My ESL friends back in University wanted to teach me Cantonese and I always wound up stopping after a few days of learning incredibly abstract and largely "useless" stuff (though fun, we started off reading Confucius, so all I got were extremely long decompositions of a few symbols in written form, which shaded pretty heavily into philosophy and shadings of meaning, without much in the way of spoken work, and nothing of the nature of "how do I order food that I can eat").
Problem is, I'm now (more than a decade later) basically back at ground 0, having long since forgotten the symbols I did learn. Anyway, key phrases for me in phonetic English:
Whu (I) boo (don't) chir (eat) yiew (fish).
and the second set, which would make it easier to describe the set of things I really want to eat, without adding lots of stuff I can't eat:
Whu chir soo.
Whu boo chir (soy).
Haven't figured out how to say "soy" yet. Will have to ask at the OS Taipei meeting tonight. I've spent the last 5 hours going through correspondence and trying to fix a couple of bugs for customers and generally getting caught up on stuff "back home". Now need to get out and see the museum (it's pouring rain still, so it'll be an indoor event today, got plenty wet yesterday at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial's gardens).
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