Eating with the family

One thing, most likely the most important thing I have learned so far, comes to eating out with my Asian family.

It is a matter of sitting on the table. It is of utmost importance to sit as far as possible away from your mom in law and any other older female relative. You may wonder why would I do such terrible thing and avoid those people. The answer is simple: SURVIVAL!

The thing is, when eating out, no matter how often you said already that you are done and full, and no matter how full your plate is, you mom in law and other older female relatives will always put new food on your plate. They may say things like “Oh try this” or “You didn’t have enough of this yet” or “Even I ate more” or “There are more dishes coming”.

During my first visit in China I made the terrible mistake to try to finish everything on my plate, and sometimes table (as I have learned to do so by my own parents) but the food never ended until I felt always so sick that I couldn’t move anymore and was some pounds heavier after China.

My strategy is simple nowadays, as most table are round in the restaurant when eating with many people, I position myself between my wife and my dad in law or any other person I can trust not to force feed me.

Another thing is, somehow no matter how thin some Chinese may appear, they all can eat more than you could even imagine. I do not know how they do it, but sometimes it appears that they can eat at least 50% of their own body weight, and that 4-5 times a day!

 

Anyone else out there with strategies when eating with Asian families?

Seat Belt

Hey everyone, you are facing once again a story of mine.

Most people are used to seat belt, those nice little extras in the car to keep you safe. In China they few it differently, most taxis do not even have seat belts in the back seats. Once I used the seat belt in the front seat of a taxi, apparently it hadn’t been used forever as it was kind of stucked. After the ride my shirt had a nice black stripe across my chest…well, you cant have everything I guess.

So I asked my parents in law (with the translating help of my wife) why Chinese people avoid the seat belts. The dad said he had no idea, as he always uses it, however the mom said that the seat belt is too tight for Chinese people and it hinders you to get out of a car after a crash…omg…sure, because without a seat belt you can not get out anyways 😀

When they visited us some weeks ago I also noticed that both of them never used those safety belts. They usually sat in the back of the car, not the front. So I asked once again with the help of my wife, why they wouldn’t use the belts, as we have also a terrible high fine when caught without the belt and the answer was “In the backseats of a car you are safe, nothing can happen there”…

Why oh why is this happening. I asked some other Chinese I know and they told me similar stories. It seems they sometimes even learn that stuff from driving school etc. though I cannot believe that, would be just too extreme.

Clean Windows

Hello again,

Anyone who had been in China and many other Asian countries has probably realized that keeping something clean is not their strength. Especially when it comes to the exterior of buildings and also much of the more public interior such as the stairways, lifts etc. Sometimes it is even that dirty and in such a desolate condition that you might think that the building must be near hundred years old even though it is standing there only for a few years.

However this is nothing compared to how the windows are taken care of. In hotels you might try to watch out of your window but then you see…nothing! Ok, you see something and that is grey or brown, sometimes even oily blackish,  depending on the area and their industry. Chinese seem to avoid to clean windows at all cost.

In a restaurant I saw once how they cleaned their front window (the side facing the street). So what they did was to put newspaper in water and wipe the windows with those newspapers. Needles to say, the window appeared to be more dirty afterwards than it was in the beginning…

So when we had my wife’s parents over here in the “western” world they noticed that the windows are actually clean. Very often it happened that we went through the streets and my mom in law pointed out the clean windows. She asked then “Why are the windows so clean? Special glass?” oh well oh well, sure they know something about how to clean windows but it seems its more a task they do every decade or so.

On a side note, they really seem not to know too much about cleaning equipment for windows. In a store they had some window wipers and my dad in law wanted to buy one of those to use it as a floor wiper in the bathroom.

Again my question, is this normal? Is it depending on the city or area the people come from? Or are they just joking around and I just miss the hint? 😮

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…