Go Cantonese Tonight!

life050558-019
LIFE 5/5/58

This frozen dinner must have been pretty exotic in ’58, but it looks pretty ew on my end.  One wonders how well it held up to the reheating process. And trying to mix the rice with the chicken would inevitably create a mess all over the placemat.

While the word “Oriental” in the ad is now out of favor, “Cantonese” is not offensive, white people. Cantonese people speak Cantonese. And though it shares some vocabulary with Mandarin, the two vary greatly in pronunciation, grammar and lexicon. I know it’s hard to keep up with what is acceptable, but languages are ever-evolving. In fact, “guai lo” in the Cantonese language used to be a derogatory term for any Westerner, but now it has lost its sting. So don’t feel bad if you hear it, guai lo.

Fortunately, Cantonese food actually looks pretty swell in 2016. Here’s a current image.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwyGXkl11Lw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwyGXkl11Lw

According to www.chinahighlights.comCantonese or Yue cuisine originates from Guangdong Province (SE China around Hong Kong), and it is the most widely served style of Chinese cuisine in the world. This is because most of the Chinese who immigrated and set up restaurants overseas were from Guangdong. What distinguishes Cantonese food is lightly cooked fresh vegetables and meat, and sweet sauces.

I’d try any of these numbers. So let’s stick to fresh Cantonese food, not frozen. And remember to say do jeh (thank you)!

Frankie Says Crap Your Hands

crap-your-hands

Crap Your Hands, Everybody!  Everybody, Crap Your Hands!   I think things were actually GAINED in translation.  Hopefully, a kind stranger will inform him what a difference a letter can make on his sweater that appears to have been stitched in the style of a Quaker.  But at some point, he can remove it and toss it in the Goodwill pile.  This lady is not so fortunate.

the Hanzi Smatter blog Rice_0This pic hails from the Hanzi Smatter blog, dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in western culture.  The lady who owns this arm believed the Chinese symbol to mean “chi.”  Maybe she identified with the idea of vitality and life force and energy.  Well, it’s not chi, per that blogger.  Sadly, the symbol translates to “rice.”  Rice.

But not all is lost.  I mean, rice is still consistent with the Asian theme.  Toss it in with that eerie koi (not to be confused with Iriquois), and it might make a great meal!  Maybe she could stir fry it in a mild chili sauce and fresh orange peel, like P.F. Chang’s hunan style hot fish.  Yum!  As Winnie the Pooh says, I feel a rumbly in my tumbly.  Actually, it isn’t farfetched to be associating food service with this colorful sleeve, since the enormity of it excludes her from many upper level management jobs, save quirky ice cream and sub sandwich shops.

Should we cut her (and the thousands of others who failed to research the symbol they had permanently inked onto their skin) some slack?  I mean, there ARE 50,000 characters in the Chinese language.  One cannot assume that all tattoo artists are fluent, no?  And P.S., simply branding your arm with symbols does not automatically induct you into the spiritually enlightened hall of fame.  It doesn’t give you a rich tapestry of character and dimension.  Not all Chinese people do Tai Chi and catch flies like Mr. Miyagi, philosophizing near lily pads.  It doesn’t make you deep.  In the case of rice-girl, it just makes her ignorant.

So what’s the flip-side?  When Asian people see things written in English, do they assume it’s all trivial and frivolous?  Everyone knows Americans are fun and hip because we’re constantly shouting black music.  Even our President does it.    everyones-shouting-black-music

If you’ve ever made a trip to the Engrish site, you’ve seen how desperately Asian designers are in need of skilled translators.  But really, why would you walk around, wearing something that makes no sense?  How can you make a statement when you don’t know what the statement is?

Maybe they like America’s bold stance on immigration, so they put it on a shirt.

go-back-mexico-guatemara

Guatemara??

And who could argue that Pacino reeks of cool?  Even if he commands you to say hello to the bad gay…

say-hello-to-bad-gay

And check out this question for the Creator.  Are you there, God?  It’s me Chao-Xing.

hi-god-where-is-a-pungent

My bet is he’s at the nearest head shop.  Now this next one is complex.

dwarf-braveryFirst, and foremost, lollygag, unless it’s loitering in front of a 7-11.  Second, repeat a random Wilson Phillips lyric.  Next, the typical association of a foamy kitten and dwarf bravery, because those two go together like peanut butter and jelly.  I hate to admit that dwarf bravery has NEVER shone on me.  Not once.

Americans have spent so much time thinking Asian culture has the answers, but what if they think WE’RE the deep ones?

hung-in-the-sky-blessingHung in the sky blessing.  Need drift on the waves.  Preach it, brother, preach.  That reminds me, I need to rent “Point Break” again.

Who knew Americans had the secret of life?  We had it all along!  Honey Boo Boo and Mama June can testify.

evidence-of-the-happiness

Well, it is.  And it’s way better than crapping your hands.

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