24 January, 2007

Lost in translation x 2

Last night, I wandered around the corner to an Irish pub (Tin Whistle) I had heard about in Dalian. It was a Tuesday night, but I was expecting to see some people in the bar. I walked in to find only the bartender and another women who works in the bar.

This was my first visit to an Irish pub in China. I ordered a Guinness and felt like I was sitting at the Blackthorn in South Buffalo (though, I would be drinking Labatt Blue there). The bartender's name; Cherry. She spoke some English, but not a ton. I decided I wouldn't ask her why she chose that name. I sat there for about an hour talking to her about China, where she's from (Harbin), why she's in Dalian, etc...

Then, the owner stumbled in the door. He said a quick hello & proceeded to sit down on a bar stool with his head hanging down as if a brick was hung from his neck. Cherry whispered to me..."I scared of him." I asked why. She said..."Because when he drunk, he crazy and he always drunk!" He's an older Irish man. He lives a simple life..."runs" a bar, lives in China, gets drunk.
Finally, he decided to leave (after he left and came back about 5 times).

Next, a French guy wandered in. He was clutching two books...a French-English dictionary & a French-Chinese dictionary. Both looked to be heavily used. He really could not speak much English. I almost found it easier to try to communicate with him in the little amount of Chinese that I know, but that didn't work either. I did manage to determine that he lives in Dalian as a ship captain.

It was very interesting to be in China (Dalian), sitting in an Irish pub, drinking a Guinness, listening to U2 and trying to bridge communications between a French guy, two Chinese women and myself. Very interesting couple of hours.


Dave said...

Haven't you spent a lot of nights in WNY the same way. Sitting next to someone who didn't speak the same language while talking to a strange girl. Only two things were different: There's no English/Drunk dictionary (that I know of); and in WNY you're probably related to the guy.

Anonymous said...

Ni hao friend.
I stumbled upon your Tin Whistle story while doing random google searches during a terrible bout of insomnia. I'm an American girl who spent a year in Dalian, and I laughed out loud while reading your Tin Whistle experience. Much of my time in Dalian was spent practicing Chinese with the bar gals at the Tin Whistle (behind the Shangra-le-la hotel, as the Chinese say). I had many experiences like yours, and just thought I'd put in a good word for the Tin Whistle--the owner, Matt Murray, is a fantastically wild drunk who tells great stories about growing up in the 'rough' sections of Dublin. Give the place another go if you can, and tell them Jessie said "What's the craic?" I hope you are enjoying your time in China. ;)