So I finally broke my non-winning streak at poker last night and won! Whoo hoo! $60, peeps ($50, if you don't count my buy-in). Not a huge pot, but I've made up for...oh...only the last two weeks of poker game buy-ins. Damn. Should stop playing so frequently.
Called my over 90 year old grandma in Hong Kong the other day to wish her Happy New Year. Turned out to be a much more complicated ordeal than I thought it would be. First, I didn't want to use the office line cuz I didn't want to get yelled at, or stuck with a really big bill, if that's what it costs. But I couldn't call from home either, since I only have a cell phone. So I had to go get a calling card, but I couldn't find one with international rates listed so I just bought one for 100 domestic minutes, figuring that I should get at least 15 international minutes out of it and that should be good enough.
So I called up, and it turns out I get only 8 minutes, which is not a lot, but should have been enough. I called her at her nursing home, but forgot that usually the other inmates (hmm...not the right word...) the other residents, that is, usually pick up the phone, which is located in the rec room. So some old lady, who was pretty hard of hearing, picked up and I shouted in Chinese "ROOM 18, POON WAI BING!!!" Which means, obviously, "I'm looking for Poon Wai Bing in Room 18." She said, "HUH? WHO?" and I shouted "ROOM 18, POON WAI BING!" and she said "ROOM 18? YING?? I don't think there is a "Ying" around here." I heard her asking the other old ladies if there was a "Ying" in Room 18. And I shouted"NO, BING! BING! POON WAI BING! IN ROOM 18!"
Let me just remind you that I'm at the office while I'm shouting this.
And then the old lady said "YING? I don't think there' s a "Ying". Let me check" And then she dropped the phone and I heard her shuffle around asking for a "Ying." Finally she got back to me and said "No, there's no "Ying" here." And then I said, "POON WAI BING!! BING!! NOT YING!! BING!!" And then she said "TSING??? Tsing?? In room 18? I don't think there's a "Tsing" in Room 18." Then I heard her asking all the other ladies around if there was a "Tsing" in Room. 18. And then she said "Hold on, let me go look."
And then, I did something awful. I just hung up on her. Because I had already killed four minutes out of the eight that I had on my calling card, and I still didn't have my grandma on the phone. And Chinese is not like English - I couldn't tell her it was "BING, like B as in Boy!" And the only word I could think of that sounds like Bing means "Ice" in Chinese and I'm pretty sure my grandma's name isn't "Ice" and anyway it would just confuse the old lady some more because then she'd think I was calling to order ice or something.
So I called my dad up instead, told him gruffily to call grandma and get her on the damn phone and have her wait there, and then to call me back once he knew she was by the phone. So finally I did get to talk to my grandma, and wished her "GONG HAI FAHT CHOI!" and had a nice loud four minute chat with her.
I'm sure my co-workers think I'm insane.
So then I called my other grandma, who lives in San Francisco to wish her "Gong Hai Faht Choi!" to which she replied "Gong Hai Faht Choi! When are you getting married? You need to hurry up and have kids."