Sunday, 11 July 2010


there was this mcdonald's ad on TV today that reminded me of something that happened in february this year. i had just gotten off the plane in china and it was already very late, and what do you do when it’s nearing the early morning? go to mcdonald's.

their menu isn't that particularly easy to read as they like to mix a blend of eastern and western food. but number 7 without the cheese looked acceptable.

before I go into too much detail, here is the 411. cheese in chinese is called nailao.

so i asked for the 'number 7 without nailao.' sil vous plait and all.

the girl at the counter looked up, cocked her head, and replied, 'what? without what?'

'nailao, the bright yellow square that could be mistaken for a roadwork sign.'

'you mean mustard?'

'no… i mean NAILAO.'

'we don’t have nailao,' she says all confused, then turns to another worker, 'hey jimmy! we don’t have nailao, do we?'

this jimmy person literally snaps back, 'pfffttt, nailao? what the fuck is that? no!'

by then i had realised this wasn't worth the constant talk and i could just pick the cheese off myself — my only problem with that is that sometimes the cheese melts and i can’t peel it off…

'okay don’t worry, just number 7 then, but what’s the yellow square thing?' i pointed to the triangle edge visible on the giant picture.

'that? OHHHH, that’s jisu.'


'jisu, jeeeeesu! not nailao! we don’t know what nailao is.'

by now i could see she was getting very annoyed, so i smiled and stepped aside to wait for my order, all the while trying to figure out what this jisu is. i began saying it over and over in my head. jisu jisu jisu, jeeeeesuuu, jeeeezzuuu, chiiiiizuuu, cheeeezz-ooo... i think i laughed out loud upon realising jisu is just cheese pronounced with a very heavy asian accent.

and yes the 'jisu' indeed melted onto everything else.


  1. Anonymous23:50

    hahahaha best story ever

  2. I can't look at "jizu" without thinking of jizz.

  3. HAHA i dunno i've been calling it qisi, written 芝士 (even though according to the wording it's supposed to be zhi shi?). everything's romanized nowadays - and pretty badly, too.

    and yes pucca! pucca seems to be a funky graphic representation of the chinese stereotype. but then her boyfriend's a ninja, which is kind of out of place.

  4. Haha, I love this story. :) I had a similar experience when I traveled to China and arrived early in the morning in Shanghai. Everything on the menu was in Mandarin, or was translated very poorly. I had one hell of a time ordering, but the McFlurry I eventually got was delishhh. ♥ I think my favourite translation mix-up happened on the plane, though. We were flying within China on one of their airlines, and all were handed wet naps with our food rather than hot cloths. The translation on the package read, "Hygiene Wet Turban Needless Wash". ...Yeah. XD

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting, btw. :)

    - xo, kyki ♥

  5. Oh man, for all my 17 years I've never been taught the proper word for cheese.

  6. ffffffff hahahah!!! they have the funniest translations ever. anw you tell the best stories, as always. :)
    and woohoooooooooo cant believe our meetup is happeninggggg:) see you really soon. xx

  7. HAHAHA I can totally imagine. In singapore there are more and more china workers and then a lot of the china women work in those bakeries (not those nice fancy ones like france if you get what i mean). i wanted waffles with blueberry + butter filling, and i got blueberry + peanut butter. i dont fancy peanut butter all that much. but yeah.

  8. and i didnt even know cheese was nailao HAHA. my chinese is terrible.

  9. Oh my goodness. This made me laugh. I love how your voice comes through your writing! Very captivating. Witty. And original.

    Best wishes from one blogger to another,


  10. oh dear

    when east meets west

    a lot of things in chinese sounds like bad english now that i think about it! :S

    haii i haven't visited your blog nearly enough as i should've
    oh and i loved this post! x


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