I try to decipher what the problem is, with my broken Mandarin, but don't get very far. All I gather is that they are asking for cash. I almost always have cash, being that all of the local places we eat at don't accept cards, but, of course, I don't today; Nor do I have time to run to the ATM. I rummage for a little cash, hoping there's some I overlooked, but come up empty handed, and sigh as I realize I'm just going to have to put everything back... Oh well.
Looking forward to making a hasty exit, I rummage through my annoyingly gargantuan bag that seems to have swallowed up all of the markers, when a young woman steps up to the counter and offers the cashier the money for my purchase. "No, no, no!" I say pushing her outstretched hand away. (Anytime I'm stressed out I forget to speak in Chinese.) She starts putting the things back in my bag. I pull the things back out of my bag. She puts them back in again, and I continue looking for those stupid markers.
This goes on for several more seconds.
"No, no, no.." I catch myself, and switch to "Bu yao, bu yao!" I tell her I don't want them. "Mei guan xi, mei guan xi, mei guan xi," she insists that it's no problem.
This goes on for a few more seconds.
Worn out, and realizing that this woman is wanting so desperately to allow me to save face, or avoid humiliation, I finally give in, and relinquish my search for the phantom markers. Thanking her as humbly as I've ever thanked anyone, I exit glimpsing her mouth "没关系" or "No problem" one last time.