Getting Ready for China at the Local Chinese Buffet- OR NOT!

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(An ‘expert’ teaches the young bewildered and confused student)

On the back of the flimsy wooden disposable chop stick packet at the local Chinese Buffet, there are instructions and diagrams on how to operate them. Sierra and Eben said that there are NO forks anywhere in the country, we’ll have to bring our own in our back pockets or master chop sticks. So the husband and I have been going to the local Chinese buffet for lunch on a weekly basis to practice. Rule is, you’re not allowed to unroll the napkin of western utensils. Don’t touch it. Chop sticks only, included on fried rice. We’ve gotten pretty skilled. So when the son came home from college for study days, we thought we’d try to break him in. He was skeptical at first. Only ever played around with them and certainly never ate a whole meal with them.

Since mom worked in a Chinese restaurant in West Reading for many years, beginning as a hostess at age 15, then a waitress then a cook, she corrected Todd’s form which consisted of wrapping his big muscular blacksmithing fingers around those dainty sticks and getting the food into his mouth anyway he could. The ring finger inbetween the two chopsticks was throwing him off.

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(Notice how swiftly their chopsticks move as they master their technique)

But by the end of the meal, the boys were getting almost  everything on their plates into their mouths. Rice remained a challenge. We think the secret might be, getting low and moving the hand at rapid speed!The little Chinese waitresses were walking by our table smiling at us. And they were delighted to hear at the check out that we were heading to China.

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(Confidence quickly moved into cockiness as they attempted to eat ice cream and then magically use the chopsticks to levitate the entire ice cream dish)

Although my daughter tells me that chunky, fried, sweet General Tso’s Chicken is NOT the kind of foods we can expect to find in real Sichuan China cuisine- coagulated duck blood chunks, webbed duck feet, chicken feet, which they absolutely adore and is sold by the bagfuls in Walmart like beef jerky, is more like it. No one knows where the white meat of the chicken goes- probably to the emperors in the palace somewhere. The common folk never see it. The other night out for dinner, they found a rooster waddle (chunk of waggy neck flesh under its head) and a rooster comb (jagged headress) in their food. Yeah . Yeah. Oh, and on the street, you can buy skewered sparrows with bulging eyes, dried up and roasted.

Sierra and Eben also claim that for them, diarrhea is just an accepted way of life. We might all be coming back with a little less of us.

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12 thoughts on “Getting Ready for China at the Local Chinese Buffet- OR NOT! Leave a comment

  1. Good form – only problem is that they are holding the chopsticks too low. Chinese people believe the lower you hold the chopsticks, the shorter your life will be!
    Well, they also say the thing about your lungs enlarging and eating dogs and pork so I wouldn’t hold my breath… Looking forward to seeing you guys!
    And of course, you can borrow our forks! 🙂

  2. Good form – only problem is that they are holding the chopsticks too low. Chinese people believe the lower you hold the chopsticks, the shorter your life will be!
    Well, they also say the thing about your lungs enlarging and eating dogs and pork so I wouldn’t hold my breath… Looking forward to seeing you guys!
    And of course, you can borrow our forks! 🙂

    1. I love it- we want to do EVERYTHING right! Please continue coaching- besides wanting to be able to get our food into our mouths as quickly and efficiently as possible, we also want as a long a life as possible too!

  3. I look forward to reading about the upcoming reunion with your family in China, Cindy. Enjoy, and I know you will make the most of each and every second of it! I also worked at a Chinese restaurant on Penn Ave when I was 16 – 18! does Bok sound familiar? Aw, he made the best everything…. let,s say that I pulled many pea pod strings in between customers.

    1. you must have worked with me- what is/was your last name? we had a love/hate relationship- Bok always had trouble with my brain, since I could not, for the life of me, memorize what everyone ordered w/o writing it down- he used to compare with my dear sister who has a brain like a computer- “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” he would yell at me. I just never got that comparing shit.

  4. Happy trails to you and your two guys. I think Eben’s advice could become a work-a-day mantra, “Hold your chopsticks high!” Certainly, mastering technique in every endeavor should be our focus. Enjoying the food ( Duck Feet? ), of course, is also very high on the list of things to remember. We’ll be thinking of the fun you’re having in China ( while we are in Chile ). Our regards to Sierra and Eben. Maybe Teri and I can get there next year.

  5. Loved the blog mom! I am particularly impressed by dad’s skill with his massive chainsaw carving fingers. i think even the Chinese will goggle at his deftness. can’t wait to take you guys to a real hot pot restaurant. We will be poised with the camera to capture your reactions. Ken, if you and Teri get the chance to visit before July, you are welcome to visit Eben and I in Mianyang!

  6. We’re sorry that Sierra wont be around to come to this inauguration. What about the rest of you? We still have room. Bp

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