Friday, May 19, 2006

灼烧的手指折叠曲奇饼 (Burning Fingers Folding Cookies)


Thousands of years ago a Chinese philosopher shared little snippets of his genius with the world. It was these very same snippets, loosely translated and printed in red on tiny strips of paper that Yang Yin tucked into each fortune cookie that came off her press. Little did that philosopher realize his life’s work was being used to amuse round-eyes in some little Chinese chop seuy house. After dropping a cookie Yang Yin would laugh and remark “that is how the cookie crumbles", though secretly she wept as though each broken cookie was as the death of one of her children.

She worked in the tiny cookie bakery baking, folding, and tucking fortunes into cookies, then sealing them in plastic bags so some Occidental diner could leave a Chinese restaurant satisfied that he had just capped off his meal with an authentic Chinese desert. Little did he realize that like the chop seuy and the egg roll he had just eaten it was a lie and a sham, something Westerners came to believe the philosopher that wrote those little pearls would eat when he took time away from his philosophizing to nourish the body instead of the soul.

11 Comments:

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

I think one of the characters in Joy Luck Club tells a story about fortune cookies. She's a Chinese immigrant who ends up in a cookie factory folding the hot circles of dough. She had no idea that the cookies were supposedly Chinese.

Or else I dreamed it.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger crallspace said...

The only fortune cookies I like are those with mishmashed English translations, like...

"You day to be geing good. You have the life energy."

Ya know.. like what you find at engrish.com

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger nanuk said...

I kowtow to your Buddha-nature, my friend.

 
At 4:34 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

SL: Hope Amy Tan doesn't sue - I never read any of her books.

Crallspace: Most instruction booklets are like that - if the first part is in Chinese you know you are in for a creative translation into Eglish.

I have a network device that comes up with "IP Address Setted" when I install it.

Nanuk: See the cookie, Nanuk, be, be the cookie...

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger jin said...

HaHaHa!!! I like the fortune in the picture! :-)

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger Eternally Curious said...

A lie and a sham??? You mean they aren't truth?? NOOOOooooo... say it ain't so!!!!

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger Tea and Books, etc said...

Lol. I was going to say something but EC beat me to it. ;-)

 
At 10:49 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Jin: Adding “in bed” to the end of a fortune cookie fortune is an old gag. I like to add “in my pants”. More original and definitely more disturbing.

EC: While the Chinese food we get here is based on original dishes for the most part I think it has been adapted to what the Chinese immigrants believed our tastes were like – there may also been a limitation early on in that you couldn’t head on down to the local market and pick up some lemon grass. The food is still great, but has been adapted. Fortune cookies and egg rolls were two items that were developed here. Want the gouge on some original Oriental food, visit FoodCrazees’ site. The pictures of the food and the recipes will have you boarding a plane for Malaysia before you even know it!!

T&B: I don’t really care where the food originated as long as it is good, and since there is generally a Chinese chef cooking the food, you can certainly call it Chinese food!

 
At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello
jewlery box
yuhoo
G'night

 
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