It has been a busy two weeks. I’d like to say I have been jet setting around the country promoting Magestic Dreams but that isn’t true. A sweet sixteen birthday party for my daughter, a visit from my nephews from Florida, packing my son for a year-long trip to Japan, the arrival of our foreign exchange student from China, the first day of school, and preparing for a Sayanara Party for my son which includes a visit from out-of-town family is my only excuse for not posting last week.
I must apologize for my lack of creativity this week but before you whip me with a wet noodle, let me explain a noodle. Though noodles are a staple of Chinese cooking (along with a truckload of rice), it is difficult to translate. This is what a noodle looks like in Chinese: 面条. And this is me, explaining pasta to our exchange student, Shunshun, in our first restaurant experience.
Shunshun: “What is pasta?”
Shunshun: “What is noodle?”
Me: “A thin strip of pasta.”
As you can see by the above example, I lack the necessary skills to describe food choices. So, in an attempt to simplify the decision process, I suggested she try my daughter’s favorite—chicken fingers. A look of horror and confusion came across her face and it took me a few seconds to explain that chickens don’t really have fingers and we don’t really eat them. I tried to describe breaded and fried to no avail and so, we settled on a grilled chicken breast with rice pilaf and a side of mac and cheese. She devoured the breast and rice but much to my disappointment, the mac and cheese didn’t pass the test.
This morning, I made a sack lunch for my daughter and Shunshun. Prior to making the traditional peanut butter sandwich, I gave her a tiny taste. The sticky texture might have freaked her out a little bit. She walked around the kitchen with her hand over her mouth, smiling as she tried to swallow.
“Is good,” she finally said.
“You don’t have to like it,” I said laughing.
She laughed with me and replied, “No really, is good.” So, I packed her a PB&J sandwich, a handful of fruit, cheetos (my sense of humor), and trail mix, none of which she has ever tasted (except the fruit).
We knew there would be a language barrier, but we didn’t realize it would come down to words like flush, shampoo, shower, and panties. Figuring out a way to describe our everyday words can turn your brain into jello. Jello is a gelatin that jiggles and comes in flavors like orange and lime. Orange is a fruit that you peel and eat, or squeeze and drink.