The act of consuming food in a Chinese restaurant.
The act of consuming food in a Chinese restaurant. With chopsticks. During a business meeting.
Visiting a local restaurant in China is always an eventful and interesting occasion. Besides the challenge of chewing a slimy/bony entity not intended for human consumption, the mere act of getting the questionable object into your mouth is a tremendous task.
In China it is not uncommon to receive a big bowl of noodles or soup with a side of two, thin chopsticks. After numerous sideways glances to the locals occupying the surrounding tables, I have decided that there are three ways to overcome the problem of balancing unruly strings of noodles, flaky grans of rice or liquid on an area the size a pinkie nail.
- Lift the bowl from the table and bow your head until your nose touches the noodles/rice/soup. Slurp, smack and suck down the contents of your bowl by making plenty of loud noises. Use the chopsticks to enhance the speed and volume of said act.
- Ask for a spoon. Repeat step 1.
- Do not eat at all. Keep yourself entertained by observing everyone else's slurping.
In a few minutes our table was sufficiently stacked with sweet-and-sour fish, bean curd, miniature ribs, fried rice, and other bizarre dishes - an even number, so as to avoid death yet again. Just as I was strongly contemplating to play it safe and only touch my Chinese tea throughout lunch (perhaps I could keep myself occupied by refilling everyone else's tea cups, as this is an indication of gratitude and much less ominous than death), one of the locals reached for a dish and lo and behold! sent a lobster-ball of sorts flying. The slippery ball landed with thud in another colleague's teacup, spraying him with hot tea. For a second everyone stared in silent horror and then we all burst out laughing, even the tea-splattered colleague.