Fun with Foreigners
Iwas walking around Beijing when a group of foreigners suddenly stopped me and asked, “Where is Heaven?”
Thinking that they were trying to preach to me I replied, “In your heart.”
They looked at me like I was mad.
It wasn’t until later that I realized that they were asking me about the Temple of Heaven.
An American friend of mine was heading back to the States for a spell and asked me to take care of his cat while he was away. When he brought the cat over, he said to me, very sincerely, “Tony, please, whatever you do, please don’t eat him.” I went speechless: do all foreigners really believe that Chinese people will eat anything?
One time I was accompanying a friend of a friend, an Italian guy, around Nanjing. We were strolling around the city and had made it to Fuzimiao where we stopped in front of the sign for the sight. We were there reading the description for the place and the
Italian guy was looking intently at the Five-A rating, reading it aloud, “Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah,” confusedly asking me what it meant.
Iused to work at an R& D company that my Swedish coworker and I started in Shanghai. This Swede was six foot three and skinny as a rake. At that time, he’d only just arrived in Shanghai. One afternoon we went to a Sichuanese restaurant for lunch, we ordered a few different dishes to share and then the waitress brought over a big bucket of rice for us.
The Swede was quite astonished asking who was getting such a large “bowl” of rice. Without thinking about it I started joking around with him saying, “You are an important guest here. According to our customs: this rice is all for you.” He stretched his hands out, looking reluctant, “Your guys’ customs here are quite peculiar.”
My phone rang just as I laughed at his comment. I stepped out to answer it and ended up chatting for a bit. When I came back about ten minutes later, the Swede had eaten up the entire bucket of rice. He sat there fixed, looking blankly at the empty “bowl,” telling me, “I finished it.” He was so full that he couldn’t even have a bite of any of the other food we ordered. After that I avoided him for many a day at lunch time, not daring to have lunch with him, feeling that I had wronged him.