Monday, October 15, 2012

Ting bu dong!!!!!

I love how insane this place is. I have tried to pay my utilities bill every day this past week and every day the building's office is closed, and today I asked the security guard when it would be open again and he told me it's only open in the mornings now. So I said well, I work in the mornings so I can't be here then. So we both shrugged and that was that.

Tonight someone started banging like crazy on my door but I thought it was my neighbor's door since they are adjacent to each other. So then I went to my kitchen to do dishes and I heard someone start yelling...and I look up and it's my crazy neighbor lady. Our kitchen windows face each other across an open space (and I have no kitchen curtains and therefore no privacy but that's another story for another day). This is the neighbor lady I can never understand, and by now I'm convinced she's speaking another dialect. She kept yelling at the top of her lungs and I started getting pretty annoyed so I yelled back "TING BU DONG!!!!!" several times which means "I don't understand!!!!!" so she started laughing at me.

Next thing I know she's banging at my door again. She handed me a receipt for my utilities bill and I handed her the money and we agreed she'd give me my change tomorrow. If things weren't so bizarrely convenient here (in an upside-down-inside-out sort of way), I'd have gone a lot crazier by now.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lemon Yellow Black

I dream of someday
a conversation with a grieving friend
laying my hand on his shoulder and sshhh I'll say
Do you know what would be good right here?
some yellow

I'll be back in 5 rices.

Today I went to the restaurant next door to order take-out. I gave them my order and then said "Ok, I'll be back in 5 minutes" so that I could run to the market and pick up a few things. When I returned, the waitresses looked at me kind of funny and one of them held up her hand with all fingers outstretched and said "5 minutes?!" sort of incredulously. Was she judging me on how long I took? I thought I took exactly 5 minutes. Why so shocked? I said "Yes, I came back in 5 minutes." Then all of the waitresses busted out laughing. Turns out they thought I wanted 5 orders of rice when I said I would be back in 5 minutes. One of the waitresses bolted for the kitchen to correct my order. When I said "wu fen" for 5 minutes, it sounded like "wu fan" for 5 least I think that was the confusion. Adventures in language.