Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Time That We Almost (But Not Really) Ate Dog for Dinner

And now for the grand reveal! First close your eyes. Imagine how the blog used to look...can't remember because it was so boring? Here's a reminder:

Okay, now open your eyes. TA DA!!! Welcome to luluKanagroo's new look! Isn't it AWESOME!!!!! I just want to keep staring at it because it is SO pretty! Amanda over at The Cutest Blog on the Block created this beautiful design for me and totally got the look I was going for, without much to go by from me I might add. She's an artist and great to work with, I highly recommend her and The Cutest Blog on the Block! Check out their website for great design and blogging tips. Not only that but she connected me with Lauren at HeyHey Designs who created the darling illustration of my family. Don't you just LOVE IT! She even got my beloved PaxBaby Exclusive Natibaby Valentina wrap conversion ring sling (converted by Sleeping Baby Productions) in there!!!! Swoon!

I think I can stop looking at it long enough to write this post. Because I know YOU want to keep staring at the blog, am I right?!

The other day my ayi brought me some suspicious looking meat, wrapped loosely in plastic wrap, and placed it in my freezer.

"Kacie! I. Cook. This!" She told me as she held up her conquest.

Then she confirmed my worst fears.

"You. Like. Dog?"

"Dog?" I was alarmed. I thought the day would come when I was forced, by cultural niceties, to eat a non-chicken-but-tastes-like-chicken type meat, but I had hoped it wouldn't be this soon. And in my own kitchen.

"No! Dog!" She said.

"Dog?... DOG?...doGGG?" I said, louder this time.

"NO!" Now she was alarmed. "Huai...huai...huai" she barked, flapping her arms like wings, and then for added emphasis, forming her hand into the shape of a beak and "Huai...huai...huai-"ing again.

"OH! You mean duck! DuCKKKKK!! Not doGGGG!" I was pretty relieved that I wouldn't be dining on Fido this day. "No thanks, I don't like duck," I told her.

She cooked it anyway and we both had a good laugh.

Evidently ducks don't say "quack quack" in Chinese, they say "haui haui". In case you're every offered dog in China, you may want to try "haui haui-"ing just to clarify.

One recent day I entered my building and was greeted by the door lady asking me to fill out a form, which of course was completely written in Chinese.

Attempting to explain via Chinese and charades, she showed me a locked drop box and a checkmark box on the form. Since it seemed like it was an evaluation form of her performance I signed my name on the dotted line and confidently marked a big "X" in the box which she told me to mark.

As I wrote "X" a collective gasp went up from the door lady and the people gathered in the lobby. A bunch of frantic Chinese was said. More frantic charades were performed.

"You-good!" I told her in 2 of my 10 words of Chinese.

"Yes." She nodded and urgently pointed to the check mark box.

"You-very good!" I told her as I circled the "X" I had marked.

More horrified gasps! More frantic charades!

As she kept making a sign for a check mark in the air and pointing to the paper, I added a big check mark next to the X.

There was a collective sigh of disappointed relief.

I went upstairs and told my ayi what had happened, and through a mixture of broken Chinese, English, and charades I realized that in China, an X indicates something negative, and a checkmark indicates something positive. If you need to give a review to someone, by all means do NOT use an X! Use a checkmark! Especially if they're telling you what kind of review to give! Unless you don't want to give a positive review of course.

Side note: Yes I realize that a checkmark can be used to indicate something positive and an X can be used indicate something negative in America too, but usually when filling out a form with boxes to check, you are free to use either a checkmark or an X.

Do you have a funny cultural miscommunication to share? What is something that surprised you about communication overseas?



  1. I don't have funny stories but I DO think your new look is awesome! I love the little cartoon of your family. So fun!!


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