Pronounced "yo may yo" it literally means "have/no have" and is one of the most useful bits of mandarin to know to find out if something is in a store/nearby/in someone's possession. I could kiss mandarin on the mouth for being so blessedly simple at times. No conjugating "be" verbs or even having to learn different pronouns for masculine and feminine; the language does not distinguish between male and female, everyone is just "ta." From my very very beginner's standpoint, it seems the grammar structures aren't terribly complicated either. Ever hear a Chinese person with broken English say things like "We no have. This no good. You like? You no like?"... well literally translated back into Chinese, that is how the sentence structure is supposed to be. I love it.

As you can probably imagine, there are some things from home that mei you in this lovely new land of mine, things that I missed at first but as time goes by, I don't really notice their absence. The first one would have to be Swiffer products, closely followed by Clorox Wipes. It used to be so easy to just run one of those dust collecting Swiffer papers over any surface in need of attention, or take a Clorox wet wipe to the counters after cooking and call it done. 
I know it says "Green Works: natural" on the label, but let's be honest about the greenliness of these products. Maybe they're made from more environmentally gentle stuff than their generic counterparts, but at the end of the day they are still used once and thrown away. Pretty much the definition of waste. At first I bemoaned the fact that I had to clean with these prehistoric tools known as a broom and cloth, but really, if China and its 1.whatever billion population converted to the Swiffer religion, think of all the buildup of discarded one-use wipes the planet would see!

The other product I miss from home I can't forgive China so easily for lacking: Avocados!!! Avocados, glorious avocados, they invade my dreams while i sleep, my thoughts when I'm awake... I would do many immoral acts for a ripe avocado right now. Nicotine is easier to quit.
Of course there are things we have here in China that America should really get on board with! Maybe we do have some of these things, but I've never seen them, and certainly not being sold on every corner like they are here!

Super genius invention number 1: 
The insect murdering racket. You plug it into the wall, then use it to electrocute all those elusive pests. 
The bugs sizzle up with a satisfying zap of light. 
So much easier and deadlier than your average fly swatter.
This thing is incredible. 

2. Plug-in hot water bag. 
These bags of water come in cute shapes and colors and are sold in EVERY SINGLE STORE, I kid you not. Basically, you plug it in to the outlet, wait for it to boil up and get all warm, then sit with it in your lap or hands, or put it under your blankets by your feet. Toes go from ice cubes to bugs in a rug in no time. Make sure not to go for the cheapest one, though... The one pictured here kind of blew up on me shortly after this photograph so I may have to upgrade to an adorable teddy bear head.
3. The sleeve protectors.
I admit, I was a bit confused when I saw these at first, thinking they looked kind of silly, but really they are one of the simplest most useful inventions! I've seen my kids wearing them to do painting projects, and butchers wearing them in the food markets, and cleaners using them to scrub. I've seen people wearing them when they ride their bikes, and they make excellent wind breakers and add a little extra protection from the elements. I like them because I don't have to worry about rolling up my sleeves and keeping them rolled up while I cook and get gunk on my hands and try to pull them up with my teeth.... what a mess. 

In short, part of moving to a new culture has been to accept the you mei you's that come along with it. Sure, I'd probably stand naked in the snow for the promise of an avocado right about now, but for the most part, the things they have far outweigh the things they no have. Score for China!



12/15/2010 11:51:50

I AM ROLLING ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING!! BTW....hate to tell u this but had two avocados this week..DELICIOUS!


12/15/2010 12:18:21

Katie --- I need this in my life:
Plug-in hot water bag


12/19/2010 22:13:40

Not cool, Donna, not cool.
That can be arranged, Emily :~)


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