Tuesday, November 24, 2009

sometimes you want to go where nobody knows your name

man.  i need to post more.  quick story.  i came back from three hours of frisbee late last week and stopped off at a local fried food cart to partake in some spicy tofu and allison's favorite gelatin fries (students say they're made from flour).  i was planning on buying them real quick and heading back home for much needed sleep.  around 11:30pm i walked up to the food cart and the owner was sitting with two older guys drinking water and whiskey.  the wife was running the cart while the cute little five year old daughter was running around playing make believe something.  i ordered my food and noticed the three lads in the garage waving me over.  i'd already gotten out of it once when he tried to get me to drink his plum wine with him one day, so i figured i'd do my duty and sit with them.  they slapped a glass on the ratty tatty folding card table and smiled as they poured me a glass of their scotch.  now... it should be noted (again) that i only know how to say - spicy, hello, thanks, two, zero, green tea, lemon tea in chinese.  fortunately one of the guys (who sells the scotch that we were drinking) was able to translate every fifth word for me, so i could kind of keep up with the conversation.  and by keep up, i mean, i could nod my head and pretend like i understood what they were talking about.  i did have my iphone on me, so i was able to show them where portland is and i taught them how to say portland and oregon.  one thing i did learn was that you're supposed to only drink when you get someone else to drink with you, or if someone else nods at you.  i probably looked like an idiot the first few swigs i took because i flew solo.  i finally understood what was going on and ended up drinking with them on each sip.  by the end i think they were trying to play "get the foreigner drunk" because they kept saying something that sounded like "come by!" and would pound the rest of their drinks.  it wasn't really fair because mine was straight scotch and they kept watering their glasses down, but i played along for a little bit.  i think the owner (i should really know his name by now) thinks that it is his life goal to try and get me to smoke cigarettes with him because i've been offered one at least 30 times.  his wife always scolds him and tells me "no smoke," which doesn't really stop him.  overall, i think i brought in some extra business for them and they were able to tell people they had some drinks with a foreigner.  plus i was able to get some free scotch out of the deal, so i got that going for me.  which is nice.


  1. 'gan bei' means 'dry cup' and it means 'finish your glass'
    but 'sui yi' just means 'everyone take a sip' or i think it kind of means 'cheers'

  2. That's an awesome story Jerry. I'm glad you held your own! Guess you've had some practice :-)

  3. Looks like fun! Thanks for your call on Thanksgiving. Sending love from New Hampshire. Uncle Ron

  4. you should learn some funny sentences in chinese and shock those drunkards next time. then they will laugh and pour more scotch, and you will laugh and the world will be a better place.

  5. hi sullies!!

    thanks for the blog love -- it's fun to live in a foreign place and document it . . .

    i take all the photos on my blog with a Canon G10 -- super small and awesome camera that takes hi res photos... better than my old slr, which was bulky and heavy for travel.

    Please take a tuk tuk or tut tut as they call them here and come to our pad for tea and mexican food!