Saturday, April 29, 2006

All Greek to me

Now, it's true that I read yesterday a poster claiming Golmud is a "perfect summer resort". But it is also true that Golmud, may god bless it in a very great many ways, is really not by any stretch a perfect summer resort.

What has this to do with Greeks?

Not much. But I really, really, really, really doubt that this shop-sign was put up to please the town's Greek community. If I had a million yuan for every Greek in Golmud, I'm pretty confident I'd have 0 yuan, 0 jiao and 0 fen* to my name.

But what the hell. There it is, clear as an Athens sunrise before they invented the internal combustion engine.

Distant memories of "schoolboy Greek" tell me that the sign reads "Thiaphiesenizi", and if that means anything in Greek, or English, or Chinese, or any language at all, then you can call me Zorba.

*Anyone remember the good old days when Honest Zhou at the Bank of China used to give you those little monopoly-style fen notes when you changed money - even when the fen (1/100th of a yuan) had ceased to have any value? Sadly they don't seem to bother these days. Sic transit gloria money?

1 comment:

  1. I have a few of those fun fens somewhere in the botton drawer leftover from yesteryears. Do you think they might be collector's items now? Perhaps I should sell them on ebay.