In a strange side-effect of my travel, I pick up a bit of the languages where I stay for any amount of time.
My Chinese (not Cantonese, but Mandarin, from the other 22 provinces of China) is sufficient skill to bark at a taxi driver, but not so good.
Funny, it’s better than the chinese guy I just spoke to at the delivery joint — even using the Chinese name for things was not understood. Granted, my Chinese might be *that* bad… but “Is that Kung-Pow Chicken, is it Guangdong or Beijing Style?” and “well, is it Cantonese, or is it like real Gong-bao Ji-ding? (宫宝鸡丁)” seem difficult to butcher. The poor guy didn’t make sense of the terms.
It would be ironic to brag about such little skill — I’m not posting this to brag about my non-skill at a language, just the oddity that it exceeds the skill of a Chinese-sounding guy (who sounds a bit like a Golden Boy).
I guess it’s true: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king — when everyone sucks, a slightly less suckage is still “better”…