Thursday, August 17, 2006

The little things

Tonight I finished up class and coerced Duncan into going for a beer with me. That was around 6pm or so. His girlfriend, Yang (said Yen, I think), joined us at the bar around twenty to 7. He had to meet up with one of his students for supper at 7, and he asked me along, so off we went. I had met her before during an interview thing with his class 3 weeks ago. Turns out her parents own the place we went to.

It was awesome. We all sat down, met her parents, and had tea. Worked out what we were going to have (a painless process for once - I attribute that to Yang's no-nonsense approach and the student's familiarity with everything), and then Duncan and myself had to switch spots with the student (whose name completely escapes me) and Yang, as we were not seated in the spot of honour: facing the doorway. We had beef (damn nice); a medley of peanuts, celery, carrots and califlower; lamb and coriander with a 'hotpot' kind of dealie; and then eggplant (fast becoming my favourite dish). Duncan and I had a beer, but the student's uncles (close friends of the family, actually, but called uncles out of affection) kept toasting us. One would come over from the table next to us and pour us more beer and click our glasses. The guy was a master of ensuring his glass rim was lower than ours, though I did my damndest to at least make the rims equal. The reason is because someone of higher station or higher honour/respect always has his glass higher than the other person. We tried to nullify that somewhat to no avail. So we toasted ("Gambe!") and downed the beer like a shot. Then again... then again...

Lots of fun, and it was awesome to have such an intimate experience. I learned how to say "I want" and "I have" to the point where I could put sentences together... kinda. Learned 1-10 (and by proxy, 11-80 or whatever) through the fierce and stern ministrations of Yang and the student (fuck I feel bad for not knowing her name). So we were the last ones left in the restaurant, we headed out and the entire staff (server, chef, preparer ?? and the mom and dad) came out to see us off. We four went to a hip-hop bar of all places. Neat little place, but the music sucked ass as one might expect. The student kept asking me if I could sing those songs, and of course Duncan said "Yea, yea... Patrick's quite a good singer". ... yeah. So I tried to explain what the guy was singing about (something re: genitals and the motion of appendages, etc., as per usual rap music shite).

I had a Corona, and then just kind of sat there. It found it hard watching Yang and Duncan across the table, so I mostly stared into space. I headed home within 30 minutes of us getting to this hip-hop place. So here I am. And now it's time for sleep. Was a great night, but I'm quite tired. Tomorrow, I have but my afternoon conversation class. My morning class finished this morning. Sleeping in... awww yeeeee-ah.

So yeah... it's all about the little things here. Being able to try to talk Chinese to those 'uncles', and laughing over them wanting us to chug our glasses of beer after the toast, cigarettes being offered back and forth, good food and decent conversation (both English and Chinese) and a nice slow wind-down to the night. It was great.

But now... G'night!

2 comments:

Arreyder said...

Greetings from back home.

I've read up on your adventures in the far east, and I must say they are fascinating.
Glad you're having a good time.

See you when you come back to game.

Arreyder
-Faith and Steel (.net)

Wayward Mind said...

Arreyder!! What's the news on your new forum? Let me know via email. And let me know if you want/need more game world info brainstormed. Miss ya, bud! How's Cold Lake?