5 cokes and a long bread, sure!

Posted by on March 4, 2011

I panicked today on what to say to the people at April Gourmet(the little,expensive grocery store in our complex). I’ve had an upset stomach the past couple of days. Did a little bit of tu today, if you want to look that up. Because I was feeling nauseaus and also because almost every place delivers I decided to call April gourmet and ask if they could deliver some bread,a couple cokes and a couple sprites. I thought that sounded good and that maybe I could make some toast and that the carbonation would taste good(plus I love coke, not gonna lie). Because I am the lame American and can’t really speak Chinese, I asked in Mandarin “nǐ huì shuō yīngwén ma?” which means “can you speak English”? The man said “bu hui”, which pretty much means “I cannot”. Then there was silence. I then said in Mandarin “Wo bu hui zhong wen”, which I’m sure you can guess means “I cannot speak Mandarin”. Then he asked what I wanted. I said 2 cokes and some bread. He was stumped(what was I thinking,that was a really stupid order)? In the best Mandarin I could come up with I told him I wanted two cokes and did he know what bread is? He said that I couldn’t order two cokes. I panicked, how many did I have to order? Why couldn’t I think of something else to order? Finally I blurted out “ok, wo yao wu cola”, which is “I want 5 coke”. Then I asked if I could have bread and he said ” long bread” I said sure, yes. My order came in about 10 minutes. I’m sure they thought I was totally odd with my 5 cokes and a long bread, which was a nice fresh(as fresh as it can be) french baguette. There is no tipping in China, from what we’ve heard it can even be seen as offending the person, because of that I didn’t have to tip and it came to about 3$. I really need to learn some basic ordering and conversation skills and soon. I don’t want the people that live or work near me thinking I’m some strange American.

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