Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Free as a what?

A while back, when I was regaling you with tales of Nora's new underwear, I made the observation that, in Taiwan, any printed surface should be approached with caution. This is not quite true. Foreigners love to read the English on clothing, bags, scooters, panel trucks – we share our "best Chinglish" stories and laugh at how mangled English can be and still convey some meaning (maybe not the intended meaning, but still). I have never detected a sense of superiority in these stories – most of us have very limited Chinese skills, and we appreciate any effort to put things in our language – but we can't help but read anything romanized, and the results are strangely rewarding. There is no caution, only delight.

Some of us (well, at least one of us, ahem) actually buy things simply for their English content. I have a collection of canned drinks – several coffees ("let's be black," "let's be bitter," and the one everybody's searching for, "God"), a Snoopy chocolate milk and a matching milk tea (both with histories of their respective drinks), and a very Parisian-looking coffee with a poem by the great beverage connoisseur and caffeinated thinker Gertrude Stein. My favorite, however, has to be a tinned white fungus drink, which, quite appropriately, goes by the brand name "KKK."

All of this comes to mind because I've finally used up the last of a not-very-good shampoo that I bought last fall. We needed something other than baby shampoo in the guest bath since we had company coming, but Pantene or Dove or Prell wouldn't do. Oh, no. It had to be:

Sakura Moisturizing Shampoo

In such a crowed & nervous city,
I refuse to be the same,
In my own way,with my own style,
I want to be myself,
as free as a fish, walking along the
free my own pace,
as I wish..

I am as free as a fish, walking along this city. If only the shampoo were better – I'd buy it every time. Now that I've run out, though, I'll just have to find something else to amuse the guests.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Aunt Kate!

Of course, that was 2 days ago for you...but still. It makes the birthday last longer. :)
I just put this massive party together yesterday and today for our leader's birthday. It was this awesome huge surprise...then some other kid from another class blew it by asking if he could come in front of her. Not even in our class. :P
It was a blast though. I loved planning it and the place looked gorgeous! Great spot for a party too! I'll put some pictures up this week? Or -end. I need to update Picasa...badly.
Regardless, I hope you had a lovely day out & about. :) I love you and miss you! Hope you're all doing well. :)