The Chinese sales girl got very excited and asked her collegue for help and they packed tea in boxes, and boxes and boxes ... meanwhile I turned around and saw my confused mother trying to stop the girls and behind the counter I saw happy busy working sales girls.
I understood right away, what had happened, when I heard my mother saying : No, TWO, TWO !
The Western gesture for TWO is the Chinese gesture for EIGHT !
You must know the following :
Chinese use one hand, five fingers only, to count to 10. And especially when shopping in the grocery markets they use their fingers.
And counting to ten the Chinese way goes like this:
Chinese figure gestures
Chinese characters for 1 to 10 and pinyin writing
Below alternative gestures for 10 :
So, my Mum had ordered EIGHT boxes of tea, thinking she had asked for only TWO. Well, she did ask for two, in her English - but with the Western gesture for two which is the Chinese gesture for eight.