Chinese food and lobsters [Tuesday, Jul. 05, 2005, 6:55 pm]
I think it would do to read this entry if you haven't already. It really puts the "Live 8" concerts in perspective.
Well, I hope everyone had a fun and safe Independence Day. We actually didn't see any fireworks this year, since we were so dang pooped after getting home from the beach and eating some yummy lobsters. The mosquito bites I get while waiting for the fireworks to start each year are usually worse than the fireworks are exciting, so I don't think I missed much.
These past few days have been quite the intercultural experience in our household. My Aunt has been cooking all kinds of Chinese food for us lately, and believe me, it's nothing like the "Chinese food" you'd buy at most Americanized Chinese restaurants in this country (although I like that too). Some dishes have been better than others, but the crepe-like pancakes we had this morning were awesome.
I went shopping twice with my Aunt today. First she went to a garage sale to barter again. We'd gone there yesterday and the guy wouldn't back down on his prices, but this time she got some things for $50 that had been worth like $75. And then we went to a fish market and she got 16 lobster bodies (minus the front claws and tails which contain most of the meat) for something like $3.50. She was trying to barter with the (very cute) fish-market-owner who had just started the business right out of college. And he wouldn't back down either. But she says when she keeps going back she can get them to break and lower their prices. I dunno... I guess it's just culture, because apparently bartering & haggling are just part of the buying culture in Taiwan (where she lived).
I found out that in China, if someone complements your wife or child, as in saying something like, "oh, your wife is so beautiful," it's considered proper, humbling etiquette to refuse, and insist, "oh no, she's ugly!" Apparently to accept it would mean you were proud or snooty.
Other things are very different over there. My Aunt told us about how families only wanted to have boys, and acted like girls didn't matter, and her own mother treated her like dirt because of that. It just doesn't make much sense to me. With out females, there wouldn't be anymore males anyway, would there?
All together it's been a wonderful time. We've had many extra family members at every single meal in the past few days, so it's been great. I've enjoyed just watching movies, and sitting around talking, telling jokes, and laughing. We should have reunions more often - but I guess if we had them too often we'd get sick of each other, and it would defeat the purpose of a "reunion." ;-)
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009