Have the Taipei cops recently asked if you teach English? Don’t worry, they’re probably not out to bust you. They may really be looking for an English tutor.
A certain Taipei City Councilor named Wang Yu-chen from the People’s Firsty Party is demanding Mayor Ma see to it that the city’s finest improve their English. (The story ran in the Taipei Times on 6-21-2003)
It seems that there is a veritable tidal wave of terrible, brutal, heinous acts being commited against the capital’s law abiding citizens by hordes of desperados. But are they caught? No! Are they rounded up and filmed by TV news crews in order to be made an example of so that the nation’s vitruous but impressionable youth will not associate with such vermin? No!
Because when confronted by the police for some infraction, like singing too loudly at a KTV, these sneaky furriners weasel their way out of the can by pretending they do not speak Mandarin. What gall! What an afront to national dignity! Wang feels that this contemptible behavior from foreign ne’er-do-wells humiliates the cops and must be stopped immediately.
No joke - Wang actually tested some higher level cops on their English ability, demanding they read out loud and translate a bunch of sentences that included:
"Please sign your ticket" "Do you have amphetamines or any illegal drugs on you?"
Your mission, should you decide to accept, is to come up with a comprehensive list of absolutely essential phrases that Wang may have left off his test. And of course, as always, the more absurd the phrase is, the better.
So sit down, grab the beverage of your choice, get sufficiently creative and start cranking out key English phrases that you think Taipei’s coppers should be able to use to question lauwai.
To get things rolling, how about this one?
Your father doesn't work at AIT does he?
What can you come up with?