Thursday, August 18, 2005
Chinese Tattoos and Sex: Part 1
Ok so I have a friend Ryan who is currently teaching English over in China. He gets an apartment, and some money, and the chance to eat stuff that most of us name “Fido”. For the most part, it sounds like a cool gig…travel to a far away place, do far away things…not too shabby. The only beef has been the fact that he wasn’t able to view my blog because apparently China doesn’t like me.
Recently, through some rather clever hacking and bribery (that’s a joke) the CCP has allowed my blog to be accessed through the Great Firewall of China and so now Ryan is able to read my posts. Hello Ryan…welcome to the party. Ask the gals about Group Bunny and you’ll be all caught up.
In honor of Ryan being able to view the coolest site around, I have decided to dedicate this post to my China-dwelling comrade. It doesn’t have much to do with HIM but at least it involves China, so it’s relevant.
About a month ago, Jen and I went out to lunch to get some Chinese food. We went to a place we have never been to before, because when it comes to food we try to be adventurous. Ever eaten Ethiopian food? We have. We live for danger…Maalox is our sponsor.
Anyway, after our Chinese food scarf fest we headed towards the register to pay our tab and exit the China House of Crap before the urge to regurgitate struck. As we were waiting in line to pay, I felt a finger touching my arm. Not touching, so much as…feeling my arm. It was creepy and it made me jump a bit, so I turned to see the source of the invasion of arm privacy. It was an old Chinese man, and he was smiling at me.
Not cool. Not cool!
It was then, I noticed he was pointing at my tattoo. My tattoo was designed by my friend Connie and it is Chinese for “honor”. I assumed that the old man was showing his approval of my ink job, and so I decided to chat him up and jump into polite stranger mode.
Old Man: “That is Chinese.”
Me: “Yes, it is.”
Old Man: “Yes.”
Old Man: “Do you know what that means?”
Me: “I think so.”
Old Man: “Ok”
Old Man exits. I stand there, confused but still ready to pay my tab, and so I shrug off the encounter and move to the register. The girl behind the counter is also Chinese and she smiles at me and points to my arm.
Woman: “That is Chinese.”
Me: “That’s what I’m told.”
Woman: “What does it mean?”
Me: “Um…you don’t know? Aren’t you Chinese?”
Me: “Um…it means…honor?”
Woman: “Oh. That will be $14.50, please.”
I pay the woman and I exit the restaurant while (and I am not exaggerating this number) 4 old Chinese people try gather around me to smile at me and talk about my mysterious and suddenly-famous tattoo. Around this time, panic sets in. I begin to form theories in my head, as to why these people are so curious about my art work all of the sudden. It’s not like it’s the first time I’ve been to a Chinese restaurant before…why am I so special, all of the sudden? Why did the Chinese woman not know what my tattoo read? Why did they keep pointing? Were they making fun of my tattoo? Have I been a victim of a practical joke? Am I one of those people who walks around thinking his tattoo says “Green Dragon of Death” but in reality it says “Stupid Small Penis Lizard” ?
I had to get answers...