Tuesday, December 20, 2011

some classic Chinglish

I was recently reminded of letter that came into my posession from a trip to Nanjing much earlier this year. A simple, small page full of hand-written reflections from a total stranger which came together to provide my friends and I with pure hilarity.

The short background story is that there were five of us Fudan University students who went to Nanjing together on a little see-the-sights trip. We had booked into a 6-bed dormitory at the hostel, and when we first dropped our stuff in the room we thought we had it to ourselves. When we got back later we found that there was actually a person booked into that sixth bed, and we introduced ourselves. He was a shy Chinese man, in Nanjing for some kind of conference thing and his spoken English was broken, but understandable.

That evening the five of us got greatly drunk in the hostel's bar area and when we finally returned to bed we stayed up talking to each other until the wee hours of the morning. You know, that classic drunken conversation between young people who only recently came to know each other. In other words, we were rambling.

Anyways, we had kind of forgotten that this sixth guy was in the room, and woke up late the next morning with him already gone and the following letter left on the table for us:

The letter, exactly as written:

Nice to meet all of you. And may you be happy everyday.
         In fact, it's the first time I have been with So many I perhaps not so... I foreigners. So I don't know how to express myself. I suddenly find it that my English is rather poor.
         David. You talked to much last night. Perhaps you love a girl, but she can't see you. However, whether she loves you is her business, not your business. Personally, I think it's a wonderful thing to love someone.
         Helen. You are just playing a role, aren't you? However, please don't lose yourself! If the world is a big stage, I am so grateful that we were once in the same stage.
         What's more. Staying up late isn't good for your health! You can call me "kid"! Because my birthday is the children's day!

You ask me whether it is worth loving you, but you know loving someone is no to ask worth or not!

I trust that it was a little more funny for the five of us than it will be for you, but I think it's still objectively hilarious. I mean, we were talking shit for several hours and he was just lying awake listening to these strangers who were the first foreigners he had ever really met, and then he wrote us a letter. I mean, the things he says are a little bit related to some of the things we were discussing, but it still doesn't make a lot of sense. Even to us.

People back home ask me how China is in general, and I find myself replying that it's "just crazy". When they request examples I often find myself at a loss, because everyday something happens that is just a little bit kook. This letter is the perfect example of that silly craziness that comes with spending time in China. I hope you think it's as funny as we did.

1 comment:

  1. i think that little man is gorgeous.. he has a kind heart and a beautiful soul. even through the chinlish.


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