An Engineer Walks Into a Hardware Store

A joke: An engineer walks into a hardware store and shows the owner a Chinese word for a “file” on his cell phone. The owner starts looking for the item, and the engineer’s wife tells him they’re from North Europe, definitely not from Norway, as the owner thinks, but from Finland. Then she proceeds to go outside play with her cell, as the engineer seems to get along with the owner really well.

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A minute later the engineer comes out and tells his wife he got the metal file free, but the owner took a selfie with him. Two minutes later, they check the store’s Facebook page. The owner has posted the selfie on his page and announced a competition; whoever guesses the nationality of his guests, wins a prize. He is also upset how ugly his smile looks and jokes if the foreigner needed the file for crushing ice… The competition goes viral. The end.

🙂 🙂 🙂

So, this really happened, you can find the link to the competition here.

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Yangmingshan. 陽明山.

Other than going viral, we have been scaring unprepared Chinese tourists in Kuala Lumpur, chatting with street food vendors, introduced Moomins to locals a gazillion times (they already know the characters, but everyone thinks they’re from Japan and/or hippos, so I had to have “the talk” with not only my teacher and classmates, but also a cashier in a cosmetic store), argued with a random lady about rubbish recycling (oh the sweet taste of victory) and discussed the appropriate level of volume while closing the front door with our neighbour.

The other day, I was at this Chinese medicine clinic (♥acupuncture ♥) and while waiting for the doctor, I was casually reading more about Chinese medicine, the perks of sleeping well and  disadvantages of drinking cold drinks (???!!) on their website, when I suddenly realised it was all in Chinese. At the clinic, younger doctors speak English, but the reception staff not so much, so I’ve been successfully scaring them, too.  Receptionists’ scare number one: a western customer. Scare number two: do I have to speak English? Scare number three: the thing speaks Chinese!

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View from the Jinmianshan Trail. 金面山親山步道.

Oh yeah, we went to Kuala Lumpur a couple of weeks ago since we have to leave the country every 90 days (still no ARC…) The hotel was amazing, but even more notable was that one night we hung out at Alor Street Food Market. The place has a ton of restaurants (sorry, fellow vegetarians, it’s mostly fries and beer for us), people and most notably, Chinese. Having lived in Taipei for over a year now, I’m super used to being complimented for even speaking a word of Chinese (nali, nali…), but there? So not impressed! I spoke Chinese to this restaurant owner, he didn’t even look surprised but more annoyed because I asked if they had any vegetarian food on the menu. They didn’t.

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Food at Shilin night market. 士林夜市.

Learning more Chinese has been really, really great. But why can I not speak a word of Chinese if I take more than two beers? Just like driving, there’s courage, but neither skills nor ability.

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When you need to smuggle alcohol into an arcade, 7-11 helps. Makes Mario Cart so much fun!

While I’m preparing for TOCFL, the engineer is about to start his Chinese studies at the Mandarin Training Centre. Although I’ve been very diligently pushing him in front of me at check-outs to practice with cashiers, and forcefully made him deal with waiters in restaurants, we decided he’ll need some formal teaching, too. He needs someone who gets paid for it and he can’t get upset with. One or two semesters, and he’ll probably be 174% better at speaking Chinese than I am now (the guy is fearless) 🙂

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Yangmingshan. 陽明山.

The rainy and cold winter here in Taipei is almost over, I’m about to go back to Finland to work for 5 months, we have started introducing other Finnish travel bloggers here, and beer is still cold (and wet. Just like Taiwanese winter).

Could be worse ♥

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Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur.