Friday, November 23, 2007

Sarcasm

Well, it's official- that habit I tried so hard to break in English has crept into a language I'm not remotely fluent in.

For this story to make sense I guess you have to know- that I'm always telling little kids to be careful in Chinese because they're always crawling in front of my and dashing themselves into walls and whatnot. So i'm always saying "xiao pengyou, xiaoxin!" Little friend, be careful! And approximately half the time I'm having a conversation in Chinese, someone tells me something and I said "Zhende ma?" really? And, when someone tells me my Chinese is good, I say "Nali, nali," which basically means no, it's really not.

So. At the gym the other day I'm sweating my brains out in this class and this random really short guy keeps inching his way towards me and crowding me out. So I'm thinking, if you want to stand here, just come to class on time and stand here! But if you can't come to class on time then stand where there's free space. But of course I can't convey all that in Chinese, but when we start doing kicking I mean to say sir, look out, but what comes out is, "Xiao pengyou, xiao xin! I'm kicking really hard!" So he glares at me and says, "Wo bushi xiao pengyou!" (I'm not a little kid!) So I say, Zhende ma? He glares some more and tells me my Chinese in really bad, and I say "Nali, nali." And he just shook his head.

Of course this happened so fast that I had no idea what I was saying until a lady standing next to me cracked up and recounted the conversation to her friends (The foreigner said this! Then the short man said that!) And they all laughed and looked at me appreciatifly, which I'm sure didn't help the short man's self esteem.

So that's that. I was just reacting in my everyday way but I managed to be whitheringly sarcastic at the same time.

2 comments:

GARRETT said...

HEY SIS. THAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING I HAVE READ IN A LONG TIME. I GOT SHUSHED AT WORK FOR LAUGHING SO LOUD WHEN I READ IT! LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN A COUPLE WEEKS.

Martin said...

That's the funniest story! I used to live in Taiwan and reading your blog brings back many memories.