Jeanne, the Chinese Gal
My wife was relaying some amusing anecdotes the other day regarding her international work group, including a new hire from Bejing.
Jeanne doesn't know colloquialisms or even many non-colloquialisms. For example, two of the guys were reading aloud portions of the company's handbook on sexual harrassment and she says "what are butt ox?". She asked if you could touch someone's buttocks if you were wearing those long clown gloves they apparently have in China. The guys said that she could touch their buttocks with or without gloves. One of the guys continued reading from the manual: "you can accidently brush up against someone in the hallway twice but not three times consecutively," so he made plans to make a mental note to only brush up against the same girl twice in a row...
Jeanne said when she first come to America she worked in New York and in her first task had to work closely with a New Yorker (a fate worse than death?). He had a mustache and was "mean", so she said that when she flew to Columbus and met Andre she assumed he was mean because he had a mustache. But then he shaved it off, she said, so that must explain why he was nice!