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Posts Tagged ‘Taiwanese’

What’s in a name (part II)? Lots if your name is Bon Jovi…

March 15th, 2009

Earlier this month, it was Jon Bon Jovi’s birthday… when I heard this, I had a little chuckle, which is what I do every time I think of Jon Bon Jovi. See, the first time (and every time since) my Dad heard the name “Bon Jovi”, he had a pretty huge laugh… and pointed out that it sounded like a term that we pronounce in Taiwanese (and I’m sorry I can’t do the intonations here) “BUNG-jo bee”, which translates to English as — are you ready? — the “stench of urine”.

Another name my Dad has a ton of fun with is game show host, Pat Sajak. In Taiwanese, “Pah SAY-jah” (with the correct tones) means “Smack the little bugger”.

Maybe Taiwanese and English are more alike than you’d think, hey?

(Part I of ‘What’s in a name?’ is here)

general rambling , , , , ,

Ringing in the lunar new year

January 26th, 2009

Growing up, it was second nature in our family to know what zodiac sign everyone else was. Grandpa was a monkey, Cousin Petrina is a tiger, my Mom is a snake (to her lament), Uncle Edmund is a rooster… So obviously I’m not talking about daily horoscope stuff; this is the Asian version of astrology where each year is attributed a different animal, and they repeat every 12 years. And it goes by the lunar calendar, which rolls over about a month later from what we westerners go by. Today, in fact, is the first day of the lunar 2009, and it’s now the Year of the Ox (aka. Bull, Cow).

I’m a rabbit (scoff all you want, but it’s coupled with being a Taurus, which may explains things), as was my Grandmother — so we had a bit of a bond, besides the fact that I was named after her. Recently, I found a bookmark that she’d given me when I was a kiddo, around 7 or 8:

I wonder now when I look at it if she got the pun or not; her English was very limited. More than likely, she probably bought it just because of the picture of the two bunnies. It was a nostalgic find, as you can imagine.

Last night, we had a new year’s eve ‘do at my parents. One of the courses is what my parents call, in English, “Taiwanese fajitas” — a very traditional dish, especially for new year’s. Lots of different fixin’s (a cabbage/snow pea stir fry, bbq-ed pork, fried egg, crushed peanuts, coriander, pickled veggies, hot & sweet sauce)…

…that are all rolled into a spring roll wrap…

and eaten just like that (no deep frying). Here’s my roll, with the rest of my plate: sushi (ok, not very Taiwanese), fried noodles, sticky rice, and chicken

Apparently, all the different fixin’s for the ‘fajita’ are seen as the past year’s sins and lies… so by wrapping them all up and eating them, it’s a way of putting them away and starting anew. Nice idea, if only things were that easy…

This was a tough tough year for a lot of people I care a lot about, so I’m putting a lot of pressure on the ol’ Bull to pull through and make it a better one this time around. Here’s to a happy, healthy year, and we’ll top it all off with a fat fajita at the end!

general rambling, in the memory bank , , , , , ,

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