Continuing to Ting Bu Dong


“Zai na li ah?”  (Where are you) I woke up to Zhang Xi calling me.

“Wo de jia..” (my home)

“Zai na li ah?” (where are you?)

“Zai yi zhong…” (yi zhong, my school)

“Ni zai shui jiao, ah?” (are you sleeping?)

“Hahaha.  Dui.  Shui jiao..” (hahaha–sure you needed that translated.  Correct.  Sleeping)

That’s all I understood of our conversation.  Zhang Xi is my newest friend.  He and his friends speak the most minimal amount of Chinese and our friendships centered mainly around drinking.  But somehow, we communicate pretty well in person, and they are actually some of the most enjoyable Chinese people to be around.  For one thing, Zhang Xi has a tiny puppy named Fan Fan and he said I could have him.  Unfortunately, I am moving from here…

Okay, anyway, our conversation continued for a little while on the phone with me half-asleep and unable to comprehend anything he said…besides the fact that he was expecting me to do something.

Things like this have been happening since day 1 in Cili, and it never ceases to amaze me.  Phone calls from Chinese people are nearly impossible to comprehend to begin with, but when i am just waking up…forget about it.  I usually just agree to something and end up stumbling outside and being taken somewhere that can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour away from here.  They usually want to eat…and drink.

One thing that I have been doing a lot recently is playing basketball at the people’s square.  I usually don’t even try to talk to people, but I know them all now..and they all know me.  They always make jokes about me.  No clue what they are saying…but I’m sure it’s actually not even funny.

So the other day, I showed up and Xiang (I think that’s his name) was there.  We are often the first people there.  And then Xu (a government dude) drove up in his camouflage van.  He waved to Xiang to come over and talk to him.  Next thing I know, I am being grabbed and thrown into the military vehicle.

I am with these two dudes and another dude we often play basketball with.  They all look at me and start yapping in Chinese.  I tell them I have no freaking clue what they are saying.  But, apparently, we are going to somewhere to play basketball.  Or that’s what I assume.  And well, that would be correct.  But, it was at the fire station.

I watched as a whistle was blown and firefighters came running downstairs to line up military style.  One of the dudes was wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform.  (Chinese men where basketball uniforms as daily dress)  A scoreboard was then set up.  And two referees came.  We were to play in a game.

By the time I was subbed into the game, we were down 17-2.  We lost  by about 45.  It was terrible.

Then at night, 2 groups of Chinese teachers from my school were wasted at my street restaurant, and conversation turned to my penis being “stronger” than theirs and they wanted me to show them.

….I will never fully understand China.  And that’s one of the main reasons I love it.  Clearly, I didn’t show them my penis.  I made a joke about showing it to their wives, but they all just got confused and bothered by that comment.  So, anyways….Ting bu dong…I don’t understand what you are sayingggg is something I will say even if I completely understand every word being said….you know, because…it is China.

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