A Story by Aundrea Koger

Too Many Bubble Teas…

posted on February 4th, 2014   799 views

bubble teas

It was our first week in China on the NSLI-Y scholarship program.  We were excited teenagers, eager to explore Jiaxing, and maybe a little overconfident in our abilities to speak the minimal amount of Chinese we knew.  My companion for one of my first outings in China, Megan, and I were taking a beating from the China heat, and therefore set out to find a spot in the mall near our school where we could get some bingqilin (ice cream).  After some awkward attempts at conveying what we were looking for to a few of the natives, one kind young gentleman who new a bit of English helped us on our endeavor.  We had finally reached our destination, only to find that it was a stand that didn’t sell ice cream at all, rather it simply sold various beverages.  So, alas, our attempts to translate what we wanted to the locals didn’t quite workout, but the story is not over yet my dear pengyous.  Megan and I, parched and looking to slake our thirst decided to settle for some bubble tea.  We had heard wonderful things about it, and were willing to give it try (However I think by that point I would’ve risked giving the water coming out of the fountain in the mall’s center a try).  As we were getting ready to order, a group of our NSLI-Y meiguo ren pengyous happened to stop by, and so we all decided to get drinks. However, little did we know that we wouldn’t all be paying for our drinks.  I stepped up, and with a bit of a struggle, ordered my (what I know was less than satisfactory, but at the time thought was amazing) bubble tea.  Then it was Megan’s turn.  She was just looking to order one tea, no more, you see.  Well, that’s not quite what happened.  The kind little lady behind the counter was trying to tell her the price for one, and determine how many drinks Megan wanted to order (as we now know).  Somewhere in the confusion of frustrated pointing at the menu, numbers being held up on fingers exasperatedly, and the whole group of us inexperienced mei guo ren trying to decipher what the lady was saying, poor Megan managed to order five bubble teas .  How did we know (obviously besides being given five of what we wanted one of)? Some wonderful, english-speaking young ladies who were standing in line behind us (most likely amused by our desperate attempts at communication) decided to step up and help us.  However, by that time the damage had already been done.  The five teas had been ordered, made, and paid for.   To make light of the situation, Megan just handed off her four extra bubble teas to our other mei guo ren pengyou, and we posed for a picture taken by one of the young ladies who helped us out of the mess we made.  And that is the hilarious story of how we came to acquire too many bubble teas… or, maybe, it was just enough.  Enough to teach us to think twice before trying to go it on our own in China.  And enough to make that memory unforgettable. 

Every Pengyou has a story.
We want to hear yours.

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