Another uneventful weekend in Yuan Yuan’s absence, unfortunately… Time for random culture observations!
If there’s one thing I am certain I will remember how to say in Mandarin, it will be “eat more.”
People here need proof that you like their food. A simple “hao chi” (it’s delicious) does not cut it. Even if you constantly praise the cook’s abilities or repeatedly declare your never-ending adoration for the dish, they won’t believe you, unless you eat all of it.
So, if you ever want the food again, you better start eating, and you better do it quickly with a smile (speed also plays a big factor).
If you eat too slowly, they may think you’re eating reluctantly. Or, they may hand you a random piece of silverware in attempt to help you (once, I received a knife when struggling to eat rice… I’m not completely sure how a knife was supposed to facilitate this task, but it’s the thought that counts).
Okay, so once you’ve proved you enjoy a certain meal, prepare to be offered it all the time. All. The. Time. Even after dinner once I’m heading off to bed, my grandmother will try to feed me watermelon, or corn, or beef. Sometimes, she will leave food in my room, or pile too much food on my dinner plate; you need to be willing to waste some food, unfortunately.
At least, this is how it works with my grandmother. I can’t speak for the entire Chinese population, of course.
Let’s see… more random things… oh, swords!
Within my college campus here, there’s a group of older men and women that practice swordsmanship every morning. Around 8 o’clock am, I stroll past as they gracefully slice the air with their blades. It’s rather mesmerizing, honestly.
Okay, I just got really distracted because in the Musketeers episode I’m currently watching, Aramis just served this other french girl a plate of bread and cheese… Now this wasn’t a particularly appetizing plate of bread and cheese, and I’m lactose intolerant, but it looked reeeeeeeaaaaaaally good.
Now, anyone that really knows me knows that I’m not exactly an American nationalist. Don’t get me wrong, America is great and my home and freedom of speech is pretty awesome, but I prefer very old cultures, traditions and gun control. Despite this, however, I’m starting to miss American food. Which is also strange because America doesn’t really have it’s own food unless you count McDonalds and KFC (which I despise).
I guess I just miss my normal meals where I don’t have to wash every fruit in boiled water before eating it.
I think this is just week-3-blues, though.
This post actually took a rather nostalgic tone that was not intentional.
Alright, well, I’m not sure what else to talk about at the moment. Sorry for the short posts recently. I believe Yuan Yuan will be returning tomorrow or the day after… cross you fingers for me. I’m getting tired of moping between rooms of the apartment with the occasional bowl of fruit in hand.
Bye for now!