Sunday, November 6, 2011

“Tony’s Mother” (你他妈的) and Other “Not” Awesome Chinese Curse Words (中国的亵渎)

So here’s to all the students that cursed me out this week in Chinese and didn’t think I understood. To Daisy, who told me 你他妈的 Nǐ tā mā de… or to go “F” my mother when I innocently asked her to try and finish her vocabulary list, and Sam who said 操你妈 càonǐmā
… yeah, pretty much the same… sorry Mom, when I politely asked him to stop running in the halls. (This blog is written to you.)
To Shawn who said I was 愚蠢的龟儿子 … “a stupid son of a turtle” when I pulled him into the hallway and asked why he was bullying Peter, the mentally handicapped kid, and Penny, who said 狗日的 gǒurìde … or “bastard son of a motherless dog”…when I made the shockingly shameful request of having her read aloud in class, and when no one could hear her, I mean when she was barely whispering, and I said, “Penny, you’re going to have to speak up, please… I even said ‘please.” I just wanted to say… thanks, you make this job really worth doing sometimes. (This blog is written to you.)
To the real estate agent today, while I was at the apartment jogging on the machine… yeah, I know, treadmills, kind of embarrassing for an All-American, but it allows my daughters to play outside in the apartment garden where they can dig for bugs and catch baby koi in Dixie cups… anyway, to you, female realtor, showing the layout to these potential buyers who walked up to my daughters because everybody talks to my kids and treats them as a commodity, and says to Rebekah, “Wow, you’re really fat. You’re not cute.” Then this genius turns to Xian and says, “Wow, you’re really thin, you’re much cuter than your sister.” (To you… oh genius professional apartment seller… this blog is for you.)
To all my daughter’s Taiwanese teachers who continue to give my kids candy even though I beg them to stop. Who pass out chocolate and lollipops and caramel corn and sugar sticks dozens of times a day, who bombard all the brown-toothed kids in their class with candy on a moment by moment reward system… hey, you’re supposed to be an educator, which means you’re supposed to be the smartest people in the society… the ones on the front line of right and wrong for future generations. Other than parents, the most powerful and influential people on the planet. Not policeman or doctors or firefighters or social workers… no, those people are your second line of defense and have their own realm of heaven devoted to them… no, I’m talking teachers…the saints of the world… STOP GIVING MY KIDS CANDY AND STAND FOR SOMETHING GOOD! WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU…? (This blog is written for you.)
And furthermore, Taiwanese teachers… I brought my daughters to this country with no Chinese at all and dropped them off on your doorstep and said- Help! The very first day my kids came home and could say three Chinese words… 尿 Niào (piss), 屁 Pì (fart), and 大便 Dàbiàn (poo)… and no… I wasn’t laughing…I was scratching my head… it takes a lot to raise these girls the right way, and I’ve had a lot of help… but when you laugh and thinks it’s funny that the kids in your classroom routinely use 闭嘴 bì zuǐ (shut up) to each other, there’s a problem. You’re raising malcontents, a society of rude people without conscience. (So yes… this blog is written for you.)
To the dude yesterday at the swimming pool, you know who you are dad… the one that showed up with his little daughter but completely abandoned her once you saw my kids… who walked over in your stupid Speedo shorts and matching swim cap to blather on to my daughters as if they were movie stars… interviewing them who their parents were and of what race and why were they in Taiwan and how cute they were, while your own child stood there dumbfounded like an idiot, and when she fell in the water and you didn’t see it and I had to come over and pull her out or she would have drowned and you didn’t see it because you were so enamored of my kids and then later you had the audacity, the moronic audacity to push your kid to go over and start speaking English to my daughters even though there were other Taiwanese kids there for her to play with and you stood there with your arms on your hips laughing like it was the funniest thing in the world… you dunderparte, you buffoon, you… 笨天生的一堆肉… “stupid inbred stack of meat”… you …狒狒的屁眼… “baboon’s bunghole”… you …流口水的婊子和猴子的笨兒子… “stupid son of a drooling monkey whore…” you… yeah you… Taiwanese dad staring and drooling at my kids! (This blog is written for you.)
To the school administrators who crack down on teachers in the classroom, who write them up for not toeing the line, who forget what it’s like because they left the classroom years ago to seek front office jobs where they top out in salary maybe…oh… say $20,000 more a year than a lowly educator… to you, who forget what it’s like for a teacher to try everything and anything to make a connection with a kid, and yes, that does mean allowing them to break the rules once in a while, and yes, that does mean speaking their language precisely, and yes, that does mean keeping secrets… for you, oh mightiest of pedagogical paragons, to you, oh bastion of the boardrooms… to you…(This blog is written for you.)
Ok… I’m tapped out… living in a foreign country isn’t easy and sometimes you have to vent, so yes, this blog is for me… venting, and with reason. When I first came to China back in 1988 on a basketball team, I learned a couple of useful Chinese phrases: 谢谢 Xièxiè (thank you), 您好 Nín hǎo (hello), 多少 duōshǎo (how much?), and 厕所在哪里 Cèsuǒ zài nǎlǐ (where’s the bathroom?) AND all those are good.
I even learned the dirtiest Chinese word every… the Holy Grail… the “F” word of Chinese, and I thought it was the funniest thing because it sounded like… well… it sounded like “Tony’s Mother” it is 你他妈的 Nǐ tā mā de… and you hear it everywhere… the taxi driver who rips you off and curses when you protest… the guy in the market who sneers when you pass… the dirty runt homeless guy pissed off at the world who sees you walking by with a beautiful woman and screams out in jealousy at the justice of it all…
So yeah, I used to laugh at Chinese curse words… especially when they are kind of cute… like for example: 青蛙操的流氓… “Frog-Humping Son of a B....”… or…大象爆炸式的拉肚子… “The Explosive Diarrhea of an Elephant”… or … 跟猴子比丟屎 …. “Have a Poop-Throwing Contest with a Monkey”… I mean, come on… those are giggle fests…
But when it comes to my children I have a different standard, and one of the issues I constantly face while raising my daughters internationally and with different languages, is that I am defenseless against the bad parts of a culture seeping into their daily habits, i.e., cursing.
Now I’m no prude, and my daughters aren’t sailors, they’re not cursing up a storm, but my students at school do, and so I am ultra sensitive to it… the other day Kinu said “I have a hat”…我有一顶帽子 Wǒ yǒuyī dǐng màozi, and I thought the “mà” was a different “mà” as in the ‘Tony’s Mother’ –mà, and I freaked out… my daughters calmed me down, Xian and Rebekah explained it to me… but I don’t know. Sometimes this foreign language learning can turn even a good parent like me… absolutely into a 神经病 … “crazy person”… and a 王八蛋 …idiot…. So yes …对不起… Duìbùqǐ… pardon me. (I guess this blog was written for me after all.)

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, Brian but I am laughing. These Chines cursing is so funny. Yes, we teachers must educate children in the right way. But I am so laughing at this.

    -Glyn

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