As said in many other posts, my parents in law from China had been visiting us. What are good Chinese people doing when going abroad? Right, buying some little gifts for their family, friends and colleagues.
We went to many many stores, clothing, home decoration etc. On the question “What are they looking for” I got normally the reply “Something nice and not too expensive”.
Here the first problem started, as we live in one of the most expensive countries in the world, there is nothing really nice and not too expensive…
I got a great idea and I thought it might be perfect for my parents in law so I said “Lets go to IKEA”
They found so much stuff they liked but as we approached the cashier, they saw that every single piece they had selected was made in China. Oh no, a no go for them “Why should we buy things made in China? Chinese quality is bad”.
After that I pointed out that all the clothes they bought were made in China but apparently that was fine as “It was expensive, so its good.” – What the hell??? So stuff made in China which is on a reasonable pricing level is bad because the quality is poor but other stuff which is terrifying expensive and made in China is good because of the price??
Well here you go, Chinese logic, or just my parents in law.
last time I wrote a bit about my seating strategies in restaurants when eating with my Chinese relatives. As I said before this is due to the insane habit of Chinese mothers to force feed their children…and their spouses. See more about that
The thing is, I try already to eat less and less, coming up with excuses not to eat etc. and then the parents in law are wondering more and more why I am not hungry whereas they are hungry 24/7, even right after having some huge lunch or dinner.
They always say (especially mom in law 妈妈) I should eat more to stay healthy and that I eat too less normal man. Guess what happens every time for traveling and checking its weight forcing me to check my own weight at the same time.
“Oh, that is really heavy”
“That is pretty fat”
And so forth…well I eat like hell for several weeks when I am with them!!!
But then again, they don’t mean anything bad but still, some insane logic they have.
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?