20 November 2005

Post#3 United Nations

Last week my classmates at Chinese class decided that we needed to have a social night....the plans changed off and on until finally I made some executive decisions. I made reservations at one of my new fav restaurants, Cafe Grazie....and we planned to come back to my house and hang out afterwards. They didn't know where the restaurant was so we had to find a place that they would know...thanks to Asian travel books they were all familiar with another restaurant in my area called Ding Tai Fung (known for its amazing dumplings). It's funny that even though we are all different there is common ground in the fame of a dumpling restaurant. So we met there and went to Cafe Grazie. They sat us down and then the waitresses started to speak Chinese rapidly...our group had 3 Japanese students and 1 Korean and they were mistaken for Chinese...I explained that none of us were native Chinese speakers and then she did her best to communicate slower or in English. At first the conversation was awkward but we got some food and some drinks and everyone started to loosen up. We recapped some of our lessons, we talked about the teacher, we took some pictures and even shared some food. It was fun but so funny....altogether there were 7 of us: 3 Japanese, 1 Korean, 1 French, 1 German and Me. It was an informal gathering of the worlds super powers. We were able to communicate in broken Chinese and the international language of English....although sometimes I think the int'l language is charades. After dinner was over we headed to my place. On the way we stopped at 7-11 to get some drinks...alcoholic drinks. The Asian students had talked all week about how they loved to drink beer so I wasn't sure if they were looking to put on some sort of show....but they each only bought 2 drinks. I say only, not because I wanted to have a big shaker but because in Canada when my friends say they are going to "drink" it means at least 12 beer so I chuckled at these guys getting two beer for our little gathering. When we got to my house the conversation was slow so I put on some music and broke the ice by showing some photos of home. That's right some of YOUR images have been spread around. Then I asked the Japanese guy to teach us a card game....we played his game for a few minutes before I got the genius idea to teach them spoons.....we waged WW III and played a raucous game of spoons. Once a winner was decided the energy in the room started to fade and the night drew to a close. We finished our drinks and I said Goodbye, Zai Jian, Auf Wiedersehen, Au Revoir, and Sayonara. It was a fun night and I am continually amazed at how easy it is to bridge cultural gaps in order to form friendships....as long as everyone is patient and tolerant it always works out. There is a big world out there and billions of people to meet so I am glad that I get to experience a small glimpse of the global family....I'll tell you about my multicultural weekly poker games another time.

1 comment:

SarahJ said...

I'm pretty sure you're WAY more cultured than I will ever be!