Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Apr 14 2003

I was invited to a dinner get-together last night …

I was invited to a dinner get-together last night at a restaurant over near the intersection of Minsheng E. and Jianguo N. Roads. I only know the guy who invited me, Joseph, from a previous gathering. Everyone else at the two tables was a stranger. The food was good, lots of Sichuan dishes and tasty sesame-filled pastries for dessert. We talked and chatted throughout the meal, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. I like the idea of such gatherings much better than going out to a pub. It would be great if someone would organize “Tea Dances”, like the kind I used to attend in Hong Kong at 1997 in Lam Kwai Fong, just lazy Sunday afternoon get-togethers where there’s no dancing, just brunch, drinks, and chatting. There’s all sorts of teahouses in this city that would be perfect for that kind of thing.

Right before dessert was served, though, one of the managers came over and started whispering to the organizer of our party. They looked at me as they did so, but the host just shrugged, so another member of our party was consulted in a similar manner. Eventually the manager, who was blushing, asked the guys next to me if she could talk to me, and they said “Huh? Why don’t you ask him?” So she came over to me and said, “Excuse me, sir, but we need to know your nationality.”


“We have to know your nationality.”

“It’s ROC, just like everyone else at this table,” I said.

Everyone was staring at the manager by this point. “Why are you asking him this?” Someone else at the table asked her, but the manager beat a hasty retreat, muttering, “Nothing, it’s nothing.” We discussed this strange behavior for a bit, and the general concensus around the table was that such a question was really wierd, so someone called the manager back over. This time she had an explanation.

“You see, when we hand out the desserts, we always stick little flags in them if we have an international visitor, so we wanted to know what flag to use for you.”

The entire table then went “Aaaaah…ok.”

posted by Poagao at 7:42 am  

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