Lost in Translation

Gastronomy Square

Eat like the locals, travel like the locals and certainly, I cannot speak like the locals. I was having a hard time communicating with the locals here simply because I cannot speak Mandarin. It was as if I have to play pictionary or a game of charades with them just to make them understand me. This morning was quite a frustrating morning for me because we do not understand each other. And this is when gestures became useful for me.

We were supposed to attend mass in the Sanya Christian Church. We arrived there at around 11:30am. We asked if there’s another service in the afternoon. Apparently, there is only one schedule according to the pastor and we just missed it. Perhaps the language used there is Mandarin Chinese, a language that I cannot understand. And so, we went off to the city and look around. We passed by a mall and got off the taxi and bought something. There are stores there that are selling accessories with pearls, pearl powder, and some coconut-based products. I got some coconut candies and a keychain with an insect inside it.

Finding a place to eat there is not hard. The question is that if they have a menu that has an English translation of the entrees. We just walked and walked until we found a restaurant that has an English translation in the menu. Travel to Hainan won’t be complete without eating the famous Hainanese Chicken. It is a steamed chicken with a special sauce.

Traveling around the city by taxi alone could make you feel bad because they do not use their meters. They charge a flat rate depending on where you are going to. Thus, we decided to take a bus. We got off in front of a clothes supermarket and walked around.

Traveling to Sanya would be much more a little less of a pain if you know how to speak their language. I guess I should have done a little more research. I guess I expected too much that if a certain place is a tourist spot, everyone should at least speak and understand English.

Leave a Reply