Welcome, international friends!


Yesterday, Look What Danny Made! had more hits than in any other day since I launched the site.  About 5% of all the traffic that has ever arrived at this blog has been in the last 24 hours!  Why?  CNN, when they are not too busy filling their homepage with question marks, has added an emphasis on user-generated content at their website.  Back in April, when I was still doing Project Gastronome, they had an iReport where they requested readers to send in stories about the most revolting foods they'd ever eaten.  Since I'd just eaten century eggs, well, it seemed like a natural match.

This week, iReport published a compilation of some of the best submissions, and mine was Number 1 on the list, complete with a link to my blog!  As I have mentioned before, attention to my blog is like heroin to me, so I was really excited.  Here is what I did not notice: every single food on their list is from Asia.  Every.  Single.  Food.  The entire comments section pretty quickly turned into angry people calling Americans fat xenophobes with terrible dietary habits.

The largest sources of traffic by far, though, were not readers from CNN.  Links to my blog were also posted on several Chinese-language discussion boards.  I was unable to read them, so I used the handy translator at Babel Fish.  It turns out they were not fans.

I mentioned this once during Project Horror, but one of the best classes I took in college was Dr. Bryant's anthropology course.  He said something on the first day of class that I have always tried to keep in mind when viewing another culture: "For the business majors in the room, please don't treat the people that we're going to study as though we're taking a trip to the zoo."  I'm sorry if I made anybody feel that way, and toward that end, I've prepared this statement, again using Babel Fish.

你好! I' 高兴的m您读我的页。 虽然我没有享用鸡蛋,我没有意味不恭对您的文化。 如果您读有些我的博克,我认为you' ll发现我非常享用几繁体中文食物。 它是某天访问中国的我的一个最喜欢的梦想!
Which is to say:
Hello!  I'm glad you are reading my page.  Although I did not enjoy the eggs, I meant no disrespect to your culture.  If you read some more of my blog, I think you'll find that I enjoyed several traditional Chinese foods very much.  It is one of my fondest dreams to visit China someday!

I'd like to say that this is the first international incident I've been embroiled in, but there was a brief bit of unpleasantness at the airport in Oman about 20 years ago.  That is actually not a joke.  And when the day comes that I do get to visit China, although I will visit with open arms and mind, you still won't get me to eat any more century eggs!

A reader was kind enough to provide me with this, a more accurate translation of what I was trying to say.


Anonymous said...

gosh, you're really so very ignorant.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Danny said...

Anonymous 1: Yes, I find that apologizing and extending an olive branch is the kind of behavior that most of us ignorant guys engage in.

Anonymous 2: Babel Fish tells me your comment says, "Ha-ha, you are very lovable, welcome to China." Thank you, friend!

Anonymous 3: "The preserved egg was one kind of food I most liked eating, your American will not understand." I think that may be what it comes down to, is just that it's a food I didn't understand, but was still excited to try. I hear that many Asian visitors to America have the same reaction to cheese the first time they try it. When you think of it, cheese is pretty disgusting, too, being nothing but carefully spoiled milk. I thank you for your opinion!

fm100 said...

Hi Danny,We've tranlated your post into Chinese on Dongxi.net.Plz check it out(http://dongxi.net/b083P). Babel Fish did a great job but there are some faults in your statement. Here is my translation for reference:


Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading this blog. It gives me much to smile about, and much to think about. Life happens and it is stimulating to know that others are out there embarking on a daily journey to live it and share it. Thank you for creating this treasure.

Danny said...

FM100: Thanks for the improved translation. I've updated the post to include it. Thank you, too, for helping to share this with others! I see that you had a blog covering the sailing events at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Were you able to view any of the events in person? Another of my travel dreams is to see the Olympics someday.

Anonymous 4: You made me smile, too, and I thank you. That's really the whole spirit that I was trying to capture by trying different foods.

Ali said...

Ah, Danny! You international incident instigator you! I'm so proud. So, so proud.

Roy B said...

Of course, you're an international criminal. This always happens...

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