Monday, July 03, 2006

Xingbakeren shi hen qi guai.

I’m from Seattle, and I speak Italian.

So it’s a mistake to go to Starbucks and look at the menu.

My bus was late today, so I didn’t get a chance to get breakfast. During break, I ran down to Starbucks, and ordered a sausage-egg-and-cheese bagel from the glass case. I also wanted some coffee.

All I wanted was a macchiato. So I got to the front and scanned the menu for macchiato. All I saw was ‘caramel macchiato’ which sounds like an abomination.

So I said, “macchiato…”

The guy at the register was in explain mode. “A caramel macchiato is like a latte with….”

Those eight words are already problematic, but I power through. Eyes on the prize. It’s just a 15 minute break.

“Is there a regular macchiato?”

“A regular macchiato is two shots of espresso with some foam…”

“That’s what I want.”

“Single or doppio?”

“what?”

“One shot of espresso or two?”

“One… I thought you just said that a regular macchiato was two shots.”

“Do you want a double?”

“No. You know, I grew up in Seattle, and I speak Italian, so that menu is really confusing.”

“Oh.” Doesn’t care.

Non e precisamente il stesso problema che avevo a Ann Arbor, ma e molto simile, e poi e stato al proprio centro del centro storico di Seattle, a 1st e Yesler.

Io non tornero mai. MAI TORNERO, AVETE CAPITO?

So then I went back to Chinese class and asked how to say “wierd” as in “strange people.”

Xingbakeren shi hen qi guai. Starbucks people are very strange. “Qi guai” has rising, then falling tone.

2 comments:

Evil Jonny said...

This reminds me of the time I took my Icelandic friends to a local cafe. They took one look at the menu and said to the barista: "So you've got cafe latte, cafe con leche, and cafe au lait. This means the same thing in three languages. Would please explain the difference to me?"

Of course, I just wanted to hoot out loud!

.t said...

so THATS how you say starbucks in chinese!