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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Learning To Swear In Chinese

Posted by He Said

We have a fairly regular routine here.  Almost every evening (yes every evening, shut up) I send Susanne off to the 7-Eleven across the street to pick up some of our favorite (ok, cheap) beer. 

You see without a 5 liter box of wine in the fridge, or a car to drive home the suitcase of PBR or even the room in the fridge to KEEP a suitcase of beer we have to purchase our evening adult beverage on regular basis.

Today it was my turn.  As we headed home after a long day of shopping and electronics browsing (oh, that is another blog in itself) I offered to head over to 7-Eleven to pick up some beer.  Susanne pulled the shopping bag out of the backpack, you see they charge you for plastic bags here, and I headed over as she headed home with the kids.

Once in the store I knew right where the beers were, because I can see Susanne selecting the beer in the store from our apartment window on the 10th floor.  I promptly grabbed four large bottles.  Let me tell you, these bottles are HEAVY (thick glass and NOT 12 ounces). I knew right away I was doing a bit of a balancing act trying to hold four large bottles of beer against my chest. 

Then what do I do? I start looking at wine. Like I needed ANOTHER bottle to carry.  Any normal human being would have put the bottles in the bag or looked for a shopping basket.  But I am a AMERICAN MALE in China for crying out loud.  I don’t need any help. I can do this and I was doing fine until I spotted the bottle of Jack and Coke for under 3 bucks.  Way cheaper for the cost/buzz ratio than the wine which we find very expensive at 7-Eleven.

This is when I made my fatal mistake.  I reached out to pick up a bottle of the dark beverage of the gods (bottled in Australia of all places ).

I had just reached for one to many items when a bottle of the beer slips from my grasp.

It was as though time slowed.  I could feel the bottle sliding down my body and I know there was no way to catch it without throwing all 4 other bottles I was now holding, the three remaining bottles of beer and a bottle of jack and coke, into the air and trying to juggle them.  I can assure you.  I cannot juggle. I felt the cold bottle slide down my inner thigh and I tried to catch the bottle with my foot. I am thinking if my foot can take the impact the bottle will roll away.

I missed.

The last thought that raced through my mind was “Those glass bottles are thick, that baby is going to bounce, please bounce.”  Guess what dear reader, it didn’t.  It shattered like the dream of a virgin’s perfectly planned first sexual experience.  It shattered and sprayed cheap foamy beer and glass down three different aisles. 

_IGP6691Thank the FSM that THIS made it home.

And as it shattered I heard myself say “oooohhh Sheaaaahhhh.” 

Out of my mouth slides “Oh Sheaaaahhhh!” What? What did I just say?

That’s right.  I censored myself in China. Oh, the irony. I apologized over and over again in English knowing full well they could not understand a word I was saying.

The checker knew perfectly well how to charge me for the broken bottle of beer.  When I got back to the apartment the first thing I looked up was how to say “oh shit” in Chinese.

I may go back and break another bottle just so I can shout out as loud as I can “oh gŏu-shĭ!” (哦狗屎).  It will be worth the 50 cents it will cost me.

I will learn how to say “sorry” later. I think I will use the swear words more often, or maybe I should just send Susanne to 7-Eleven instead.

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