A Conversation with the Maids

OK – so first you need to understand the system here.  Early each morning we get up, make coffee and go straight to the computers to catch any issues before the folks in USA go home.  Sometimes this take a few hours to get everything taken care of.  So sometimes, we are still in pajamas if the maids come early.

That is what happened today.

Nikki and I were working in the study when the maids came to the door and started talking to us.  We were having a slight problem understanding them as they were speaking Chinese.  So we started trying charades to figure out what they wanted.  The maids were pointing at Nikki’s bathroom door.  Then they started pointing at the front of their pants.  Then they started pointing at their bottoms.  Then they started pantomiming pulling their pants down.  All the while chattering in Chinese.

During this time Nikki was checking the back of her pants to see if anything was out of order.

Suddenly it hit me.  By utilizing my command of the Chinese language and extensive experience in Chinese charades – I got it.  I said:

“Nikki – I think they want you to pull down your pants and show them your bum.”

I so wish I had a picture of her face at that moment.  She looked at me with the whites of her eyes showing in absolute horror and said “What?”.

At this I started cracking up (seriously LMFAO), tears rolling down my face.  The maids just looked confused.  So at that point, the shorter maid literally grabbed her pants and pulled them down.

At that Nikki and I just fell apart – laughing so hard we coulod barely breathe.

Come to find out the maid was wearing heavy tights under her pants and was hot and wanted to use our bathroom to take them off.  So of course I said “ha” (sure).

And that is just the start of the day.  After the maids left we went to our showers.  Unfortunately, the water never got hot.  Never.  Not even a little bit.  So a cold water wash down and asked Wallace to call the apartment managers to fix the hot water.

At this point Nikki was in a bit of a mood.  We went to get some lunc and she tried the ATM which refused to spit out any money.  Then there was a crazy man standing in the bushes by the sidewalk jumping in place, shaking his hands and talking crazy (I assume what he was saying was crazy as there was nothing normal about his actions).  Then at lunch there was a strange girl sitting at the table next to us with two small dogs dressed in sweaters and bow ties (I swear).  She was eating her food and also putting food in her mouth and then spitting it out and feeding it to the dogs who were in her lap.  At one point Nikki looked at me and said “I think I am over China”.  The day ended up with us retiring, sans showers with nary a drop of hot water to be found.

The week did get better though – we were moved finally (after 2 days) to another apartment which turned out even nicer than the first.  With hot water.

Porn for the deaf

If I have to pick the funniest event over the past two weeks, it would have to be the subtitles on our “underground” dvd’s.  As the mother of a deaf daughter, I feel highly qualified to speak on this subject.

In my apartment there is a dvd player, which is a life saver as the satellite works only when it feels like it.  So I purchase dvd’s to keep me company.  I bought probably 15 dvd’s (about 1.25 USD each) in the underground market.

Nikki and I decided to put in We Bought a Zoo.

The dvd player was programmed to show subtitles (my old apartment dvd did not do this).  Now the language of the movie is English, and the subtitles are English.  So the only assumption we could make is that these were for the English speaking deaf community.  Reasonable right?  Unfortunately, the person who did the subtitles did not speak English.  Some of the strangest and funniest subtitles:

Movie:  We Bought a Zoo.  Spoken line:  There’s six.  Subtitle:  THAT’S SEX.

Movie: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  Spoken line:  I know, I miss him too.  Subtitle:  I AM WHEN TO WITH THAT.

Movie: One For The Money.  Spoken line:  I have a gun.  Subtitle:  I AM GONE.

So for those of you with deaf friends or family, DO NOT SHOW THEM UNDERGROUND DVDS FROM CHINA.  You will psychologically damage them for life -and perhaps even ruin the young ones so that they become serial killers when they grow up.

If anyone wants to borrow a dvd, let me know.

Luckily we did have a high five moment.  We could not take the subtitles any longer so we studied the dvd controller.  Now realize, it is completely in Chinese.  We picked a button and pushed it.  Up came a menu and Nikki said “I think it is that one”.  So I scrolled down and clicked what I believe is “OK”.  Another menu came up.  I looked and picked the character with the fewest strokes (logic dictated this as “off” has only 3 letters right?).

And off went the subtitles.  High five.

I really wish that I could relate all the funny, stupid and fabulous moments of the past couple of weeks but nobody would have enough time to read the entire blog.  Suffice it to say that Nikki survived her first trip to China, shrunk some clothes and turned one shirt a pretty new color, ate local Chinese food (noodle shop near work has YUMMY soup balls), figured out the metro and how to buy a ticket and acclimated pretty well in my opinion.

John arrives later today.  I am really considering turning the subtitles back on the dvd player….

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One Response to A Conversation with the Maids

  1. nikkihooker1 says:

    Sue forgot to mention the day of FIRST’S…. my first big Mac and her first time to speak Chinese and the taxi driver knew exactly were to take us – it was beyond awesome!!!

    Re: maids – well I didn’t know if she was going to strip me down and throw me in the shower or what was going on. Terrified does not even describe it…

    Good times in China!!! just hope John can live up ;)

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