apparently, the many years i spent in Chinese school on friday nights didn't amount to much. neither did the years of Chinese i took in high school and college. somehow, none of it stuck. i can barely read a lick of it.
it's not usually a huge problem at the grocery store since i shop by sight and brand recognition. but it's sort of an issue when a certain brand sauce isn't carried at the store.
this is what can ensue:
on phone with mom
me: what do you put into zha jian mien?
mom: you need tian mien jiang (awful pinyin alert)
me: is that the one in the small, blue tin can?
mom: yes, that's the one, just look for the can.
me: looking and looking. mom, there's no blue can.
mom: well, look for something that says tian mien jiang
me: looking and looking. mom, nothing says that.
mom: okay, well it's a kind of bean sauce.
me: reading labels. is it black bean sauce?
me: hot bean sauce?
me: bean chili sauce?
me: getting desperate. ground bean sauce?
mom: maybe, i don't know. starting to think of all the money and hours wasted at chinese school. why didn't she retain anything?
me: well, it has sugar and no chilis. i'll just get this one.
mom: okay, let me know how it tastes.
thank you for talking me through the "sauce" aisle on the phone while i was at the asian supermarket.
here are the sauces i bought. since the one the blue can wasn't available.
and thanks for telling me which noodles to buy. i hope i got the right ones.
your eldest daughter