Let's see, a while back, I actually blogged about my encounter with a Hong Kong celebrity to which I ended up not knowing what he wrote on my autograph book (cos he scribbled in Chinese, and yes, even though I'm a Chinese, I don't know how to read Chinese thank you very much)
So, yes... for this week's Writer's Workshop, I'm going to tell you another incident where I had to suffer communicating in Chinese again... This time, we go back to about 10 years ago when I was working part-time as a salesgirl at this souvenir shop in a hotel. Heck, come to think of it, this happened about the same time I met the HK celeb...
So anyway, one fine day, this China man walks in (for a while there I thought I sounded like I'm telling a joke.. ;p). so he walked in, looked around and went up to the counter where I was monitoring at, and he asked in Mandarin - "something something something something" (in actual words it would've sound like "shi sho shi sho shi sho ching chong ching chong") Oh whatever...
Actually, I can understand Mandarin. Heck, I can even speak some basic words in it but I have to translate it in my mind from English to Mandarin first before I can utter it out. So, this China man apparently wanted to know where he can photocopies some documents he had and yes, I can totally understand what he's trying to say but my mouth just wouldn't say anything out (cos my brain is still processing!)
In the end, I panicked (cos it seems like I'm taking forever to reply the man) and I said to him in Mandarin "Wo bu jer tau" (which means "I don't know" - you pronounce it as war-poo-jer-tao)
Heh! Clever trick eh?
You can try this if you ever landed yourself in this type of sticky situations :P So the man just shrugged and left the shop.
After a while, I managed to translate out my reply but its too late you see, the China man already left. So then it was my lunch time, I locked up the shop and went to this shopping mall about 5 minutes from the hotel and I had a lunch date with my best friend's sister that day.
She worked in a bookstore in the mall so while waiting for her to punch her timesheet card, I browsed around the bookstore and then, I heard someone asking me "shi sho shi sho shi sho ching chong ching chong"...
Oh crap.... I turned sideways and realized it's the China man AGAIN! Sh*t!!
And guessed what?
I panicked AGAIN! All the translated reply I got in the shop earlier just gone!
So AGAIN, I went "Wo bu jer tau"... :P
The man of course frustrated with my reply again spewed out a bunch of Mandarin words which I definitely understand but couldn't reply in time (brain processing REMEMBER?!!!)
I know he said (translated directly from his Mandarin) "You everything also don't know! What do you know? Every time I ask you said the same thing!" and then he walked off huffing and puffing like a gorilla.