Wednesday, May 28, 2008


There are a couple of English expressions that even people who can't speak a lick of English use. One is DIY (that's Do It Yourself). Another is PE (as in Phys Ed, except they use it for all exercise- "Christina loves the PE lifestyle!" they will say, which is both not really an accurate description of who I am, and reminds me of the spazzy kids who would answer "gym class!" when someone asks them what their favorite class is). The other is VIP.

See, everywhere has VIP cards. Some you have to pay for but more are just, if you spend a certain amount of money you get one. They are all kinda complicated.

For example, there is one cute little home & toiletries store that offers a VIP card. One day they said if I spend 10 more dollars (NT, like 30 cents US) I could get one, and I would save 50 dollars. I was like, sure. But I had to fill out my address and phone number. I asked if I could write it in English, and they said sure, so I did, and then they found an English-speaking clerk to write it in Chinese. Then he tried to explain the scheme of it (it seems to be that the more you spend, cumuatively, the more you save) but only seemed to know the English words "You" and "minus." The few times I've been in there since then, I'll buy some little thing and get 5% off and they give me this complicated update on my VIP status and I'm like, I don't care. But if I don't get my facial expression just right, so it really looks like I understand what the heck they're taking about, they will try to explain further.

At the haircut place, when I went for my second haircut, they got me involved in the VIP scheme and it took like half the haircut to explain it. I'd decided long ago to not do any VIP card that I have to pay for, but it came out that I would have to pay $50 for the card, but somehow my haircut would cost like $200, and I'd get 2 $100 gift certificates, and I didn't have to fill anything out. Well, that sounded good, so I did it.

No comments: