Monthly Archives: February 2010

Riding the Trans-Siberian

Trans-Siberian train


Luke-warm dumplings, luke-cold beer and a room full of smiles welcome me to China in a small luke-clean restaurant, deep down a dimly lit alley in the bowels of Beijing. Grinning through my dripping dumplings, I can’t believe how willing everyone for me to try my Mandarin out on them, casually joking as I fumble with a battered old phrase book I’d found last minute in a small bookshop back home. Aimed at a traveller from an earlier generation, I skip the Do You Know Where I Can Find a Girl? introduction and move right on to Getting Conversation Started:

“HELLO”

“WHAT IS YOUR NAME?”

“I LIKE YOU”

“CAN I TOUCH YOU HERE?”

Digging it? Read on…