scruta

Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ayi’s Hat

[Ayi is cleaning Ferret's house. Ferret is on his way out the door when he notices Ayi's black baseball cap with the words "Hot and Sexy" written on it in pink. He feels he should say something.]

Ferret

这是你的帽子吗?

Is this your hat?

Ayi

对的,我的帽子。

Yeah, it’s my hat.

Ferret

你知道那个英文词是什么意思吗?

Do you know what those English words mean?

Ayi

不知道。什么意思?

No. What do they mean?

Ferret

意思是性感。

The meaning is “sexy”.

Ayi

[not sure what he's trying to say]

什么?性噶?

What “xìnggá”?

Ferret

性感。

Sexy.

Ayi

性感!真的吗?

Sexy! Really?

Ferret

真的。

Really.

Ayi

那我不应该戴啊!

Then I shouldn’t wear it!

Ferret

但是大部分的中国人不知道是什么意思,所以我觉得没有问题。

But most Chinese people don’t know what it means, so I think it’s not a problem.

Ayi

可是我的客户都是外国人啊!

But my clients are all foreigners!

Ferret

恩,我-我不知道。

Well, I- I don’t know.

[Ferret awkwardly makes for the door.]

我走了。

I’m going.

Ayi

好的。谢谢你告诉我啊!性感!啊呀!

Okay. Thanks for telling me! Sexy! Jeez!

posted by ferret at 1:37 am  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shanghai as a Paramedic

I was dead, Shanghai. My heart had stopped beating and the world was retreating into gray. All the things that I loved swerved through my head as my brain came to rest. They were converging, growing lighter, as I hung onto those last vestiges of myself. Soon I would be nothing.

But you, Shanghai, wielded a mighty defibrillator. When I thought that nothing was left to me, you shocked me back to life. You with your winding pathways and towers of power! You with your haughty homebodies and woozy wayfarers! You with your never-ending expectancy and unrepentant gaudiness! You with your energy flying through the streets at dawn, wailing low, calling the dead to life!

And you saved me, Shanghai. You saved me.

posted by ferret at 12:43 pm  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Translation: Happy 90th Birthday, 共产党!

On July 1st, myself and millions of China Mobile subscribers received a service text message from China Mobile with the following message:

小时候,爷爷对我说:《没有共产党就没有新中国》;长大后,爸爸告诉我共产党带领我们《走进时代》;新世纪,共产党让我们过上了《好日子》,我心怀感激;在党的九十华诞,让我们共产党和祖国《明天会更好》。

When I was little, Grandpa told me: “Without the Communist Party There’d be no New China”; when I grew up, Dad told me the Communist Party is taking us “Into the Modern Age”; in the new century, the Communist Party is helping to make “A Great Day” for us, my heart is full of excitement; at the Party’s 90th anniversary, our Communist Party and our motherland will “Make Tomorrow Better”.

[Forget the Orwellian commandeering of psychic and telecommunicative space, the predictable Chinese appeal to family for validation,  the best part of this message was the classic patriotic song titles interspersed throughout. Check the links for the lyrics!]

posted by ferret at 9:26 pm  

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