Dim Sum Diaries
My neck has been really sore lately. Since my favorite local nail salon (where they wax my eyebrows and mustache) offers reflexology massages for the feet and back at a decent rate, I decided to nip in and get a halfer on the ole neck and back.

And no, not with a happy ending, you bloody pervs.

I've been going there for almost a year now, but they always ask without fail, "Are you Chinese?"

I just smile and say yes.

"Oh! Annie (the regular masseuse) is on vacation. The massage guy is Chinese too! You guys can talk to each other!" the Vietnamese guy who runs the salon tells me. Did I mention he always tells me that Annie is Chinese too after he asks if I'm Chinese or not? And I know he recognizes me (because I go there every 2 weeks), but I digress.

"You speak Chinese?" he further inquires.

"Yeah, I speak Cantonese," I reply.

Just then an older man walks out from the back. Let's call him Bob.

"Here is your client. She's Chinese!" Vietnamese guy immediately informs him.

(NOTE: MANDARIN WILL BE DENOTED BY LOREM IPSUM because I don't understand it)

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Pellentesque consequat sem vitae elit tempor tristique," Bob greets me (remember its MANDARIN he's speaking) as he smiles broadly.

I smile weakly. "Guang dong wah?" (You speak Cantonese?)

"Ah...Donec scelerisque varius lorem. Fusce magna nulla, sagittis vitae, lacinia vitae, interdum in, dui."

I sit in the massage chair and point to my neck and lower back.

He looks me over and starts talking, I only recognize a few of this words (denoted in bold). "Etiam adipiscing ipsum nec odio. Vestibulum feugiat faucibus est. Curabitur dolor purus, dictum et, fringilla vitae, consequat quis, eros. PAIN mattis. Quisque sagittis SLEEP WRONG ON PILLOW est at dui?

It's been so long since I've heard anyone speak to me in Chinese (and it's not even the same dialect), for some reason, my brain panics. I've forgotten how to say "Yes" in Chinese. Bloody fucking hell. The only thing that keeps flashing in my brain is OUI OUI OUI OUI OUI OUI OUI OUI, like a neon sign. Weirdness. Have I mentioned that I speak better French then I do Chinese? It's an effort not to say OUI. I just nod instead.

Bob did a great massage, working/pounding my neck the way you tenderize a piece of meat, so its much better now. Apparently it was quite an athletic feat on his part, he was breathless and sweating by the end of the half hour.

At least I knew how to say "Shi Shi" (thank you in Mandarin). And I recognized his "Buh Kuh Chi" (Your welcome).

Oh and last week I was with the Rents at dinner where we met up with my Uncle. A flurry of conversation in Chinese ensued. I just sat there, soaking it up, and it was a little strange to make that mental transition back to all Chinese, where I could understand everything they said. Very strange, at least to me anyways.