Saturday, March 13, 2010

Can You Hold that Thought Until I Get the Fish Bones out of My Teeth?

Posted by She Said.


Our much anticipated dinner with Greg’s coworkers was on Friday night, and we had a great time. And what is the phrase? Getting there is half the fun? As far as our kids go, I would say that was true. Why? There are no car seat laws here. I did some research prior to coming and could not find any significant reference to car seats in China. There were plenty of references about car seats MADE in China, but not necessarily using them while you were here. We figured most of our transportation would either be on foot or public transportation anyway, but tonight, Jason and Sinny, Greg’s coworkers, offered to pick us up and drive us to our big group dinner. Four of us, including the kids, sat in the back seat of Jason’s car. UNBUCKLED! *GASP* At first I tried to put Emily in my lap and put the seat belt around both of us. Greg turned around and said, “Well, THAT’S a good way to crush your daughter.” I gave up my battle with the belt. Hey, at least I tried.

The kids thought the free reign in the car was pretty cool and were quite rambunctious until I pulled out the tranquilizer, AKA iPod Touches, to calm them down. I have mentioned the traffic before, but we got a serious dose of it during Friday night rush hour traffic. It took us 2 hours to get to dinner (1/2 hour on the way home), making us about an hour late meeting the rest of the group. They were graciously and patiently waiting for us, and they all stood up and waved hello to us as we came in.

And then we started eating. Have I mentioned that my kids are picky eaters? OH YEAH, IN EVERY BLOG POST ABOUT FOOD. Well, it was no different tonight. I honestly believe they would enjoy some of the food if they would stop freaking out about what it looks like. Just ignore the fish head, Braedyn! Try the fish! Speaking of which… This amazing fish dish was placed on our table. Everyone uses their chopsticks to take pieces from the plates placed in the center of the table. I took one piece, and it was savory and scrumptious! As the fish was making its second pass around the lazy susan, I skillfully used my chopsticks to take another piece. As I put it in my mouth, I realized the piece I took was FULL of fish bones. As I scrambled looking for one of the two napkins they must have placed on the table for the ten of us, one of Greg’s coworkers stood to propose a toast. “Welcome!” he said, smiling at us. “Welcome!” said all the others, glasses raised. And there I am with a mouth full of fish bones and no napkin. I smiled, my teeth glinting from the shimmer of fish bones, and lifted my glass, toasting with the group. I then used my mad charade skills to get the one napkin left on the table. I SO did not want to be rude, but HELLO!? I had a mouth full of fish bones! I did my best to get them into the napkin and moved on.

It didn’t take long for my next blunder. Mere seconds, actually. I moved from the fish to the soybeans. I asked, “Are these soybeans?” “Yes!” I heard enthusiastically. I calculatedly used my chopsticks to pick one up from the community bowl and put it in my mouth. The instant it hit my tongue, I heard, “No, no, no, no, no!” Panicking, I pulled it out of my mouth with my fingers. They laughed and said, “Not the whole thing.” Then they showed me how you squeeze the pod to get the soybean into your mouth.

The night wasn’t all full of silly blunders on our part; in fact, we were complimented on how well we used our chopsticks. Score!

P3110021 Many thanks to the gracious and patient localization team for a memorable evening! (Oh, and if you are wondering where Braedyn is in this shot, he is asleep in the chair behind me.)

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