Engrish / Chinese Insanity #4 – Sports Edition!
Asia in general is known for their… ridiculous… ways of translating things into English. Store names, product slogans, t-shirts… you name it. If you’re unsure what I’m referring to, feel free to go to Engrish.com. If you are sure what I’m referring to, you might already be there. It’s a great site – not to poke fun, mind you, but belly laughing a few times is always good for the soul.
I’ve been trying to document all the Engrish I’ve seen for my own amusement, but it occurs to me that you, the good strong reader, might want to be amused as well. And so we’re going to make this a semi-regular installment here on Nick in Asia.
The other night I was wandering through one of the clothing markets around town – I guess that’s what I should call it. Basically it’s several narrow streets full of stores, but all of the stores are open and basically spilling out onto said streets. It’s a cool atmosphere. I’m gonna dedicate a post to all the markets here soon, so we’ll just move on now.
Anyway, I passed this one store that was full of all the hipster fashions the kids like so much these days – brightly colored t-shirts, polos with easily poppable collars, vest-tie combos, etc… But out of the corner of my eye, I saw a shirt – on a mannequin – that made me do a double take. Keep in mind, this was not a sports-themed store in any way, and I don’t think the people here give two rats’ asses about American football. Nevertheless, our faithful mannequin was wearing this:
I’m not even really sure what to say. I mean, I’m in the middle of a city in Taiwan, I haven’t seen one iota of NFL paraphernalia yet, and then I get this staring back at me from in front of a store that doesn’t seem to be in the business of selling sports-themed clothing. Although, I guess it’s kind of understandable, since the Cowboys are America’s team and the most famous NFL franchise and yada yada yada… But Michael Irvin?? He hasn’t played a game for the Cowboys in 10 years! Why not Romo?? Or if you’re going to harken back to the glory days, why not “Smith” or “Aikman”? There were probably 10 of these shirts in stock, and they all had Irvin’s name and 88 on the back, which most people tend to associate with drugs and hookers. This shirt would make a lot more sense in Thailand.
So then I decided to go into the store, just to see if anything else caught my fancy. And that’s where the Dallas sports-themed ridiculousness was wratcheted up a notch. I looked to my right, and… I’m not making this up, I didn’t find this buried in the middle of a rack of t-shirts – I saw this shirt, at the front of a rack of shirts, prominently displayed for all to see:
Ok… um, what??? As I said, the Cowboys shirt can at least be somewhat understood, given their popularity and brand recognition. But a TEXAS RANGERS shirt?? I was giddy and dumbfounded at the same time. Hardly anyone in America even knows the Rangers are a real professional baseball team – how did this shirt end up at a hipster clothing store in Taiwan?? I guess maybe they thought, “This can’t be a real baseball team, so it’s ironic and hip.” When in fact, it’s neither. It’s just mind-blowingly wonderful.
I had to take this picture quickly under the quizzical and incredibly disapproving stares of the staff, so it’s hard to read exactly what the shirt says. Let me fill you in: “First base has nothing to do with kissing.” Indeed it does not, awesome hipster store. Indeed it does not.
I was in such shock that the thought of buying this shirt never crossed my mind. But I doubt it will be flying off the racks, so I fully intend to go back tomorrow and make this shirt mine.
So that was my incredibly insane Dallas-centric sports experience. But I have to say, what follows after the jump will blow the minds of NFL fans across the globe.
For this past week and next, I’m teaching at my sister branch on Fushing Rd. There’s nothing too special about the experience, except for what you will see in the pictures below. At the corner of my block is a 7-11 (seriously, they’re everywhere). And on the opposite corner is this giant advertisement:
Yes, that is NFL analyst Ron Jaworski, and he’d apparently like to sell you some sort of solar panel technology. And why not? He loves Kaohsiung the sunny city, after all.
I get to see this every day when I come to work, and let me tell you, it makes my world a brighter place. Nay, a sunnier place.
I love Kaohsiung the sunny city, too.