Friday, 29 August 2014

A cultural great unknown line (and the word of the day)

This line from my brother PJ, who got back (is getting back?) from a trip to Vienna (among other places he visited). He shared it on Facebook and I thought it was so good I needed to share it here. A little bit of context: his ex-wife is Chinese. So here is the great unknown line:

"I'm not that much of a gweizai, don't offer me Western utensils, Chinese waitress at a Japanese-Korean restaurant. (I couldn't have another Austrian or Italian meal)."

A gweizai, or gwaylo, or gweilo, is from what I understood a Westerner, in Cantonese slang a white ghost. It is the word of the day (I started this theme in my French posts and it never picked up, let's see if it does in English). I loved the amount of cultural references in a single line (almost a single line) and the use of the Cantonese word. Oh and on a side note, as I cannot use chopsticks, I am very much a gweilo.


Nellie said...

Well, in my limited exposure, this is definitely a new term for me!

Mantan Calaveras said...

"A white ghost". That's familiar!

I'm told that the term "white" to refer to Europeans was coined by the Greeks; this having nothing to do with skin color because Europeans are actually pink skinned so the Greeks called them as red skinned; but actually referring to the fact that Europeans believed in ghosts they called "whites".

PJ said...

Gweizai = ghost boy. Of course, now that I'm not so young and had a right (still do?) to give those red cash envelopes, gweilo may be more appropriate.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I never noticed that your "great unknown line" post was in English instead of its usual French until you pointed it out. LOL!

Guillaume said...

Thank you all for commenting.