The other day I got a tell from an unguiled 60 hunter that said “ni hao a” (note the spaces. the chinese always put in lots of spaces between words… I don’t know why)
In my quest to find out more about Chinese farmers, I answer and we talk about China, about America, about being a Chinese-American (he said things to me like, remember you are still Chinese (all in pinyin of course), do you ever want to visit China, that kind of thing). He asks if I go to work or school, and when I ask him the same, he says he doesn’t know if I’ll believe him but he doesn’t have either, because… and then a bunch of stuff I don’t understand. I tell him I don’t understand, and he tries saying the same thing again five different ways, but I still don’t understand.
Finally tries this: “jing cha … ni ming bai le me” which directly translates to: “Policeman, now you understand?” and I answer in the affirmative. (he said “me” instead of “ma” at the end of question-sentences, something I assume has to do with a local dialect/slang? maybe like how we say yeah instead of yes)
Then he says “ni bu yao xiang cuo le” = don’t think wrongly (don’t misunderstand)
“wo bu shi jing cha” = i am not a policeman
“wo shi bei jing cha zhua de ming bai me !!!” = i am the one that gets CAUGHT by a policeman, understand now???
I laughed. Very hard.
He was only 21, and had done time (I have no idea for what, but apparently he’s out of jail now), and turned to chinese gold farming for money? Sure I’ve ruined my future, my prospects look glum, but at least I don’t have to sit in a 120degree room with no windows mashing buttons on a keyboard with 20 other guys for meals. Also I would seriously not fucking want to “bei jing cha jua” in China. I saw–and Ryan can confirm this story’s veracity–policemen waving sticks chasing down a guy who looked like he was running for his life (and he very may well have been), weaving in an out of traffic (on foot, mind you)–on more than one occasion. This kid was seriously so nice, though, no whining or begging or anything (which is 100% more than what I can say for everyone else who randomly whispers me ingame) and I hope things turn around for him, whatever his situation is. He even said everything a few different ways (using smaller and smaller words) (by “small” i mean “babyish,” because obviously the complexity of chinese words come not in their length but in their… um… their… um… their… everything sticks like a broken record) until I finally understood (once he used some other word for “paternal grandfather” and I said “oh, I just say yie yie” and he said “oh, I said that other word because I thought you wouldn’t know yie yie” … that was funny), and he was like, you can learn a little (xue xue ba)…
After that, he said “zhe huei zhi dao jian yu shi sm le” which means “now, you know what “jian yu” is” … (I assmue “sm” is shorthand for “shen me” which means “is what”)… so I assume “jian yu” means “in jail” or “prisoner” or “criminal” or something, I think he was trying to tell me he was that before, but I was like “Sorry I have no idea what that is” (in chinese, obviously)… and it’s strange, I honestly don’t know how to say “jail” or “prisoner” or “criminal” in Chinese… no conception…
anyway, I just looked it up, and sure enough, “jian yu” means “jail, prison” http://zhongwen.com/d/186/x202.htm