Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Posts Tagged ‘beijing life’

Mama ga Bee- Chinese Taxi Ebonics

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 16, 2009


Yeah, what she said sounded like “mama ga bee” I don’t really know how to spell it in pinyin but know what it means. What had happened was that I was taking an illegal taxi to work and the lady was the driver (these are the little moto taxis that are illegal, but as plentiful as bikers here).

The lady was basically shouting expletives as we set off on my 1.2 mile drive to the subway, in English it would be something like this.

“Ni hao”- me hello

“Ni hao” – her ditto

then she erupts into what would be translated as. “Ahhh thif F***ng traffic, look at the d**N cars. What the f**K is wrong with this place. D** S**T, H*ll, Sh**ty H*ll D**MN, F**K, P*ss. ”  Something like that. She wasnt being rude, it was just her taxi ebonics, her vernacular as it were, her way to greet the day.She doesnt really get angry when she speaks, just commenting, nothing more, kind of like a dock yard poetess I think.

I have used her before and language aside, find her actually to be quite charming. She is about 4’11’, orange faced, has a lump of hair that looks like several cats  fought for its possession then gave up on the idea, teeth, several, but not many, and two big squinty eyeballs which she casts on you with utter candor.

In reality her taxi skills are pretty good, I think the women tend to be a little more careful, but this one rips along. I’ll use her again, after all, she is good and merely consider her not so gentle words a taste of local flavor.

Posted in Cultural oddities, Let me educate you..., Traffic | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

High Nose…

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 12, 2009


When you come here you will see that many may admire your ‘high nose’. What they mean is really the bridge of your nose. To the average Chinese, this bridge is a good thing, looks strong, and the stronger the better.

They call the bridge charming, and think it accentuates our eyes.  The funny thing is that here they seem not to be able to distinguish a large abnormal nose a la Alan Greenspan, versus say a Brad Pitt. Dont get me wrong, I think they would without exception vote for the latter in a beauty contest, but I have seen many foreigners whose nose I would love to have filled with nickles, seen as a ‘handsome foreign friend’ here.

China  the land of reinvention….

Posted in Counterfeits and such, Cultural oddities | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »