Friday, May 20, 2011

Just (Not) Enough Chinese

I suppose it comes as no surprise that vegetarianism n’existe pas in a city whose streets are permeated with the smell of dried yak meat.   Still, it was funny watching Danielle try to communicate the concept to our very confused waitress one night.

Danielle:  Gestures to a vegetable dish on the menu.

Waitress:  Bú (No).  Starts pointing to alternative dishes (e.g. yak hot pot, sweet and sour chicken).

Danielle:  Opens our Just Enough Chinese phrase book and points to the words for meat, fish, etc in Chinese and says “Bú” after pointing to each one.

Waitress:  continues suggesting dishes like “Hoof with special sauce”.

Two things happened as a result:  (1) Danielle promptly inserted the word “not” in big, bold letters on the front of our phrase book; and (2) we ended up at a much cuter, more reasonably priced little place run by a guy with a mohawk who was really enthusiastic about us being there.   The live music was pretty good until the musicians’ girlfriends started to sing along.  Don’t quit your day jobs, ladies.

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