Actually, I wanted to blog this for a while but the last earthquake sort of shaken off my idea. It is a spin-off from Andreas of Always WOW entry. He, being an angmoh, found that the scenes at some restaurants a little yucky. And someone posted this comment which I do agree, eventhough Andreas did not quite like it.
Chinese are dirty people! Posted by: wan on March 28, 2005 04:36 PM
Who wants to refute this? In Penang, we have a place where a person can actually squat and eat their meals. They put a stool on top of the bench and you climb on the bench, sit on the stool and with both your knees jutting out, above the table, you eat, Pretty cool, hor? When I get a photo, I will post it. However, only the Chinese trishaw riders eat in this position. Maybe one day I challenge myself to pose, order a bowl of porridge and take a photo?
Am I ashamed of this? Of course not! I am a Chinese and accept some of our quirky manners. But of course, we can certainly try to be more civil and neater.
Next thing that I observed is the mannerism at hawker centre versus restaurants. I was at Mr. Ho’s Fine Foods in Penang just now. Over here, it is a grand bungalow offering wine, cigar and coffee. While waiting for my dessert, Ginger Creme Brulee, I sat there alone for several minutes looking at the limbs movement and expression of the patrons. (toddler has gone out to the patio with dad)
Why do we feel awkward in places like these whilst we feel at home in Chinese restaurants? It is just eating, right? Why do they appear so well-mannered, speak so softly and just seem so out of place?
Take for e.g. eating the buns. I would take it, tear off a piece, dab a huge piece of butter, open my mouth big big and stuff into it. But some of the patrons sort of spread the butter in slow motion and then, hold the bun with both hands and open their mouth small small and bite a little bit. Must we tune ourselves to match the angmohs environment even if it makes us feel uncomfortable?
If you are not a Chinese, tell me what are some of the things you find quirky about us? If you are a Chinese, do you agree we are very messy when come to eating? And no, this is not a racist topic.