Last May, in downtown Santiago de Chile, I found myself laughing my head off in a brightly-lit diner. It was around midnight and a few of us, gripped by hunger, had sauntered up the street from our hostel to find something to eat. Little did we know the menu would prove more entertaining than the sauce-slathered chicken sandwiches, spilling slabs of avocados (although that does sound pretty good right about now).
Without a camera, I couldn’t surreptitiously record the pages, nor did I want to insult the staff by stifling giggles as I asked for a copy. Instead, I committed a few of the jucier bits to memory and wrote them down in my journal back in my room.
Isn’t this one of more amusing aspects of travel? Finding English words twisted into phrases that are just so funny… In that diner last May, I laughed harder than I had in months. My three Hungarian friends eyed me, alarmed, probably afraid I’d soon slip into convulsions.
In reality, I simply couldn’t make up my mind between “meat for the poor thing” and a pork dish called “he she differs / he she cooks”.
It’s a shame that the Beijing Tourism Bureau is working so hard to wipe out “Chinglish” in time for the Olympics. Not only are these abstract little phrases amusing, they also provide some poetry. Anyone up for an “attache pan of mold?” Yum.