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23 January 2002 @ 03:27 pm
Nihao, wo ai ni, Airen, Zaizen, Danke?  
About the title: I believe that is my entire store of Chinese. As you can see, I could stand to use a few more phrases.
So, San Francisco. It's a heckuva town. Got a famous bridge, couple o' universities, a notorious mayor, and a very vocal homosexual population. Y'know. Good ol' 'Frisco.
So I met Davy on Clement Street around ten. (Too early for me, since I'd had to get up at eight on a weekend so I'd be all human by the time I got to the city.) We browsed through Apple Books until Davy's room mate showed up with his car. (Can you believe I still don't know his name? Davy introduced us once, a while ago, and I'd feel like an idiot asking what his name is, so I just kept referring to him as 'you.' Gyahhh.) We drove around and around until we found bubble tea, (Pearl tea seems to be the official name. But I'll keep calling it 'bubble' because that's what the bloody things are.)and when we did I got a nice big cup of "Stabelly Gleen" with tapioca pearls bouncing around the bottom of the glass. Yuuuuuummmmmm...
Since I was pacified we drove over to the Haight and - believe this we found parking on the first try. How cool is that?
Haight (How much you wanna bet I'm spelling it wrong? I can't think straight...) Street has a collection of the weirdest shops; I guess it's a holdover from the '60's. Most of the clerks/storeowners sure looked like they were hippies, anyway. There was some really great stuff, tho' - candles and incense and these denim flares that had a giant frog wrapping around one of the legs. ^_^
Sidenote: I think the room mate's gay. Really. I suspected it when I talked to him on the phone, but I'm thisclosetopositive now. His mannerisms just strike me as such; he's far too interested in clothes to be straight, anyway. ^^;; But then, Davy likes shopping and he's straighter than the crow flies. >_< I think I'll just stop thinking about all that now.
Next on the schedule was Chinatown, the theory being that the two white boys might blend in better if they had a half-Chinese Japanese-wannabe curly-haired spaz with them. Yeah right. They made me order lunch. Big mistake!
Me ordering lunch: Nihao. Uhm...cha su bao?
Woman behind counter:
Me: Uh...Cantonese?
Woman:< ?>
Me: I'd like to order some...err...actually, do you have an English menu?
Room mate: I thought you were Chinese?
Me: She speaks Mandarin. I can't speak that. (Or Cantonese, for that matter. But I'm a liar liar liar! Or just not telling the whole truth. Same difference.)
Woman:
Girl: Hi, you need English?
Me: **whew**

So that was a disaster for me and my pride. But later in the afternoon I earned bonus points when I sucessfully ordered tea in Japanese at the Tea Gardens. (Yeah, we got around.) Bwa ha ha ha.
After wandering around some more near the Academy of Sciences, I really had to pee, and I was scared to use the public toilets. So they dropped me off at my grandparents' house.
Po-po: Nihao Suzi! (Except she was speaking in Cantonese. Which, if you remember, I don't actually speak. But I know 'hello' in Mandarin is 'nihao.')
Me: Hi Po-po, I need the toilet.
Po-po: Aiyah! Is just like when you were child! (Not really. Po-po doesn't have an accent. She's born and raised Californian.)
After dinner, Po-po praised my Chinese handwriting (Aiyah! Is just like professional!) and asked me how I'd learned to spell my name since she never told me. So I explained that I'd asked my friend in Hong Kong to teach me. She was so pleased; she then proceeded to teach me how to say my name. (Lan Ying? I kinda wasn't paying attention, but I have it written somewhere. It means "bright orchid," with the 'bright' referring to intelligence.) The family ate dinner and then we went home, and I fell asleep listening to my newest CD, Tori Amos' Strange Little Girls.
ZzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzz...

P.S. I had chocolate-flavored fortune cookies today. Yum.