I get interesting e-mails from readers from time to time who are kind enough to share their experiences. One of the more unusual ones involved compliments on the Chinese Laundry book but it also asked about some Chinese characters on the book cover. Specifically, the reader, a person who obviously knew how to read Chinese, wondered if his rendering of the tiny barely legible Chinese characters next to "OVERALLS" on laundry check list, which he translated to be 'greasy clothes,' was correct.
SInce I do NOT read Chinese, my intuitive knowledge based on the small amount of Chinese I understand told me that he was correct, as Chinese coined terms for items and concepts which they did not experience in China. Checking with someone who does read Chinese confirmed my conclusion: the reader was correct!