Friday, September 29, 2006


Speaking of Chinese food, I should have probably said by now that
everything is eaten with chopsticks. You probably knew that, and so
did I, but it was still quite surprising when on my first day here I
had to use them in a restaurant. Fortunately, I had practiced a bit
on the plane on the way over (you get 4 meals I think from Chicago to
Shanghai), so it wasn't a completely foreign task, but I was by no
means proficient in their use, nor am I know, though of course I've
improved considerably. Eating rice from a bowl with chopsticks, which
sounds challenging, is in fact quite easy since they can be used as a
shovel with the bowl held close to the mouth. The problem comes when
eating other dishes. As I mentioned in the previous post, the meal
usually consists of many dishes which many people share. At one
restaurant, and I imagine this is true of most but I haven't been to
many with a large enough group of people, the circular table had a
raised, rotating center (leaving just enough room for your plate
outside of it) on which the dishes were placed so that people could
try everything without having to pass the dishes around. I wish I had
gotten a picture of it. When that isn't the case, though, chopstick
skills are a must since one risks dropping a piece of food onto the
table or, worse, into another dish. This has happened to me
innumerable times, and it's quite embarrassing. Fortunately the
people have been very forgiving, and my skills are improving much
faster than my language abilities.


Anonymous said...

Becoming proficient in the use of chopsticks is quite an accomplishment for someone who has trouble using a scissors. I'm impressed!

Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Just a little note to say I finally found an internet source. It's at the chicago public library and I don't get here often because I work during the day, but it is free so I'll be coming to use the internet often. It's also a good excuse to come to the library more and pick up books and explore other parts of the library. There are piano practice rooms upstairs that I didn't know about. I love hearing the things you're experiencing. Please update often. I'm working on a play currently. It's short, but violent, which is intense, and fun, and scary at the same time. I will let you know how it's going. Good luck. I expect a chinese dinner when you get back. Take care.

- Ryan Heindl