Saturday, October 14, 2006

Seatbelts and other thoughts

As Americans, we are certainly a good example of rule followers, aren't we? Not so in China...
It is the ritual of the seat belt that we have observed in every taxi cab we've ridden in thus far. Pa, always seated in the front seat, is as diligent about buckling his seatbelt, as he is about flossing and brushing his teeth after every meal. Yesterday, Ma looked at the cabdriver and asked why he was putting his life at risk by draping his belt over his lap unbuckled. "99% of drivers don't belt them, but we can get ticketed, so as long as we make it look ok, we are safe." "You can even buy jackets with safety belts sewn across the front to make it look like you are buckled!"

This morning at breakfast, a women was eagerly trying to use her newly learned Chinese on the waitress. Unfortunately, the poor girl could not understand her and soon had enlisted a group of 4 waitresses around her to help. The girls were trying to talk to this women, who at this point was trying to understand what they were trying to tell her. Turns out all this women was trying to say was, "the food is very delicious!" I ended up talking to this women and discovered that she and her husband live by El Camino Hospital. She offered me her unused Russian language cd's and we exchanged phone numbers. At this point, a Chinese guy walked by and casually told us he was from Foster City!

We had Peking duck last night, a feast that delighted the Mays. I am convinced one can never tire of Peking duck.


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