Today I met a man named Hansel. I should clarify: I met a Chinese man who doesn’t know his name is Hansel. Instead, he goes by “Hansor.”
At first I thought he’d been conned into calling himself “Hansaur,” some sort of unfortunate amalgamation of Han Solo and dinosaur. In retrospect I admit it’s more likely he chose for himself a name of German origin (plenty of foreign influence around here) rather than allowed himself to be named by a seven-year-old.
“It’s not an English name, it’s German, I think,” he told me during our stunted conversation over the Original Foreign Language Editions at Book City. After an equally stunted Google search I found that some people’s surname is Hansor, but seeing as a last name as a first name isn’t some sort of bourgeois indulgence here as it is for some in the West, I’m assuming this guy got the short end of the name stick.
Of course, I gave him my phone number (why not?) and we have a tentative friend date set for next Saturday. Maybe I’ll discover the origins of “Hansor”…or at least the guy’s Chinese name.