From Eccentric Flower



Just to prove that even now you have enough characters to read a restaurant sign, here's the Peach Farm. You have seen all seven of the orange characters on the front of the marquee below - except one. The one you don't know is "peach."

Try to read the others - or at least figure out which one you haven't seen - before reading on.


The front of the marquee says, over-literally, SMALL PEACH GARDEN SEA FRESH VEGETABLE RESTAURANT. Or, more accurately, Little Peach Orchard Seafood Restaurant.

xiao3 (peach) yuan2a hai3 xian1 cai4 guan3

Someone looked at this page before I had written much of the text, and they asked me, "How can it be a seafood restaurant AND a vegetarian restaurant?" I suppose it's not that strange a mistake to make. Just remember that 1) VEGETABLE can also mean style of food in general, and 2) in this case it is only there as a cue that the final character is indeed a restaurant, and not some other kind of semi-public building.

You could think of it as saying "seafood cuisine restaurant." Or, perhaps, "seafood eating place."

But it doesn't mean "vegetarian." There are indeed many, many vegetarian restaurants in the Chinese tradition ... so much so that they have evolved some special ways of saying "vegetarian," and we will cover those in due time. The VEGETABLE ('cai') character is not one of them.

Don't worry about the cyan characters on the side of the marquee; but, for the record, you have seen some of them before.

The first two characters on the top row are "supper" (EVENING FOOD). They are more legible than the versions on the Pearl Villa sign. The first two characters on the bottom row are the ones for "economical" - far more legible than the versions we just discussed on the previous page.


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