One thing I love doing is going to different parts of this planet. A few years ago I went to China for the first time. I’d lived in Hong Kong when I was younger, and often looked longingly toward China as I hydrofoiled my way to Macao.
When I found out the great dam project was about to close down the Emerald Gorge on the Yangtze, I made up my mind that it was time to make that trip.
And what a trip it was! More exciting and interesting than I’d imagined.
As I made my way from Beijing to Wuhan and then onto the boat that would take me up the river, I kept running into the most puzzling signs written in English–well, almost. I’m used to dealing with non-native speakers of English, so I accepted the challenge of trying to figure out exactly what these signs meant.
What really worried me was, what if I got those message wrong? What if I did something I wasn’t supposed to do or didn’t have what they expected me to have? Call me paranoid, but armed guards make me nervous.
So here’s one sign that I’m still thinking about. I figured out the “showu” and the “tilket,” but what in heaven’s name is a “rarer?”
While you’re working on it, think about a steely-eyed soldier standing at the entrance who is watching you. You’re fumbling with your “tilket” and praying there’s a “rarer” attached.