Thursday, December 07, 2006

Objects of curiousity















Eating out in restaurants seems to be the primary social, recreational and cultural activity in Weihai. The chef at a major restaurant, a friend of a student, asked if I would help him with English. He needs English to advance professionally because his is an international restaurant. While I do not give English lessons, I told him he could come over and show me how he cooks (see above), and we'd speak English as we worked. This man could discriminate between a dozen varieties of mushrooms and knew their English names, but had not acquired English verbs. After he and I talked and cooked, we continued speaking simplified English over a dinner at my apartment (see below).
When Westerners eat in restaurants, we can be an object of curiosity. Servers stifle their amusement over our awkwardness with chopsticks. Other night, I had dinner with several people from church. After eating, we got to talking about our faith journeys. Now this group always says grace in public,but I had never seen them do longer prayers in public. In effect, we had a short prayer meeting. We closed our eyes, bowed our heads, and made requests of God on each other's behalf. Very moving.
Then I looked up. Four servers ringed our table, and were scrutinizing us as if we had just performed an exotic ritual. From their point of view, we had. Another four servers came out to watch. One of my fellow worshippers wondered aloud if the restaurant staff knew what we were doing-- China has been atheist for awhile, and many people don't relate to prayer. But I think they knew.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

yummy and amen...

Anonymous said...

also, buy the dog!!

Anonymous said...

also, buy the dog!!

Anonymous said...

also, buy the dog!!

Anonymous said...

also, buy the dog!!

Anonymous said...

also, buy the dog!!

Anonymous said...

also, buy the dog!!

Anonymous said...

also, buy the dog!!

Roz said...

The dog was in the market one day. I'm not sure I could find him again. Besides, Joe would be unhappy and so would the cats. John, did you want me to find a Chinese dog for YOU?

What does tomorrow mean? It is 5:30 pm here, but at home it’s 5:00 in the morning. I leave Weihai tomorrow and make a stop in Beijing. ...