The Perfume Road: Part 2

Just got out of the shower to knocking at my door. I don’t know how to say “busy” in Chinese, but looking through the peephole I see the two housekeepers. Since I can’t say “busy” I figure that if they see I’m still in a towel and clearly not ready for conversation they’ll give me a minute.

I am, in a word, wrong.

No, we have a whole conversation, even though I’m gesturing now with my free hand to my non-clothedness. It takes a couple of very awkward minutes, until I give them the paper I just wrote with the perfume names and prices on them, and the one returns my gesture about not being dressed. I shut the door and change, feeling unready for round two.

The one housekeeper pays me the rest of the money for the perfume. They are both disappointed in the prices on the paper, but it’s the best option. It would be just as much to buy cheaper versions in the States and have them shipped over (plus I would charge a fee for that much of my time). Ultimately, they ask for one bottle of the Fuel for Life.

Meanwhile, I’ve been talking to my TA Vega, prepping him for this perfume hunt in Chengdu. That poor kid is going to have some crazy stories to take with him to college! And I come to the conclusion that I am alright parting with the Diesel because I have found a new perfume that actually works with my natural chemistry and I like it a heck of a lot more – that would be Manifesto by Yves Saint Laurent, waiting patiently for me back home.

The housekeeper points to my battery and asks something. I know that word! It means scooter! Hao! They talk, and at this point I resort to Google Translate and the microphone button, which is sort of useful. I mean, it translated the following from Chinese: “Tomorrow you have the time you have time to play with us,” but that’s enough for me to understand that roughly these friendly housekeepers want to go hang out. But we don’t do well on time: “You played the national colors of day you go.” Maybe it’s the dialect – they don’t actually speak Mandarin Chinese here in Sichuan. They have their own dialect they use. I suggest after work, but we settle on “Another day we’ll play with you.”

Maybe in the near future, once I locate this Sephora and find the perfume and get this whole thing straightened out, I will go scooter driving with Du Rong and her friend.

I was going to walk to the movie theater tonight, but I feel intellectually exhausted. I mean, there’s only so much misunderstanding I can handle before I just give up. I don’t know if I want to venture into more confusion. It’s hard, and this language is not forgiving.

Although there was one other thing I did understand – I understood when Du Rong said that when I speak English, they don’t understand. I said I understand that they don’t understand. That I don’t understand Chinese. So let’s all not understand each other and smile!



Final update:

I think Du Rong is angry that she is not getting a 250 deal. No tea nor cups have been put in my room in two days. *Sigh* Road to Hell and all that…


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