Amy Daml

Amy Daml is a host of the show EZ Cafe at 91.5 FM

Posts by Amy Daml

Summer Shorts: High Spirits

Steady your liver – flash fiction by Amy Daml


“Gum bay!”

Paul filed the word away. He was pretty sure it meant “cheers”, and he was pretty sure he would need to use again it in three ... two ... one –

“Gum bay, gum bay, gum bay!”

Two weeks into his new job in China, Paul was well on his way to fluency. He’d already learned “shay shay”, which he alternated with his newly acquired “gum bay” when toasting the officials, each one egging him on with complements about his impeccable tones and pronunciation. More important than either of those words, however, Paul had learned the phrase with the golden touch – “la may".



All’s fair in love and mahjong – by Amy Daml


It’s summer in Beijing. The city’s street corners are dotted with knee-high folding tables, each one magnetised to attract all men in the neighbourhood. The magnetic field grows in strength with every addition to the huddle until no male passerby can repel it. The inseparable gentlemen roll their sweaty shirts up over their bellies, puff their cigarettes and collectively exhale a heavy, smoky breath that saturates the air.

At the center of one such force field, a friendly mahjong game is interrupted when Peng’s petulant opponent smashes a Tsingdao bottle over his head.


Playing the foreigner card

The white laowai's burden – by Amy Daml


For foreigners or "laowai" living in China, it’s important to keep in touch with friends from home – you know, by stalking them on social media. Some of the conversations I had on Facebook last year were about race in America, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in July finally brought the term “white privilege” to mass consciousness. Though I’ve only been an expat for three years, living abroad gives you just enough of an outsider’s perspective to trick you into thinking that these are not your problems. But they are my problems – or should I say, my privileges.

Whether out of frustration, innocence, the insistence of a Chinese friend, or just out of being an asshole, we’ve all played the laowai card.