November 18, 2009

What a Mess Tones Make!

We've had fun staking out the places around the neighborhood to buy stuff for meals and tried some take-out. We normally go out to a nearby restaurant to order some food and meet our weekly quota for Chinese food and rice. One place is called "The Shack" because that's almost what it looks like but they have a ton of different dishes for us to choose. However some are quite different from the normal foods in Harbin.

Last week, we went into The Shack to order some food. The guy taking the order laughed at my order of "dou ya fen" (bean sprouts with stir-fried rice noodles). He said "That's dongbei (northeast) food!" I said "Yeah..I live in Harbin!" So I guess that one wasn't on the menu, but they went out and bought bean sprouts and cooked it up for me anyway!

Now this week we returned to The Shack. This time we were wanting some suantai rousi (garlic shoots with pork) but instead received suancai rousi (pickled cabbage with pork). Being careless with the pronunciation and tones got us into trouble. Pickled cabbage is suancai [swan-tsigh] pronounced with the falling fourth tone while garlic shoots are suantai [swan-tie] pronounced with the rising second tone.

What a mess! Pickled veggies are too much for me so we ended up with 4 dishes of food on the table for 2 people to eat. Way too much food. Good thing Kanyon didn't mind the pickled cabbage flavored pork. He gobbled it down!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Remember the CG's in all comments. Thanks for checking in on the work in China!