In my hands are measuring tapeS.
(Yes, plural, because one is not enough. I’m not bragging about size. You should know that in China most times one of anything is not enough for us Mexicans).
Arms are chicken wings shape.
Today i am buying a bra.
i am in Carrerre 4 (ie. Chinese version of Wal-mart).
HAIKOU SALES LADY – “你想尝试,吗?”
The sales woman points to the dressing room while saying the same phrase (this is what it sounds like): “Nǐ xiǎng chángshì ma?”
Miraculously, i understand what she is communicating.
However, it takes me a few moments to remember the Chinese response (because I wanted to respond in a complete sentence like i ask my students to).
My sentence begins it’s formation…
MEXICAN– “ Wo…. xiǎng…
SALES LADY-“ ??????”
The woman’s hands are on my boobs. Not skin to skin. We had about ¼ of an inch of material and pad separating us from that kind of intimacy.
She had taken the bra from my hands and was hugging it over my breasts.
My mouth is agape.
She squeezes my business. Mouth flaps further drop in an astonished stupor.
Follows with a quick up-to-down motion shake on her grab bag, releases a “hunph”grunt, and then points with her left hand to the dressing room area.
i wish i knew how to say “ i haven’t been groped like that since Chris B’s birthday party in 7th grade” in Chinese. Instead an exhale carrying a deep, vocalization of “ShHHHhit” escapes.
(My limited vocabulary needs some swear words added to the database.)
Whatever, i got over it.
She asks me again about trying it on.
i’m fondling the bra realizing that it will turn me into a “C” cup. These bras are more like temporary boob jobs.
Suddenly, i replay masses of women passing me on the streets of China.
Several times i’ve had the thought:
“Wow, she is so tiny with such boobs.”
(in fact my friend, Gabi from El Paso would have called them ‘honkin’ boobs’).
It was the bra. It’s always been about the bra.
i look at the sales woman.
MEXICAN (Me) – “These bras are liars.”
MEXICAN– “Umm…不想.” (sounds like “Shih-shi-eh, Bùxiǎng”)
I think that means “Thanks, i no want to”. Good enough. She stopped trying to get me in that direction. On to my next attempt to tell her i don’t want one with padding.
MEXICAN-“这个没有的很大” (“Jee guh may-yo de hen ta”)
My Chinese sales lady looks at the bra i was holding. Then she looks directly at my boobs. Once again her eyes are on the breast harness. Then my breast. She does something magnificent wth her hands. I have no clue how to recreate, imitate or describe it. Her miniscule eyebrows high-five one another into the expression of confusion accompanied by a mint leaf sized smile.
An hour and 46 minutes later i arrived at my favorite Muslim restaurant to meet Ms. Liang for lunch.
MS.LIANG– “Oh you buy many things at da Carreh Foh?”
MEXICAN-“Well, I bought this Bra.”
Ms. Liang is holding the peach crème colored liars up to the sky for, i guess, a better look.
MEXICAN– “Don’t they make any bras that tell the exact size of the person wearing it? That bra gives me perfect C cups. “
Ms. LIANG– “Oooh you no like?”
MEXICAN– “I like but i feel like my boobs are telling lies.”
My word choice missed the mark as far as translation goes. Ms. Liang chooses to pretend that she knows what i mean.
MEXICAN– ”Oh, Ann, also. What does ‘这个没有的很大’ mean?”
MS.LIANG– “It mean ‘This is not a large.”