Friday, February 25, 2005
Dinner was fine, but I became privy to another facet of Chinese culture: bluntness. Upon meeting a new person, many of the first questions asked may be: What do you do? How much do you make? That sort of thing. It's rude to us to ask someone we don't even know how much they earn. Here, they see it as a way to cut thru the BS and get to know who you're dealing with and how to deal. Not bad, once you get used to it. However, along with this come observations as to your state of being. If you look fatter? They tell you. Skinnier? Yup.
My point (for the moment) is that while we are sitting at the table, one of the girls reached over to grab the 'roll of fat' (there isn't one, in all actuality) on another girl, commenting that she looks less fat than she did before her vacation (keep in mind, women here are waif-like and pale. Those are distinctions of beauty). To follow up she grabbed and shook her ample roll of extra padding. Of course this passed around the table to all except me-not because I amn't fat, but because I am a guy? Who knows.
Just as I thought the comparison game was wrapping up, our waitresses came over and showed us their extra skin. Then girls at the other tables followed suit. My situation turned from one of quietly sniffling (freakin' cold! Again!), lost in my own thoughts (I wonder if the oil is too hot for me to stick a finger in and get a taste....) to being surrounded by skinny Chinese girls paranoid that their layer of skin might be too thick to obscure a visible display of their ribs.
Two girls then proudly dislpayed their newly tattooed LIPS (I am not making this up. Well, maybe sis told me about them instead of them showing up at dinner to moon over me). Seems they tired of constantly applying lipstick, so they had 'lipstick permanently' attached to their lips! Geez! Don't they know that tattoos are permanent?
Dinner ended after the food was gone. To be more accurate, dinner was over when I filled to overloaded after all the 'extra' food was placed in my bowl with smiling insistence to finish it all, as my hunger had been duly noted.
Those who feel pity for me raise your hand!!
Didn't think so