Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Some funny things...

Every once in a while I will write a post that just lists funny things I have come across. This is one of them.

  • Shandong, the province where I now live, follows very strict protocol when it comes to seating at a meal. There are specific rules of where certain people sit, which people may toast, and hot toasting is done. After a certain point in the meal, toasting becomes open to everyone... but there is a catch. Whoever proposes a toast to a particular person may instruct that person how much to drink, but they get to decide how much to consume for themselves. The toastee may not refuse to drink, lest they suffer a tremendous shame. You can see where I am going with this... people abuse it to no end. Somehow at dinner tonight I managed to stay under the radar and only had to down a few glasses of wine. Celine, the site manager in Shanghai however, got pretty tipsy and started getting violent. She was punching and pinching people when they wouldn't listen to her and some people started getting a little sick of it. When someone is being rude enough that other Chinese point it out, you know they are being very rude. Anyway, after she punched me in the arm hard, I took advantage of the Yantai toasting tradition and made her down a few glasses of wine in revenge. I felt bad when a few minutes later she ran off to the bathroom to throwup! Oooops.
  • There is a Communism Department at the factory where I work. As far as I can tell they are a remnant of when the Communist party kept a close eye on all business, but now they serve as the closest thing to a workers union that I have seen here in China.
  • Mr. Live Scallop and Mr. Live Lobster made their appearance at dinner again this evening, much to my dismay, but this time they were joined by their friend, Mr. Fried Jellyfish. I don't like him very much either. Mr. Live Scallop fights like you wouldn't believe when you are trying to break into his home and eat him alive.

Anyhow, it is time for bed. Zaijian, everyone.