A rather Vancouver moment.
Today we took one of my Chinese students, a teenager from Beijing, to the Crystal Mall in Vancouver, B.C. for lunch and shopping. On the way home we were listening to Vancouver’s mostly-Chinese radio station, 96.1 FM, when a little English lesson segment came on introducing “The jig is up!” to the Chinese population of Vancouver. We listened to see how they’d translate it (完蛋了！), but I couldn’t help laughing and shaking my head when they gave the unfortunately appropriate example sentence: “The police found marijuana in his car. The jig is up!” At least Vancouver’s Chinese immigrant population is learning locally relevant English…
My Chinese students say the Crystal Mall is the current big Chinese hang-out (Chinatown is apparently for the older generation of Hong Kongers). If you combined a Tianjin supermarket with a Tianjin vegetable market, cleaned it up, made it a little less crowded, mixed in some 繁体字, and improved everyone’s English, you’d have the Crystal Mall. You can use Chinese in all the stores and they’ll hardly bat an eye.
We all had fun (Sara’s first time on the Skytrain), and it was good Chinese speaking time for us. I think we’ll do this again.