Lolz in Translation

Learning Chinese is intimidating. Some tourists in China aren’t even willing to try for fear of saying the wrong thing. The following are true stories from my life.

While giving an introduction to the different kind of dances of the Dai Minority group, what my teacher actually said was: “This group of dances includes the Elephant Foot (xiàng jiǎo) Drum Dance…”

Giggling about the ridiculous image in my head, I had to ask: “The banana (xiāng jiāo) dance? How can there be a banana dance?”

That same week I came back to my room to find my roommate in a bad mood. “Ugh I’ve been working on getting this form (biǎo gé) filled out all day!” she exclaimed.

This statement left me very confused, so I had to clarify “You and your cousin (biǎo gē) have been doing what now?”

When I was having a tough time, my friend came into my room and sympathetically said “You have really born hardship.”(chī kǔ nài láo)

But thinking of the quesadilla I’d eaten for dinner, I just thought, “Why is Cat telling me that I have eaten bitter cheese?” (chī kǔ nǎi lào)

Then there was the time I ordered a veggie burger… And was awarded with a salad on a bun. Or the time I ordered a margarita and got a full glass of tequila with salt on the rim. Or asked for hot sauce and got black pepper.

Last but not least, a classic mispronounced Chinese phrase is one that almost every traveler will want to say: “I want to see pandas (xióng māo)!”

But to several foreigners’ chagrin, and their Chinese friends’ delight, the response could well be “What? Looking at chest hair (xiōng máo) sounds disgusting!”

Share your silly mistranslations in the comments!

Queer Eye Reboot: Gay Town, USA

Image result for queer eye reboot

The Queer Eye for the Straight Guy reboot has a whole new cast and location and the second season just dropped (can we say “dropped” for TV shows??) on Netflix. The new Fab 5 are a diverse, fun team, and while the stories of their nominees vary from episode to episode, exploring friendships, cuisine, family, skincare, loss, hair, race, fashion, and more, the theme that weaves the show together is number one the Gay Agenda: Love.

The original Queer Eye was set in New York – a city known worldwide for its diversity. The world has changed since the original show began in 2003. The LGBTQ+ community has seen more acceptance, but also new setbacks, and the new series is relevant and fresh. The reboot is set in the southern US, based out of Atlanta, Georgia.  It takes us to small town USA, a very different experience.

Season 2 Episode 1: God Bless Gay

In the first episode of season 2, the fab five takes over the small town of Gay, Georgia to help a woman named Tammye complete a community center and welcome her gay son, Myles, back to church. While Tammye has come around to accepting her son, he is still paralyzed by fear of judgement from the rest of the church members.

Tammye emanates love to all those around her, yet we can see Myles still struggles to live. His room is a mess, a visual reflection of his feelings. With the support of five other queers, however, he is able to clean himself and his room up and bravely attend an event at the church by the end of the episode. They make the point that when you are struggling to find your own place, you must seek it out, because those communities won’t magically find you. As an example they bring him to sing with the Atlanta LGBTQ+ choir, giving him the gift of spiritual music, which he had lost when he left the church after coming out.

This episode resonated with me for many reasons. Watching Myles’s transformation touched me because most of us know how impossible it is to take care of yourself when you feel unwelcome by your community. Bobby (the designer of the show) refuses to go into the church at the beginning of the episode because he has been so hurt by church in the past. Growing up in a small religious town myself, I was bullied by Christian kids at my school and that experience turned me away from any kind of church for years. But watching this episode, hearing the gorgeous gospel music, and listening to Tammye’s speech about acceptance at the end of the episode reminded me that we can all work to break down these constructed barriers and find beauty in each other’s passions. Just as a small-town religious woman can learn to appreciate gay love, so can the fab five learn to appreciate the power and love in her church community.

The Future

Moving along into the season, episode 2 follows the love story of the cutest straight couple. Episode three gives a shy Mexican dad the makeover he needs to feel confident enough to play with the other dads from his kids’ school. Every episode so far has give me a big AWWWW and I recommend this show for some light during dark times.

I am touched by the show’s representation of our community and its constant reminders that no matter who we are we should be caring, beautiful, and lovely for ourselves as well as to each other. I am grateful for the increasing amount of queer and POC content appearing, and this show inspires me to create more! If you want to contribute by writing a blog to share with us, contact us – we are always supportive of new voices!

Weekend Getaway: 水底山 Hot Springs

Let me tell you about your upcoming peaceful weekend. Verdant tunnels of diverse foliage line the meandering pathways between secluded hot springs. Pagodas constantly heat their floors for you lay your sore back on. Steam rises in clouds from a pool as you cross a romantic footbridge.

Do you want this to be you? Let me help you prepare for a weekend escape from the city! A hot-springs paradise in the hills of Guangdong awaits!

Name: 汕尾水底山温泉庄园

Location:

IMG_20180522_175316

Ok, but how do I get there?!

  1. Take high-speed rail to Hou Men (鲘门),about 40 minutes from Shenzhen North
  2. 30-minute drive to the resort. I recommend you arrange a taxi from the hotel to pick you up. If you book through Ctrip’s English site, get them to help you arrange. Or bring a Chinese friend and that will make the whole process easier. (See https://la-la-shenzhen.com/2018/02/07/mandarin-for-lalas/ if you need help breaking the ice.)

On-Site Accommodation:

https://english.ctrip.com/hotels/shanwei-hotel-detail-3042540/shui-di-shan-hot-springs-manor/

Cost/day: 148RMB on weekdays, 168RMB on weekends

Description:

  • All flavors of hot spring – do you love red wine so much you want to steep in it? At ShuiDiShan, you can!
  • Infinity pool along the river – gorgeous, very long pool along the riverside with a backdrop of rolling green hills
  • Wave pool – this and current pool weren’t open when I was there but they looked awesome
  • Children’s play areas (but thankfully there weren’t too many children or people when I was there, in fact it was extremely peaceful for a Chinese attraction)
  • Warm tile pagodas to roast on – Ahhhh, someone might come around and offer you a foot massage!
  • Tea/water/juice kiosks – Stay hydrated
  • Snacks and beer – Again, stay hydrated 😉
  • Clean, spacious bathrooms with quality shampoo, conditioner, body wash, towels and slippers, Q-tips, hair-dryers etc.

Restaurant in Hou Men:

新东餐厅

I was blown away by the food at this restaurant in Hou Men, where we dined before catching the train back to Shenzhen. It is on the opposite side of the main road about two minutes away from the train station (turn left if you are facing out of the station entrance.)

It was one of those places that looks like it’s about to host a wedding but is spookily empty:

But the food exceeded all expectations – oyster egg dish, crispy tiny squid, fresh fish, savory eggplant, sweet and sour tofu. Recommend the oyster egg the most!

I enjoyed my time at the resort so much that I would even bring my mom there! I hope you find this recommendation helpful, it may be a bit of an adventure to get there, but in my opinion 100% worth it!

La La-dorable Songs 2.0

Back with another playlist, extra extra thanks to my LaLas who left comments of their favorite songs, I’ve included them!

Pynk – Janelle Monae

The most lesbian music video ever just dropped:

Pynk is from Monae’s full-length emotion picture “Dirty Computer,” an absolutely beautiful, relevant work of art to our generation:

Paradise Girls – Deerhoof

“We like girls who are smart”

Often – Cover by Helen Tan

Whatever You Like – Cover by Anya Marina

New You – Zolita

Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

“Women, they will come and they will go. When the rain washes you clean you’ll know.”

Most Girls – Hailee Steinfeld

Here Comes the Rain Again – Eurythmics

“I want to talk like lovers do, want to dive into your ocean, is it raining with you?”

Damn, I wish I was Your Lover – Sophie B. Hawkins.

Touch – Shura

Te Amo – Rihanna

Only a girl – Gia

Borro Cassette – Maluma

Watch to the end:

She likes Girls – Metro Station

 

 

Best Apps for Picking up Girls

Honorable Mention #1: Tinder

If you’re a single Lala, I am sure you have tried Tinder. So why didn’t I ever find you? Probably because you compulsively download, delete, and re-download it due to your cycle of boredom and frustration.

Tinder is FULL of hot girls with boyfriends, looking for a unicorn. I think that’s great but I wish there could be a box to check when you’re not into couples. Not that saying you’re not into boys even works… Tinder always shows me boys anyway. So after swiping through all the unicorn hunters, my Tinder experience goes like this:

Screenshot_20170830-190934

However, due to its popularity, I still give tinder and honorable mention. If you’re looking for that wild card kind of date, or just to creep on pictures of cuties, you can always give it a go. (Just remember to be safe!)

Honorable Mention #2: Spicy/HER/Lesbian-Specific Apps

Are the girls on these even real? Where are they? In lesbian fashion, these apps don’t tend to filter based on proximity. In my experience the interfaces are not as well designed as other more mainstream apps, but again, it’s cool to look at pictures and chat with other Queerios. Who knows, maybe that girl in Seychelles will really be the one for you.

imageedit_3_3184896361

3rd Place: Mobike

Mobike+Singapore+-+1

For all my Laowai Lalas (Laolas??) I’m awarding Mobike (or Ofo, whatever you prefer between your legs) the bronze medal. Get out on that town! Keep it tight! Get your ass and legs on point!

I love biking around Shenzhen, it’s so freeing knowing I can bike as far as I want, ditch my bike, and take the subway home if I want to. Biking will get you to parts of the city you won’t discover in your usual rut. Explore your city and enjoy your single life while you can. Maybe you’ll bike up to a hidden cafe and She will be waiting for you there.

2nd Place: Wechat

Lez be honest, if you’re a Laola, Wechat is your online life. But how can you use it to meet cuties?

wechat-thing

  • Join queer groups!
  • Join activity/social groups – lots of hiking or sports groups out there that organize meetups. Then go to the meetups and add the cuties directly.
  • Add babes in the club when you’re out, you can text them in the morning and see if they want to share hangover coffee!
  • Start a group… For um, the community. Yes for the community. Definitely not just in hopes of meeting someone.
  • Keep in touch with your friends from home so they can comfort you when you find out that cute girl from last night has a boyfriend.

1st Place: Duolingo

Remember that awkward screenshot from honorable mention number two? Well I have the solution for how you can prepare to talk to hotties from around the world. Open up your options by learning a new language with Duolingo!

Duolingo is a free app that will teach you a foreign language through daily game-like exercises. It is SUCH a good use of your time! Lonely? Don’t worry, Duolingo will text you if you leave it alone too long. It cares about your progress! If you wake up in the morning without that someone special to text, Duolingo will be there for you. The setup is validating and rewarding, and honestly addictive. (Seriously, I have struggled with addiction with this app, but I have no regrets.)

Duolingo offers multiple languages of instruction as well as multiple languages to study. Most importantly, some of the languages offer a special section on flirting. Are you into Latinas? Want to learn how to say “Do you come here often?” “Do you want to be my girlfriend?” or “Are you lost, heaven is far from here!” in Spanish? Or are you more into blondes? Start doing those German lessons. Have a weakness for French accents? You know what to do!

The algorithm is extremely effective, and there’s nothing sexier than a smart, multi-lingual Lala like you!

duolingo

What are your tech tricks for picking up baes in the modern world? Share them in the comments!

The importance of Having a Gay Best Friend (When You’re Gay)

“When you’re gay, your friends are your family.” -Quote from a youtube video about the L-Word

Onesies.png

Ryn and I met because we had the same tooth-brushing schedule in the dorm bathroom. I was 19 and she was 18 when we moved into the same building. Every morning, that first week of fall semester, we would arrive to the bathroom at the same time, just the two of us. We’d brush our teeth for a full two minutes, floss, and depart. Then in the evening the same thing would happen again.

Finally one morning she joked, “I think you’re following me.”

I looked her dead in the eyes and said “No, I think you are following me.” She didn’t know me yet so she had no idea I was kidding. The next day though, she was brave enough to say:

“Well I think the universe is telling us we should be friends.” And that’s how I found my gay best friend.

We can’t remember a time that we explicitly came to to each other. We understood each other and nothing in our friendship ever precluded the truth that we both liked girls, despite the fact that we both had boyfriends when we met.

I remember when Ryn’s first boyfriend broke up with her, she knocked on my door, tears welling up in her eyes. Awkwardly, my first boyfriend was there in my room. It was a big deal because my boyfriend and I were long distance and rarely got to see each other (how convenient… we almost never had sex,) but when she told me what had happened nothing mattered to me except comforting her. Fuck my boyfriend, my friend needed love. And fuck her boyfriend too, for the record.

You might think, as boys at parties who make scissoring motions at us like to think, that after my boyfriend dumped me Ryn and I would fall in love and have passionate sex. Nope.

Instead we became the two best roommates you can imagine. We threw parties together, cooked for each other, traded chores, and gossiped about the new boys and girls that came into our lives. Through the years we created a little community of other queer girls. A world where we can be comfortable with who we are, and take care of each other.

All of us spend a lot of energy hoping to meet someone we can have a physical relationship. But how could we ever navigate romantic and sexual relationships without our friends? It’s so exciting to meet someone you want to fuck, especially if they want to fuck you too, but how lonely that excitement would be without someone to share it with!

If you’re a lost lala out there, in the closet, or haven’t yet found your queer friends, please trust me when I say you’re not actually alone. And in your search for love, remember to look for the person who loves and understands you. The one who will put your feelings first, above their new fling or romance, no matter how good the sex is. Of course it doesn’t really matter what their sexuality or gender is, as long as you love each other. But personally, I am so grateful for my lala bestie.

Thank you Ryn for being my “husband,” always and forever, and shout out to our other babes (you know who you are!)

Do you have a gay best friend that you will love until the end of time, but would never sleep with? Share your platonic love story in the comments!American Gothic

And remember to brush your teeth. 😉

La La-dorable Songs

Happy new year Lalas! For your new years present, I’ve made this super gay playlist for you. These should get the year of the dog started off nice and queer. But this is just the beginning – POST YOUR FAVORITE LALA SONGS IN THE COMMENTS! I need more music too!

Covers that make the songs La La-dorable:

“The less I know the Better” – Tame Impala cover by Nataly Down and Sarah Clanton

I love her sexy voice singing about the hot girl that got away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCULU__4vCE

“Ignition / Do You…” – Phoebe Ryan

Hot cover/mashup.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PpnJ0klAcY

“Creep” – Radiohead cover by Haley Reinhart

I can relate to this one…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3lF2qEA2cw

“Jessie’s Girl” – Mary Lambert

SUPER GAY cover!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QzleRO1F6E

Songs that are already La La-dorable:

“Make Me Feel” – Janelle MonáeScreen Shot 2018-03-04 at 20.31.44.pngI’m so excited about this brand new song and music video! The vibe is reminiscent of Prince (Monae opened for him and worked with him,) one of the most famous bisexuals ever. I’ve been a Monae fan for years, absolutely love this as her coming-out hit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGRzz0oqgUE

“Girls Like Girls” – Hayley Kiyoko

If you haven’t seen this yet… I don’t know what you’ve been doing. It will lead you to more super gay songs with cute girls in the videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0MT8SwNa_U

“Get Away” – The Internet

Another one that will lead you to more songs about girls from a girl who likes girls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z32HJ7PHnKY

“Cool for the Summer” – Demi Lovato

Gotta taste for the cherry, I just wanna take a bite…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il9nqWw9W3Y

“This is What Makes Us Girls” – Lana del Rey

Who hasn’t been in love with her best friend?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=941DmatcK8M

“Valery” – Amy Winehouse

Amy, girl, we can tell you liked girls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_EADBnXjXc

Miscellaneous:

“Put Your Records On” – Corinne Bailey Rae

I think in this song she’s singing to herself, but it could be about another girl, you never know!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjOhZZyn30k

“I’ve Told Every Little Star” -Linda Scott

Great song if you’ve got a big crush. 😉

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6lYDZ8xGVY

Ok babes, now it’s your turn – post for me in the comments! xoxo

Mandarin for Lalas

 

同性恋 tóng xìng liàn: Homosexual

Literally “Same sex love”

 

双性恋 shuāng xìng liàn: Bisexual

Literally “Double sex love”

 

别这样子 bié zhè yàng zi: Don’t be this way

Useful if you’re trying to get someone to leave you alone or stop being annoying

 

不要 bù yào:Don’t

A stronger phrase to send someone away, works best when paired with shoving your hand in their face

 

我有女朋友wǒ yǒu nǚ péng you: I have a girlfriend

 

我是光棍 wǒ shì guāng gùn: I am single

 

咖啡管 kā fēi guǎn: Café

Because we know you like your coffee

 

我吃素 wǒ chī sù: I am vegetarian

 

我不吃肉 wǒ bù chī ròu: I don’t eat meat

Some people don’t know what it means to be vegetarian; you can clarify with this

 

美女měi nǚ: Beautiful woman

You can use this to get a stranger’s attention

 

辣妹 là mèi: Sexy girl

Literally “spicy little sister” but it means hottie

 

wǒ qǐng nǐ:My treat

 

Which Mandarin phrases do you use the most? Post them in the comments!