Monday, June 29, 2009

Jessie Visits

My good friend and one-time college neighbor, Jessie, and her friend Alyssa visited last week. It was lots of fun hanging out with them, though it reminded me how much I miss the company of folks back home. I especially liked taking them to Din Tai Fung, Celestial Peking Duck Restaurant, and all the other little places where I love to eat.

On the subway with Alyssa and my langauge partner, Miona.

It's so much fun introducing friends to something you know is both awesome and unobtainable back home.

There visit was almost exactly a month after Lily's, and I can tell my Chinese has improved a lot just in that four-week period.

On their last night we made an obligatory Modern Toilet run. Thankfully, we'd eaten dinner ahead of time, because the food was just as bad, if not worse, than I remember.

I'm completely miserable when it comes to directions, so we got off at Ximen MRT station and darted around frantically for 10 minutes searching for the restaurant.

I got a little strung out because I knew it was nearing closing time. I stopped a couple times to ask people to point me in the right direction. (In Chinese: "Can you please tell me where this address is?")

Finally I ran up to a short old man with betel-nut teeth standing outside a storefront.

The following took place in Chinese:

Me: PLEASE! Do you know where this address is?

Him: Is it a store?

Me: No it's a restaurant. It's the toilet restaurant.

Him: Toilet?

Me: Yes.

Him: Oh yes, the alley in front of us. Turn right. You'll see the big toilet outside, and you'll know you're there.


We were there in under a minute. Only when we were taking our seats did I have time to wonder what this old man must have thought of a big, frantic, white girl desperately searching for the toilet restaurant.

Bah. He probably gets it all the time.

Jessie and Alyssa at Modern Toilet. They're blogging about their trip through Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand, here.

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