Spoken Engrish

On our way to the large tour bus that would eventually take us to the boat dock in Guilin, we rode in a minibus driven by an eccentric, hilarious yet somewhat misguided driver. From what we can tell, he learned his English from an American idiom phrase book. Every sentence was constructed of several idioms or movie references, including the following:

1. I’m the real McCoy

2. Left in the dust

3. I’ll be back (ala Awnold)

4. Okie dokie

5. Too bad, so sad

6. Between the rock and the hard places

7. Pedal to the metal (yes, from our driver mid-intersection while cutting other cars off)

8. I’m not a kamikaze, but I’m not a Sunday driver

9. I drive by the book

10. That’s one small step for man, one great leap for mankinds

11. Every cloud has a silver lining (in reference to the recent cloudy weather)

12. Make hay while the sun shines (in reference to the literal sunshine outside)

13. No ifs, no ands, no buts

14. Air Force One (his nickname for the large tour bus)

15. Hakuna matada (he actually had no clue what it meant, which he admitted)

16. We’re the king of the road!

17. They’ll eat my dust (I’ll leave it up to your imagination what was happening on the road at this point)

18. The cutting edge

19. It’s A okay

20. Hasta la vista, baby

For your consideration, this all happened in the span of 10 to 15 minutes, and after each idiom he would crane his neck around with a big smile, to make sure we heard how good his English was. It would have been a little sad if it weren’t so funny.