tess lent me a couple of books and i'm reading one now called lost on planet china by j. maarten troost. i'm 2 chapters in and it is hilarious/so accurate. i'm just on my way to bed but i wanted to share a couple of quotes.
the two phrases he learned before getting on the flight to beijing were..
"Qingwen, wo bu hui dun zhege cesuo. Youmeiyou beide cesuo keyi yong?"
Excuse me, I am not proficient at squatting. Is there another toilet option?
"Zhege jende shi jirou ma?"
Are you sure this is chicken?
on riding in a taxi..
"There was an unforgiving frenzy to get ahead. We leapt forth, swerved, smited competitors for position, and in leaps and fits made our way into the city. The taxi driver drove without consulting his mirrors, and often, far too often, we'd swerve into another lane, sending cars screeching and swaying in every direction..."
my favorite part so far..
"But this was the mother of all Chinatowns, and these thousands of signs, all presumably offering information, directions, imploring you to buy this and do that, were utterly alien to me. I understood nothing, a sensation that disturbed my psyche. I felt profoundly out of my element."