It baffles me how in the same world there can be tanning salons and spray-on tan AND people who carry umbrellas for sunshine and buy lotion to look whiter. Like this lotion, for example, from a brand you may have heard of.
For me, buying this movie was a bit like buying a German-Spanish dictionary, in that it made me a consumer of the product of two cultures, neither of them mine.
Chandni Chowk to China is a Hindi musical martial arts comedy.
Just let that sink in for a moment.
The main character is a superstitious Indian guy named Sidhu who works as a lowly vegetable cutter in a place called Chandni Chowk in Delhi. He has a lot of self-pity but not a lot of motivation to improve his station in life. (One day while cutting potatoes, he finds one that looks like the elephant-headed god Ganesha, and uses the coincidence as an excuse to neglect his duties, which earns him a kick in the pants from his foster father.)
His life changes when two Chinese guys somehow decide he’s a Chinese hero reincarnated and a Chinese fortune-teller friend convinces him to go to China. It’s wacky but kinda fun.
Life and Death in Shanghai is an amazing book about an amazing woman. The tone in which she tells her own story is deadpan, but the events are extremely dramatic. If you’ve never read about the Cultural Revolution, it’s eye-opening.
Some of my memories of the book are:
how Nien Cheng’s private home was turned into living quarters for several families, and regular household routines were disrupted by food rationing;
how when destructive Red Guards came knocking, Nien Cheng tried to preserve, and in only some cases succeeded in preserving, some antiques she had in her house, by relinquishing them to be stored in government museums;
and how after she was arrested, she had to live in a freezing concrete cell, where her food was insufficient and her clothing was insufficiently warm, yet she maintained exquisite poise and self-assurance.
A few passages from the book are reproduced below.
I spotted this hilarious Engrish sign at Book Mart at The Central. It is (I assume) not a joke but rather the best translation they could manage.
Thank you for usually favoring it more. This time I will perform store remodeling construction in the following schedule. I am so sorry, but a store is closed until November 3. I really trouble it, but it, please be understood.
I think it means:
Dear customers, thank you for your continued support. The shop will be closed for remodeling until November 3. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
If you are looking for a better translation for “please be understood,” consider:
Thank you for understanding.
Thank you for your understanding.
Thank you for your kind understanding.