Hungryyyyy!

There is a little Chinese restaurant opposite my compound, on Feng Yang road. I call it a restaurant, but that is probably slightly inflating its image – it only has about 10 seats inside it and is always full of people eating soup and meat/rice dishes.

在凤阳路上,我家对面有一个很小的中国饭馆。我叫它饭馆,但是这么叫可能有点夸大了它的形象-里面就10个位子而且总是坐满了喝汤和吃饭的人。

Ok, so basically I had always wanted to go in to try the food, but was intimidated by it. I know it sounds strange, but it’s simple really – the place was too Chinese for me.

好,所以基本上我总是想强迫自己进去试一下里面的食物,这么说可能有点奇怪,其实原因很简单-这个地方对我来说太中国了。

The menu is all in Chinese, the writing in the window is all in Chinese and its clientelle is exclusively….Chinese. The staff speak Chinese…and even though I’ve been in Shanghai for nearly a year, I still don’t want to put myself into the potentially humiliating position of stumbling through some amateurish Chinese, not being understood AND perhaps worst – being overheard by everyone in there doing it.

菜单都是中文的,玻璃窗上写的都是中文,而且客人也都是…中国人。服务员说中文…即使我到上海快一年了,可是我还是不想因为自己不熟练的中文而受到屈辱,可能是不被理解甚至更糟-每个人都会偷听我说的话。

Until tonight.

直到那晚。

The reason was not, sadly, that I have turned over a new leaf of positivity and confidence…but that a couple of days ago a friend had given me some pointers…and she had told me exactly what dish to ask for: yu xiang rou si. How hard could it be?

可悲的是,不是因为我已经翻开了新的一页充满自信了…而是几天前我的朋友给了我一些指示—她确切地告诉我要点哪个菜:鱼香肉丝。这能有多难?

So I made up my mind, and all the way back home on the underground today I was muttering to myself: yu xiang rou si yu xiang rou si yu xiang rou si yu xiang rou si…I was primed and ready to face my demons (and get a great, cheap dinner in the bargain).

所以我下了决心,在今天回家路上的地铁里,我不停地嘀咕:鱼香肉丝鱼香肉丝鱼香肉丝鱼香肉丝鱼香肉丝鱼香肉丝…我已经准备好去面对魔鬼了(并且得到价廉物美的东西)。

In I go…up to the woman at the counter. The place is full (seven people), but I’m confident. Here I go:

我进去…朝柜台那边的女人走去。那个地方已经坐满了(7个人),可是我很有信心。我说:

Me: Yu xiang rou si please!
我:鱼香肉丝,谢谢
Her: Sorry! We don’t have any yu xiang rou si.
她:不好意思!我们没有鱼香肉丝。
Me: …………
我:……
Her: We have these dishes. (Points to dishes)
她:我们有这些菜(指着菜)。
Me: Errrrrrr…what is this meat? (points at one of the dishes)
我:阿……这是什么肉?(指着一个菜)
Her: This is ************** meat
她:这是……肉
Me: Ok! I’ll take it.
我:好的!我要这个。

I didn’t understand what she said (it wasn’t beef, pork, chicken, fish or dog), but to be honest she could have said “satan’s own sperm” and I would have bought it just to end the transaction.

我不知道她说了什么(不是牛肉,猪肉,鸡肉,鱼肉或者狗肉),事实上她说的可能是‘撒旦的精子’而我买它就是为了结束这笔交易。

I waited five minutes and picked up my food. Slowly I walked back to my flat with a bag full of something that I had no idea about, and I realised that China could still kick my ass whenever it wanted. What had started so well ended in what felt like a moral defeat.

我等了5分钟,拿到了我的食物。我慢慢带着这包我不知道是什么的东西走回家,我突然意识到中国可以随时踹我一脚,只要她想。开始得那么好,结果却让我受到了精神的挫败。

Next time though…next time…

下次吧……下次……

9 Comments


  1. could you at least tell if it was a land or sea creature? animal or reptile??? :P


  2. How did the ‘unidentified meat’ fare? I wonder.


  3. that wasn’t even 1/10 the funniness when you told me!!!!

    it is lost in translation!!!!!


  4. AND I DONT LIKE MY MONSTER!!!


  5. Lilianna: It was brown! Does that help?
    KC: It was chewy. And it had bones.
    Cheesie: Then read it in English! 懒猫! And to change your monster go to http://www.gravatar.com and add your pic!


  6. …Chinese food travelled in uk stomach… it happens everyday


  7. haha… U r sooooooooooo funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  8. It might be more funny itself to laugh the funny thing 2 years after it happened…God, just let me laugh pls…haha

    现在才笑是不是有点更可笑?来晚了点,请让我笑完这段。。

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