Daniel: Hey everybody. Welcome to Cultural Check. It's me, Daniel. And this here is my friend, Sweet.
Sweet: Hi everyone, I'm Sweet. Hey Daniel, I heard that you are a big fan of Chinese food, right?
Daniel: Yes! My favorite dish is General Tsao's Chicken.
Sweet: Well but this is not a real Chinese cuisine. I'm gonna show you how to make Chinese cuisine at home.
Daniel: You know how to cook? I've only ever seen you orderwaimai.
Sweet: To be honest, my cooking is just as good as your "dancing", if you know what I mean.
Daniel: I’m not a very good dancer.
Sweet: So maybe we're both "Ban Jin Ba Liang". But this food is very tasty and easy.
Daniel: But I don't have any food in my kitchen. Maybe we should go to the store. Do you have a recipe?
Sweet: Yes I do. But the shopping list is a secret. I found it on the Internet.
Daniel: So what is this place? It looks kinda familiar. Have I seen it on TV before?
Sweet: Yes, you do. This is Sanyuanli Food Market. And this is one of the most popular food markets in Beijing. And many celebrities come here to buy the vegetables and foods. And if you name the ingredient and you'll definitely find it.
Daniel: OK. Let's go!
Sweet: Shall we?
Daniel: Emmm, how much beef did we get?
Sweet: One kilo maybe.
Daniel: I don't think that's one kilo.
Sweet: But she shop retailer told us that's one kilo.
Daniel: Emmm, I have an idea.
Sweet: What? Oh my god! The last time I saw one of these must be like 20 years ago.
Daniel: Well, I like measuring things the natural way. I like the little dots. They're like a secret code.
Sweet: OK come on, Sherlock. Maybe we have to use it?
Daniel: You're really bad at this.
Sweet: I think we're both like "Ban Jin Ba Liang".
Sweet: It literally translates as "HalfaJinequals 8Liang".
Daniel: Eight? I thought it was five. I heard it at the market today.
Sweet: Also correct. But in the past, 1Jinwas divided into 16 units, which were called Liang.
Daniel: 16? That's a weird number. Why not 10 or 5?
Sweet: Do you see these dots on the scale? There used to be 16 graduation marks on its arm and my grandpa once told me that they stood for 16 stars in the sky.
Daniel: Did the stars have anything to do with the weight?
Sweet: Yes, it's said that if you're not honest about weighing your product, you would lose the blessing of some of the stars.
Daniel: Oh, so vendors who care about their reputation would never give you short weight. But why did you say WE are "Ban Jin Ba Liang"?
Sweet: Well, that's because the idiom means two things or people are pretty much the same.
Daniel: Well, what are we waiting for? Let's eat!
Daniel: All right. Let's do this. One, two chili peppers. That should be hot. Three ... what?
Sweet: four ...
Daniel: Oh, you really do like spicy food. I guess we are "Ban Jin Ba Liang".
Sweet: Actually it's more of a negative expression. Neither of the two things is good enough. Just out of curiosity, what do we use to describe a more positive situation?
Daniel: Well, we would probably say "neck-and-neck". It comes from horse-racing where two horses are close to winning. Their necks are close to each other.
Sweet: Well, I'm hungry. I can eat a horse maybe. Well that's it for this episode of Cultural Check. Bye!
Voice-over: Hey Dan, Sweet! We heard that you love Chinese hotpot so much. So we got this unbelievable present for you.
Sweet: Oh my god.
Daniel: What? Unbelievable present?
Voice-over: It's a hotpot-flavored toothpaste.
Daniel: Ahh ... It's awesome. It's maybe my favorite toothpaste ever actually. I couldn't believe I thought it could be gross. Next time I want hotpot but I don't have any friends to go with me, I'll be brushing my teeth. Oh yeah, I would also share this with my friends. And could I share it with someone in the audience?
Daniel: It's really good! Check the notice below.