(This blog is dedicated to all the Chinese who once lived abroad or still live abroad. No matter what reason brings us to a foreign country, we can never forget those entirely humble, embarrassing, funny situations we have ever been through.)
1 When I was taking my part time job, a very tall and muscular guy wanted to ask me out. The point is that I am not very into this kind of guy and I don’t know how to refuse to him without letting him feel embarrassment. Then I said “I am only sixteen.” (He was mad!)
2 Once my boyfriend was taking sky train in Vancouver, a small incident happened and he was run into by a white lady. She apologized immediately, saying “I am sorry.” My boyfriend replied “you are welcome!” without even thinking. She was astonished.
3 When I was attending language courses in Australia, once our language teacher asked us to practice and make some sentences. The main meaning is that if there is no car, we won’t go. One of my classmates answered right away “NO CAR NO GO!”
4 Once I was playing paintball and it was my first time to play this game. The whole time I was running after one of our teammates. He seemed really professional. When we managed to arrive at our enemy’s base, only two of us survived. There was only one guy left at the other side. The success was close! So my teammate said to me about the strategy, using lots of terminologies. I was totally lost. So he figured it out from my confused face, then saying “it is easy just cover me when I go out.” Then he yelled at me “Cover me!” and ran away. Before I fully understand what exactly did he mean about “covering me”, he had run away. So I grasped a piece of cloth nearby and covered his head. Back that time, most of people were “dead” and they were watching the game. Everybody was laughing to death.
5 When I just arrived in the States, I could not find my way home. Then I asked a young girl for help. After she explained what and how, I meant to say “Thank you”, instead, I said “Fuck you!”…Since that, I never ever say thank you once again in my life.
6 I forgot what was the real cause of quarrel, I was so furious, and I wanted to say “Fuck you!”, but instead I said “Fuck me!” He was shocked, after a few seconds, he replied: “U wanna say fuck me ?? OR fuck you??”…
7 A very good friend of mine just arrived in Canada. One day she went to a kiosk to buy Coke. She said “EXCUSE ME, DO YOU HAVE COKE?” My friend had a very strong Chinese accent. The COKE was pronounced so much like COCK. The owner was completely shocked. Imagine a Chinese girl just walked into your shop and asked you such question “EXCUSE ME, DO YOU HAVE COCK” Eventually he managed to understand what she really asked was just coke. He was nice enough to tell her be aware of using that word. She was so embarrassed that for a pretty long time she didn’t drink coke.
8 The first few weeks when I just arrived in Canada, I saw at the entrance of most shopping malls, there is a sign saying “Smoke Free”. I couldn’t hold my cultural shock, praising “Canada is so great! Smoking is for free! …”
9 A guy who just arrived in New York and he wanted to visit Statue of Liberty, but he could not find the way. Then he asked a guy “Hi, do you know where the free woman is?” That guy was astonished, and after few seconds, he replied, “I… don’t know…Tell me when you know it.”
10 Not too long after I settled down in Canada, one day I went to a club with a girl. She had been in Canada for a while. She seemed so cool. And I wanted to play cool too. So I wanted to buy her a drink. “What do you want to drink? It is on me.” She replied, “Sex On the beach…” The background music was so loud and I didn’t have any clue about any name of the drink during that time. The sexy bartender was waiting for my order; I yelled “Can I have a Son Of Bitch…” Then… I don’t want to think about it what happened afterwards!
11 A friend of mine once complained Rogers of arbitrary charges. He called the service line. The more he complained, the angrier he became. Then he said “I am very HUNGRY now! “ He meant to say “I am very angry now!” I can’t imagine what the other side from the line would think… My friend cut off the line immediately.
12 A guy just began to learn English. Once he was on his way home after language courses, he ran into a car accident. Then he called 911. “Hi, my name is XXX; a car fucked a car; I see red water, please call Wuliwuli come” (So to explain, “a car fucked a car” means “car crash”; “red water” means “blood”; “wuliwuli” means “ambulance”, for it sounds like that…) He meant to say “There’s a car crash here, someone injured and please call ambulance to come over.” The most amazing thing is that they actually understood what he meant. The policeman and the ambulance came right away.
13 When I just arrived in England, I often said “You too”. On my birthday, my home stay mom made me a birthday cake and said “Happy Birthday!” I didn’t even think about it and replied “You too…”