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Friday, October 07, 2005

Shanghai Knights on the Noon Express

So, I'm off to Shanghai tomorrow. Have a crap load of, errr, crap, to do before I can go. First off, need to buy a suitcase. That would come in handy. My last one busted at the seams on my way back from Tokyo, on account of me cramming it full of such junk as bunny-shaped oven-safe iron egg cookers. ("See, Max, your eggs come out looking like bunny faces!!!") And cute pot holders. And soy sauce dishes, which I never use. And clothes that looked very cool in Tokyo, but not so cool once I tried wearing them in LA. Tokyo fashion sense is something else, I tell ya.

I also have to do laundry, get cash, charge the Ipod and mini-dvd player, pack and give Pig a bath. Because she smells.

I have a two hour layover in San Francisco. Thank god it's in SF, and not Las Vegas, where a two hour layover could very well render me cashless before even boarding the plane. After the layover, I have an 11 hour flight to Pudong airport. Max and I both giggled juveniley over the word "Pudong." Not sure how it's pronounced, but I'm going with "Poo-Dung."

I'm supposed to meet my mom at the Poo-Dung airport but since neither of us have been there (she's vacationing in Hong Kong at the moment and will get to Shanghai the same day I do), we have no idea where we'll really meet. So the plan is, I'm supposed to get through customs and immigration, and then just stand where passengers are greeted, until she finds me. This was always our routine at the mall when I was little. If I got lost, I was supposed to just stand wherever I was until she found me. My mother, ever paranoid, didn't even trust mall security.

So I'm due to arrive at 6:15 p.m. Sunday in Poo-Dung. If I don't see my mom by 8:00 p.m., I'm supposed to take my American cash, get it exchanged to China Yuan Renmibi, find a payphone, and figure out how to call my aunt on her cell. While I'm fairly fluent in Cantonese, my Mandarin is crap, I don't speak Shanghainese (the only Shanghainese I know is, "Grandma, how are you? I don't have any money" which my mother taught me as a joke to say to my Grandma when I was little - the last part of it was "Can you give me some money" but unfortunately, that useful phrase has slipped out my mind) and I can't read Chinese at all.

Good lord, I hope my mom finds me. Otherwise, I'm going to have to find a really generous grandma-looking type woman to take pity on me.

Edited to add: As I sit here thinking about it, I'm not sure my mom actually taught me how to say "Grandma" in Shanghainese. I think part of her joke was to teach me how to say "Old Lady" so technically, I know how to say, "Hey Old Lady, how are you? I don't have any money." Apparently it amused my mom to have her children act like rude street urchins.

4 Comments:

Anonymous jessie said...

ha! the only lithuanian phrases i was taught when i was a kid were "good day" and "give me money, please." definetely for the grand and great-grandparents' amusement.

my sis and i picked up the lithuanian swear words by sitting in on card games.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Thode said...

Poo-dung! Ha!

In Russia, I didn't know the right words to fend off perverts at first, so I would just say "Goodbye" in a really stern manner.

Have fun - I'll miss my dancing buddy!

6:42 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

hope you're having fun and be careful of the bird flu!

12:14 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

The only thing I know in Norwegian means "Many thousand thanks," which will really come in handy after, say, someone is done robbing me.

8:40 AM  

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