Thursday, December 21, 2006

A trip to Beaverton

The trouble all started when we didn't get our reserved seat in the airplane. This wouldn't have been such a big deal if we hadn't been travelling with a baby. You see, I'd called and reserved the seats with the baby basinette in the plane for us, and somehow they put us in a middle row with no basinette in sight, meaning we'd have to hold the baby for the entire flight. Anyway, the situation got resolved, but not before the head steward offered us the option of staying in Frankfurt and even told us "I don't want trouble for the next nine hours." I guess he meant from us, but it would have likely been from other passengers had we not gotten the right seats, because there would have been nine hours of screaming baby to listen to.

Anyway, we got to Detroit, and I suppose as punishment for bad behavior in Frankfurt, the airline lost one of our bags. The biggest one, full of treats for my family. After their service helpline proved entirely useless, they finally delivered the bag the evening after our arrival. The treats were smashed.

Up to our arrival in Beaverton, things were uneventful. We purchased drinks at the local shop, only to discover that they tasted okay, but were a bit flat. I had a look at the bottle: "Best if used by: Oct. 21 2006" No wonder they weren't the freshest.

Then we went to the supermarket to pick up some things for dinner. The jalapeno peppers were unusually expensive, and my travel companion said "Let's go to another store then!" I had to laugh as I reported that this was the only store in Beaverton.

And yesterday I had to get crazed with jealousy as I found a youthful salesgirl in a santa hat flirtatiously trying to sell my friendly travel companion some sweaters. Okay, so it is extremely unusual to come across a handsome, thin, blonde, leather-pants-wearing German in the Midland Mall, but come on, he was also pushing a stroller! Calm down, girls!

Finally, a funny thing happened when I purchased some trousers yesterday. At least I thought they were trousers. When I went to pay, I asked the cashier to tell me what the price was when she scanned them, because they were on a sale rack. My exact words were, "Can you tell me how much the trousers ring up when you scan them?" She stopped working, looked at me like I was from outer space, and I knew I had confused her. So I corrected myself and said, "The pants! How much are the pants?" And then she understood. So, for all you skeptics out there, Americans really don't understand British English.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Chinese food is great, German Chinese food is even greater.

A discussion in class the other day about the advantages and disadvantages of various Chinese restaurants got me fired up on this topic. At some restaurants you get a free soup during the lunch hour, at others they drown the food in garlic. At some your vegetarian dish mysteriously contains chicken, at others your friends have gotten ill. I have a favorite Chinese restaurant in the United States, it's Pi's Chinese, and it's already on my list of places to go when we leave the country for Christmas. But back to the subject of German Chinese, my favorite place here would have to be

And they aren't just my favorite because of the funny name, which in English graphically refers to a certain part of the male anatomy, but because they have really good food at decent prices. Plus, when you order chopsticks with your meal there, they serve your food with a bowl, which is authentically Chinese, according to my China-visiting sources. So they get four stars not only for good food, but also for a funny name and authenticity.

Incredibly enough, a short while ago I came across yet another Dresden Chinese restaurant with a name referring to a particular male body part in English, and I don't mean the word "Onkel" (that means "uncle").

To add to the comedy of the name of this restaurant is its location. It's not located on any old anonymous corner, it's on the corner next to the erotic pharmacy.

With this post I really don't want to poke fun at the Chinese, or any other Asians, and their names. Admittedly some of our terms in American English can be a bit ridiculous and simple-minded, but sometimes even simple-minded things can brighten your day.

I hope they do! It would serve us right.