Dim Sum Diaries
Today is Hubby's and my 11th wedding anniversary (on 11/11 no less). We've been through so much together, the good and the bad. I just want to say I love you, honey. Not only is marriage truly a commitment, but so is getting what you want sometimes...so I wanted to share this story...

I've linked this video SO MANY TIMES. I decided to take the plunge and get the CD. They don't sell it on amazon.com, so I would have to go to try and buy it at a Chinese music store whilst visiting my parents' house in Los Angeles. Being the well-informed, NPR listening, internet savvy (yet curiously not knowing how to speak Chinese that well) person that I am, I immediately went to Wikipedia and made sure I wrote down the correct spelling of his name and his albums. Surely it couldn't be too hard to find a cd, right? OMFG...little would I know........

So, off to LA I go.

"Mom and Dad!" I chirped brightly as I entered the house. "I simply have to get this CD and you, with your mad Chinese language skills must help me!! Do you know of a Chinese music store we can go to?"

Dad gestured vaguely. "In Monterey Park somewhere."

Well it was a start. So we all went to Korean BBQ for dinner, where Dad said there were a couple of music stores nearby. I was very excited, practically running into the first music store I saw (through the back entrance). I waved Dad over to translate just in case (remember Cantonese = italics, Mandarin = bold).

"Do you have any CDs by Wong Gwung Liang?"


"His CDs include "Fairytale"? "Commitment"?"

She shook her head. "Never heard of him."

"Ah well, thanks anyways." I said.

Inside I was like, oh my god, you have got to be kidding me. To me, that is the equivalent of walking into Best Buy, asking for CDs by Britney Spears and them saying..."Who???" But I was not to be deterred. There was a youngish looking guy staring intently into a computer at the front of the store. He should know, hopefully. So I walked up to him.

"Hey dude, do you have any CD's by Michael Wong? AKA Wang Gwung Liang? You know, he has this video, where he's playing the piano and his girlfriend dies from a nosebleed?"

He shook his head no. I then noticed he was checking his Yahoo mail on the computer (though it was the Chinese version). I was getting desperate now. "Hey why don't you let me go to Youtube on your computer and I can show you his video..." I made a tiny move toward the keyboard, and he reacted as if I was going to attack him or something. I sighed and decided to move on. I tried a second store with no luck either, but the kids were getting hungry so I'd wait till after dinner.

"Those salespeople spoke Mandarin," Mom said while we ate. "Maybe they haven't heard of him."

"Mom, he's singing in Mandarin. How could they not know???"

"But based on his accent, he's not a native Mandarin speaker. Also this singer is kind of young, maybe the salespeople are too old to have heard of him," she said.

"That guy at the computer was in his mid- to late-twenties, how could he not know," I grumbled.

"Well, let's go to this other place in the 99 Ranch Market complex after dinner then," Dad said.

So after enjoying a thoroughly delicious dinner, we went to the final destination. I dragged Mom along (everyone else stayed in the car) because she of all people could translate my English babbling into coherent Chinese. Walking into the store, I felt confident this would be the place who would sell younger people's music (there was a Chinese poster of the latest Superman movie on the door).

"Hello, can I help you?" a young female salesclerk asked (lets call her Amy).

She spoke English. I could've kissed her.

"Okay, here's the thing, I'm looking for a CD by this guy known in English as Michael Wong. In Chinese he's known as Wong Gwung Liang. I swear i got the spelling of his name straight from Wikipedia. He has this song called "Fairytale" and in his video he's playing the piano and his girlfriend is like dying of a nosebleed which could be indicative of tuberculosis or worse, but the bottom line is her nose bleeds a lot in the video. His hair is kind of poofy...umm...he's cute and he sings these lovey dovey songs..."

"Leng-jai songs, more like," muttered Mom, inferring she was embarassed by her 34 year old's daughter obsession with music only a young teenager (13 years old) would go ga-ga over.

I only got a blank stare from Amy, whose eyes probably began to roll back into her head at the mention of "wikipedia". "Let me check," she said and began dialing a number into her cell phone.

"Who the hell is she calling," I whispered to Mom.

"I don't know, maybe another store location."

Suddenly the phone on the counter began to ring. The guy at the register picked it up (lets call him Jim). Amy had called Jim on the phone and they were standing ONLY TWO FEET AWAY FROM EACH OTHER. "Yeah Amy?"

"Jim, do you know of a Michael Wong or a Gwung Liang?" Amy asked.

"Nosebleed!" I piped in helpfully.

"Hmm...oh you mean GWANG LIANG? Oh yeah, of course!" he said.

"Oh...GWANG LIANG. Okay I know who it is now," Amy said.

She picked a CD out of the shelf and lo and behold, there it was!!! Victory!!!! So apparently it was only a matter of saying his name in Mandarin, as opposed to Cantonese. As I walked out of the store with the booty in hand, Mom only shook her head, "Who dies of a nosebleed? The sales clerk was laughing at you on the inside when you were describing the video. I could tell."

"Oh, Mom!"

PS-My daughter thinks I'm crazy because of this episode...