Hair Salon Offering Hot Catch What? I Think Highlights.

A new salon opened and we noticed the sign has been translated into English. Which is appreciated. With Chinese characters you can’t really direct translate, it doesn’t work but does bring joy when it is done! See the example below. Discretion lightness very hot catch. I think that is low lights or a subtle highlight, not too dramatic if I had to guess.  Moonlight double lubricious very hot catch. I think that means a combination of both highlights and low lights and some drama.  That is my interpretation. Any others come to mind?


Hot Catch


Midget Apartments. Built in 1931. Wait What Did That Say?

Walking around the hood, a heritage architecture sign caught our eye, it was probably because it had English on it.  Wait.. did that say? No.. we had to go back and check… midget apartments? Sure enough the sign says midget apartments. I am hoping that  means small apartments and not apartments for midgets. It is China, never know for sure.


Midget Apt

Huh? Chinglish On Our Building Door



I love Chinglish. It makes me happy, laugh, smile and is so surprising that it is still around with all the native or native like English speaking foreigners in town. They can’t hire someone to proofread? I know there are a lot of tai tais (wife who doesn’t work because 1. too rich and why work? 2. wife of an expat who has a job who is a trailing spouse ) and guy tais (husbands who wife is an expat and is the trailing spouse) looking for work.  Then again, who am I to say anything, my grammar and typos are bad. Chinglish often comes from a direct translation (see why I quit Mandarin lessons? It is too hard to my brain makes no sense and you need to say something like this in Chinese for someone to understand) and the result, a hot mess. Speaking of a mess… this beauty was on our apartment building door. Now, I give them props for realized that some foreigners are living here and made an effort to communicate. However, what does this even mean?!? I hope it is not intended for us because I have no idea what they are saying.  Wonder if I should put a similar sign regarding spitting? I think to not spit would be an effort of civility and act of civilized people. Maybe this sign is about spitting on the flowers aka the water?


My Chinese Name- It Only Took 3.5 Years

I was given a Chinese name my first week when I arrived in China, my work permit and residence paperwork required one. Folks in the office gave me a name I can’t remember it, it sounded nice and it had something to do with a flower (so I was told) I always joked my name in Chinese was “big bitch”. I never used this name for anything, no one called me by it, it wasn’t on my business cards. When my husband came over I told him this and he picked a name after his favorite theme park attraction thinking it won’t be used for anything. Well… his name on everything. It is on his business card and he wears it around on his person everyday. HAHAHAHA!

I will admit I am jealous, I want a unique Chinese name. Some Chinese picked unique English names like Cloud, Sky, Moon, River, Canal, Angus, Captain America, Elephant I want the Chinese equivalent. I wanted something like Cher or Beyonce in Chinese. I put my co-workers on it and they came with many great suggestions and many with very sweet meanings they based on knowing me and my personality. I had names in Chinese characters, how you say it in pinyin, and the meaning on stick it notes at my desk and studied them and asked the opinions of others to find my name.

Then it came to me. I selected Měiměi 美美 as my Chinese name. My Grandmother was called Meme and not to make my sisters upset but they know it, I was her favorite and my all time favorite movie is Auntie Mame (with Rosalind Russell) and I think it sounds similar. Mei Mei in Chinese I am told is also what young girls are called, it also can refer to younger sister (I am the oldest but when my sisters were visiting we asked some locals who was the older sister and who the younger and let me say they did not say I was the oldest…) So, I am young.. in my mind at least and the Chinese woman we asked… so that works. It is also can mean beautiful. It repeats itself like Double Happiness 囍 and when it does that it means double beautiful. That is right, my name is double beautiful.


My chop

My chop

At first, I was I can’t  have that name, that is a little much… being modest. Trying to be modest… because truth be told when I am leaving China? I am leaving when people stop telling me I am beautiful and pretty. It does happens often, I am stared at, my hair is touched, people stop me on the street and ask for photos with me, I am a bit of a celebrity in China and that was before I made it in the Party’s newspaper. My Dad’s nightmare, to have his daughter featured in the PRC Part newspaper. There it is Daddy-O, 1 for 2 is not bad. I have been staying out of the prisons like you asked me to.  This attention can get a little addicting I must admit. It is embarrassing, while in Myanmar it took a day in and half until someone commented on how pretty I was. I was starting to wonder what is wrong with these people? After the comment it was all good and I love Myanmar!  So I will be moving back to the US when I stop getting all this attention. There I said it.

I think in Chinese is says how fast I am or how much bigger I am than everyone else and amazed I run. I am a big deal in China!

I think in Chinese is says how fast I am or how much bigger I am than everyone else and amazed I run. I am a big deal in China!

I was told the reason why she picked that name for me was because I am double beautiful, both inside and out. Awwwww.. How can I not have that name?! I am not just a pretty face, I have inner beauty as well. I will own it! This is the same co-worker who often calls me Cinderella. 🙂 she is my favorite and can do no wrong in my eyes.

Another beloved co-worker that loves my name so much that she said when she has a daughter, it will be the same name as me. How sweet is that? I also have a friend in the US who has a Chinese dog and their dog has the same name as me… so don’t know how to take that one.

– Mei Mei

What’s for Dinner? Fat Coke and Chicken Paws

I am still not in love with the food in China. There are some things I like street dumplings and xiaolongbao, another kind of dumpling. Well I like dumplings… and not much else. It is a animal parts, mystery meal,  consistency thing for me.  Yes the dumplings are a mystery meat but I try not to think about it because they are yummy.

As time goes, I am not observant as I once was because it has become “normal” a darn shame because it is not normal (from my cultural lens), it should not be normal, somethings are down and out cray cray and should not be happening (from my cultural lens) and definitely not be missed being documented.  Here are 2 of late that made me giggle.

Chicken feet are pretty popular. I prefer the name here, chicken paws. I think we should start using crab paws and lobster paws. A little bit about chicken paws when you buy them in the store or at the train station my observation it is a popular train snack, they come with a chicken foot eating glove, like used at a deli counter for your paw as you eat them. Very very practical.

Chicken Paws

Chicken Paws

What goes well with chicken paws? Well Fat Coke of course or Diet Coke or  maybe some High Fibre soy milk. The choice is yours.

Courtesy of Taylor Hayden Photography

Courtesy of Taylor Hayden Photography

If the food and China is of any interest or you are a David Sedaris fan and haven’t read his essay on his visit to China a few years back in the guardian titled Chicken Toenails, Anyone? it is brilliant and spot on. His experience and observations get funnier to me as time goes by as they are so true. My favorite the spitting and thinking it is a coffee bar. Yup… XXOO David Sedaris.

What is sold at the Fayekerry?


What is sold at the Fayekerry?  Any guesses? Jewelry! It didn’t look like the fake stuff either.  The name of the shop cracks me up. A good name for a shop that would sell fake stuff I think.

Times are Tough- Even Machines Out of Work

Noticed this sign in the Shanghai airport. Times are tough for even coffee machines!

Out of Work

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