As COS draws closer and closer (only about a month until I am no longer a PCV), I have realized the thing I will miss most about China (other than the delicious MSG-laden food) is the humor that is part of daily life. A day doesn’t pass without me laughing about something I find ridiculous or random...maybe it’s because I find Chinglish more amusing than the average bear or that when I meet those 哭笑不得 (don’t know whether to cry or laugh) situations I have learned to choose the latter.
For example, last week a student presented an idiom in class as part of what M. and I have coined “The Daily Show.” The student taught his classmates what “let the cat out of the bag” meant, but I have to admit that due to his mumbling I had him repeat what he was saying several times. Finally I gave up and had him write it on the board. “Carelessly diarrhea leaked secret.” Sans diarrhea, I believe it would be a perfectly normal definition, but with diarrhea, I become confused. I need to find this online translator that he is using and write them a complaint. I did ask him why 拉肚子 was part of his definition but I didn’t manage to get much of a response since I don’t think he knew what he was saying either. Maybe while I’m at it I need to work on my teaching skills so that my students don’t present nonsense to their impressionable classmates?
Last night, I was a judge in an English drama competition and was trying to control my laughter during several performances that involved random dancers in the background. Sometimes with an umbrella, sometimes a whirling dervish that ended in a collapse on the ground, taking down and popping a string of balloons hung on the wall. I am still trying to figure out what value the interpretive dance added in their plays.
This morning during Chinese class, I was trying to figure out the phrase 传播开来 so I had lovely 魏老师look up in her handy phone dictionary phrases that contained 开来. What she did manage to come up with was 联想开来 which means (maybe somewhat inaccurately) when you start to think of something it just makes you think about it more and more. The dictionary definition? “Shower breasts.”
Yes, this is what I will miss the most.