Saturday, May 10, 2008

curious words

hape: this word was used by an Indonesian woman, Sukini, who is caring for my wife's grandmother. i asked her, "what is hape?" she replied -- "hand phone." so "hape" is the abbreviation of the english words, made into an Indonesian word. When I was in Indonesia, there was no such thing as cell phones.

jianghuwei: this Chinese word translates literally as "river-lake-flavor," and means something like "jaded" or "world-weary." in classical literature, "river-lakes" was a stand in for the human world, or society. so to say someone has a "river-lake flavor" (or air) is to say someone is jaded. interesting word.

diam diam


past cat: this is a rough translation of "guingiao" (taiwanese) or "guomao" (chinese), the name for a fern-like vegetable my mother-in-law has been cooking recently. it is delicious. and has a curious name.

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