One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Starvation and Slurping

Our Chinese student Kevin has his eccentricities - such as his obsession with guns, DVDs, and Mariah Carey. But our other student, Seven (7), has his quirks, too. I won't bother discussing his obsession with shopping for clothes and video games. That deserves its own post. No, today I want to discuss his eating habits.

In Chinese culture, you demonstrate your enjoyment of the food you are eating by slurping it. The more you like it, the more you slurp. I have come to compare it to a cat purring. Just like a cat can't help but purr when it is enjoying a pet, a Chinese youth can't help but slurp if he is enjoying his food. Such is the case with 7. You should hear him lay into an over-sized bowl of top ramen - slurp-o-riffic. Add to this his rampant smacking, and you have an auditory delight with every meal. The problem has been that 7 doesn't like American food, despite our best efforts. This has resulted in 7 outright skipping meals. It has gotten to the point that Kevin has expressed to us his concern for his fellow student. He is concerned that 7 may be starving.

We were delighted, therefore, when we were able to have our students meet with a Chinese sister missionary serving in the Davis wards. Last weekend, this wonderful woman sent a huge tupperware container of authentic Chinese food to our house, with the intent that 7's impending demise might be forestalled. Annie and I tasted it and it was fantastic. You can only imagine, then, the level of slurping and smacking that ensued as the emaciated 7 crawled from his room, pulled himself to the table, and buried his face in a steaming bowl of rice, peanuts, green beans, tomato, chicken, and peppers. The Slurp & Smack Fest was epic. It was so loud and disconcerting that Annie and I were driven from the room.

But it struck us - How is he able to slurp dry rice? This led us to pay attention to what else he can slurp. Take last night for instance. He tried Annie's spaghetti and didn't like it (Kevin had three helpings!). His dinner, therefore, consisted of four pieces of garlic bread (we offered him other food, but he wouldn't have it). He was so enamored with the bread (which he ate with a fork), that he managed to slurp it. How in the world do you slurp garlic bread? I watched him out of the corner of my eye, and it is still a mystery to me.


Chelsa said...

never mind the slurping - how do you eat garlic bread with a fork?

Uncle Chrissy said...

I think you got the most high maintenance Chinese students in HISTORY. It's so annoying. Poor Annie, she was excited about making that dinner for them last night. Little punks.

Ian said...

I made pot stickers the other day...they came out pretty good, and they are fun to make. Fried rice is also pretty easy. According to wiki-pedia both dishes are "authentic". You should make some fake American food just to test their tell them that for Sunday dinner it's polite in America to eat fried chicken ice cream milkshakes or something like that.

Raging Wombat said...

Chelsa - If I could answer that I would be a wealthy man.

Chrissy - I'm afraid I don't. Some families have girls who hate each other. My parents' neighbor's girls threatened to kill each other. I recommended that they drink more oolong tea.

Ian - You are a cruel, cruel man. That is why we are such good friends.

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