Toilet Paper vs. Prostitutes - 132 kilometers QiKeTai -- Sun, Aug 14, 2005 Chinese is a pretty easy language to become 2-year old fluent in -- that means being able to say 100 words so that people pretty much understand you (with a few hand gestures if necessary). But after that it becomes tricky.
See it's a tonal language meaning you can say "ma" four different ways and it means four different things. This can create some interesting situations...
So we had just arrived at our "hotel" for the evening. I needed to head to the backyard to do my personal business (remember toilets are not necessarily included in the room fee...), but I didn't have any toilet paper. Confident in my 2-year old vocabulary I waded over to the grouchy inn keeper and asked "Yo Mai Yo Xiao Jie" -- what I thought ment "Have don't have TOILET PAPER".
But I got an unusual response -- the lady looked up at me and sparked (in chinese of course) "You just got here and you want Xiao Jie. There are many Xiao Jie downstairs. Wash up first."
I looked at her with a glazed look, wondering why she seemed so angry that I wanted toilet paper. I persisted -- maybe they just didn't have toilet paper -- "Wo Ca-ee Mie Xiao Jie Zai Nar" (Where can I buy "TOILET PAPER")
At this point Fang Weng Guang runs out and says, "Brad, you just asked where you could buy a prostitute." He hung out his head and explained the situation to the inn keeper -- she didn't seem convinced and still thought I wanted a prostitute.
And that's pretty much how we found out that a prostitute in QiKeTai costs 30RMB for one home-run and 120RMB for the whole night. Just make sure you don't get your "Shou Zhi" confused with your "Xiao Jie" next time you are in China.