announciate in Mandarin (for obvious reasons). Of course, buying any other fruits would mean that I have to point at the merchandise and stare at the fruit seller like an idiot:

(At a fruit market)

Seller: Ni yao mai shen me?

Ben: (Points at apple)

Seller: Huh?

Ben: (Still pointing at the apple)

Seller: Oh, ping guo?

Ben: *Nods profusely with mouth wide open*

Mandarin speaking people turns me into a retard.

Anyway, back to the mango story. After dinner I bought a pack of mangoes, you know, those that they sell for RM1 each. The guys then wanted to have a look at a nearby sports shop, so in we went. I was happily munching on my dessert while looking around the wristband section when the shopkeeper approached me:

Shopkeeper: Ni zai na li mai? (points at the mango pack)

Ben: Zai qian mian.

Shopkeeper: Ooh. Zhe bian hen nan cao di fang mai shui guo.

Now "shui guo" was a foreign word for me and so as usual, I would try to decipher it word by word. "Shui" means water. "Guo" has the same ending as "mang guo" so it must mean fruit. The lady is telling me that it is hard to find a place that sells 'water fruit'. What a water fruit is, I have no idea BUT it ain't no mango. So I corrected her:

Ben: Oh, bu se! Qi ge se mang guo, bu se shui guo!

It was later I found out that 'shui guo' meant fruit, hence the mean stare from the shopkeeper :( Sigh, the perils of being an OCBC (Orang Cina Bukan Cina).

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