i don’t speak much Chinese but i had to negotiate cab prices from Waning to Riyue Wan (I was going there to surf China for the first time this past Friday).
The trip is between 20-30 minutes long (there is no posted speed limit in Hainan Province).
MEXICAN (ME)- “Doeh Shao Cheeeng?”
(I’m asking “How much will this cost” as I show them the address in Chinese characters)
1st TAXI DRIVER (with most of his teeth)- “Ba Shi.” (80RMB)
MEXICAN – “Ba Shi, mah?” (80?)
1st TAXI DRIVER (with most of his teeth)- “Shi” (Yes)
MEXICAN – ” Bu Ba Shi. BU Ba Shi. Wo yao wu shi.”
(no 80, no Way 80. I want 50)
2nd TAXI DRIVER(most of his teeth)- “ah, ah, Chi shi! Chi Shi!” (I’ll do it for 70)
MEXICAN (as I am walking away) – “No guay, como que setenta. Pinches aprovechados.”
(uh this roughly means, “no thanks”)
—– We settled on Lio Shi ($60) -which is still more expensive than they would have charged a local.
Despite my limited Chinese, I could tell the cabbie had taken a liking to me. I would expect that a man with so many missing teeth would be a little more modest about sharing those smiles.His 3 teeth were full of tarter. They looked like tiny swat team men wearing their thick, algae green/brown camouflaged bullet proof vests.
He was saying some very not appropriate things in lazy Mandarin. Imagine Jabba The Hut. Now imagine a smiley Jabba The Hut succumbing to roofies as he attempts to hit on you. Speech entrenched molasses.
Long story less long –
1. Mofo puts hand on my thigh.
(I was sitting shot gun- i didn’t even have to call it since I was the only person riding)
2. Mofo attempts to bring his hand behind my head to slide it towards him. Classy.
(Imagine 5 Vienna sausage links with charred finger nails coming at your neck-these were his hands.)
My response wasn’t dramatic.
I simply forced his hand back on his side of the imaginary divide and locked my fingers into a fist.Pointing at him.
Using pictionary communication skills I showed him that I was effin’ crazy and not afraid to take the wheel and slam the car into the ravine- i smiled as I conveyed this message (yes, crazy).
I had an amazing time. I met several locals, expats and celebrated a new friend’s birthday. The Chinese government paid for all of the surfers’ accommodations on account that we were asked to surf in front of some African royalty. Random. The waves were slow and thick but only about 3-4ft faces.
I will be in the December 3 & 4 th Billabong, SkullCandy Surf Invitational !