Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Me No Speak 'Orange'


I had a funny experience on my way to Dubai from Guangzhou (China) last Wednesday. The China Southern flight attendant(s) kept on approaching me in Mandarin (Chinese language).  

I was sitting on a window seat (2-seater) and the seat beside me was empty (loved it!). So anyway, here's how the funny thing started.

Chinese FA asked me something in Mandarin
Me: I'm sorry?
Her again in Mandarin
Me: (I don't know what-the-heck she was asking but I was seeing tea/coffee pot, orange juice, water, coke and wine on their cart) Tea and water please, thank you. *smiles*

When they were going their rounds for the 2nd time, I overheard them asking the Egyptian guys, who were sitting in front of me, something like "what would you like to have for dinner, beef or chicken. But when it was my turn they -automatically- switched their language to Mandarin..
Me: Sorry?
Her in Mandarin: blah-blah-blah blah 
Me: Chicken pls. (and she gave me a tray with chicken, lol)
Her to Filipino girls behind me: Beef or chicken?
(See, you see!!!)

Then again for the 3rd time..
Her: Blah-blah-blah cha?
Me thinks she's asking if I want more tea, lol so I said "Yes, more tea pls." LOL

After 5-6 hours, they brought some food again and same thing happened for the 4th, 5th and 6th time. I was on the verge of telling them "Solly, me no speak Orange*!" so they would understand why I kept on replying "sorry?" but then I decided why bother as long as she/they're giving me the right thing, no issue then :)

I arrived at Dubai airport, with a bunch of Chinese tourists, past midnight, was already Thursday. When I was at the waiting area I couldn't find my sister and bil (short for brother-in-law) so I was looking for a payphone because whenever I inserted my Etisalat simcard it says "please insert sim", and my PH roaming number is not activated, another WTH! So anyway, I couldn't see any payphone nearby. Suddenly sis and bill appeared in front of me, don't know which direction they came from, lol. Bil was telling me that sister was looking for someone else, although he already told her that it was me. Sis was saying, "No no, that's NOT her, that's a Chinese girl !!" Sis was like "OMG I didn't recognize you, with all this Chinese around you, you look like them, same hairstyle (medium curly layered haircut with side swept bangs), same skin color (yellow), and you're wearing eyeglasses like them (but I don't have those slit eyes and protruding teeth**)."
! ! ! ! !

My sister made me no longer wonder why those FAs kept on asking me in Mandarin...
(Old photo [Nov.2009]:  Am I one of them?!?)

* I got this funny term from Family Guy.. when Jillian, a dumb-blonde, was talking about her fiance knowing how to speak "Orange" when in fact he spoke Mandarin. Here's how it went..
Brian: Wow Derek, that's pretty good French you speak there.
Jillian: He also speaks Orange.
Derek: Mandarin, honey.
Jillian: Mandolin.
(Hilarious! LOL)
** Not being racist here, I'm just trying to give you the picture of a 'typical' Chinese.