Today, five of us “foreign” UKEC employees were united in Chengdu. This is apparently the largest number yet (previously top was four), so the GM took us all out for dinner to celebrate. I’d had my last penicillin IV that morning, and now am just on pills. I was also feeling a lot better.
We went out to a Chinese restaurant, a plan that had been adapted from hot pot following my bout of tonsil trouble. We were three Chinese women, two British men, a British girl, an Anglo-French guy, an American girl, and one terribly entertaining Chinese guy. He’s called Michael, and he had us all in stitches by the end of the meal.
First of all, he loves playing with words, and shared several tips he uses to help Chinese people learn English. They’re memory tricks based on homonyms, such as: What’s the fastest animal on land? “Cheetah.” How can a man be as fast as one? Ride it! Which is “骑它”“qi ta” in Chinese. “I hate you” sounds like “love black ball” (爱黑球 ai heiqiu), and “lady” sounds like “tear drop” (泪滴 leidi). They were pretty good. Then one of my British colleagues confessed his love of cheese puns, and instantly I was in my zone. My training with MUSC wasn’t for nothing! I had an arsenal of cheese puns, including one that was invented by MUSC’s president 2012-2014 that I bequeathed upon my colleague, the perfect ending pun for your stream of cheese jokes. (Courtesy of Bill Smith, who if he wants me to remove it I will, the joke is: what have you got when you’ve run out of cheese jokes? Emmental block!)
Michael also had us laughing ourselves silly with his strange tales of his adventures in Scotland. He got lost hiking in the hills, and also started following a stranger going on a “spirit journey,” which he lead by rolling some dice. He also played hide and seek in a graveyard and broke into Alistair Crowley’s house (the Black Witch). Our faces and bellies ached from his humourous recounting.
Now that there’s more of us, we have a social group, and plan to get out more. Tomorrow we’re heading for 宽窄巷子 Kuan Zhai Xiangzi (Kuan Zhai Alleys) for a taste of Chengdu nightlife!