3/27/2008

The Ice Cream Story

Jessie jots...

The other day, Hushby and I hung out at Sebastian Joe's, quite well known for its homemade ice cream in Minneapolis. It was a cold day and we were hoping that they would offer discounted ice creams - at least they had this system when I used to visit it last year. Such that if it was below 40 F, then they would take 40% off the price. This time, they didn't offer it maybe cause it was spring in the making. Well we picked out two scoop of homemade ice creams anyway because you know, my sweet tooth can never say NO.

So I sat there, enjoying being in the city (again). I can't help but pay attention to the little kid opposite my seat as he scooped each spoonful of ice cream very carefully but greedily. He turned around and look at me. I cracked up as soon as he started grinning from ear to ear. His cheeks and nose was all covered with a mask of chocolate ice cream which he couldn't care less of. I thought, poor dad, he has got some work to do. His dad saw who his boy was smiling to, turned to me and jokingly said "No point cleaning him now". I just kept on laughing; it's like he knew what I was thinking.

Oh? Is mother instincts kicking in? While the boy kept me amuse, I started questioning if this is something I would let my son do? Would I let my children be all dirty and messy for them to experience trials and errors? Or would I feed them to encourage tidy table manners, be OCD-ish, constantly in check of germs and detox them with antibacterial wipes? I have no idea and I couldn't imagine.

Just as I was going through my motherly train of thoughts, I watched the little kid offered his dad a spoonful of ice cream. His dad said to him gracefully "No thank you... but that was very sweet of you".

I just went AWwwwwww What a sweet gesture for both father and son, don't you think? That made me smile and made me feel that life is not all that bitchy, even when it was below 10F outside because there I have it, living proof of wonderful, genuine nice people. For instance the Malaysian recent change - the election result didn't happen by chance. We obviously have a big proportion of highly motivated, positively intended, intellectual individuals who wanted to see a change in the political system and a future for themselves. Ok I digress, but why I said so? Because his dad is a Caucasian and the boy is Chinese. The Chinese boy called him dad and therefore, I know for sure they adopted the boy from China. As we all well know, Chinese can only have one child in a household. And to love a child not of your own, that's something to admire. Hushby also started giggling, being a nosy eavesdropper he was. And I told him, what would your and my mom say when we offered her our food?

"NO NEED, finish it up yourself!" OR if you really want the Malaysia version, "NO.. DON WANT LA... don't make me fat ah!"

And then of course she would go on and ramble...

"You know or not, those Bosnia kids don't have enough food to eat and you are here with so much food but don't want to eat it. You don't know how fortunate you are to live through day and night no need to worry about food... "

OR

"If you don't finish your food tonight, I will give the back alley dog your food and then you go to bed hungry."

OK SCARY but that helps with not being a choosy eater.

I'm sure that just not with my mom. All Chinese moms do that!

And I'm sure that doesn't come as a surprise to us from a Chinese culture but the Americans would go, goodness why do Chinese always sound like their arguing? That's how it is and it funny how we live through it day by day without realizing that until you get out of the culture. 
In my opinion if you allow me, Chinese culture has always been less concern of their manners within the family. If you're being too nice to a family member, they would think some thing is not right in the head. Strangely, Chinese are more concern with their manners and how it appear to outsiders, if you agree with me, such that calling UNCLE and AUNTIE to all dad's golf friends and colleagues, regardless of their relation to you, is very, very important and necessary. If you don't do that by first eye contact, your parents will smack you in the butt or give you the "you going to get the smack" look immediately, which by then you have to shout out "UNCLE! AUNTIE!" just to exhibit good manners and what your parents have taught you.

But when a family member say "No thank you, that's very sweet of you"... that would send chills down everyone's spine. Funny, no?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"..goodness why do Chinese always sound like their arguing?"

"If you're being too nice to a family member, they would think some thing is not right in the head."

Both had me giggling for quite a few minutes, haha! 'sampat'.. haha

san

Jessie C said...

HAHA! Does that mean you agree with those statements?

janediva said...

I must tell you we're all not very Chinese although we're pure Chinese :) Once I asked for a hug from my Mom when I was 7 years old, Mom said Chinese don't do that. I was left dumbfounded haha :x

Anonymous said...

Yes yes, suspicions borne out of the indecipherable nuances of an Asian family's communication.. the mysteries and secrecies.. revealed!

Statement 1: We always sound like we're arguing, when we are actually INSISTING our hospitality/niceties to others, lol.. 'Eat, eat.. Eat more, HAVE MORE!! the hilarity..

Statement 2: We have some hidden agenda if we are being 'suspiciously' nice to our family, haha.. so true. If you are being a model-child-for-the-day, your parents will start looking for telltale signs of the 'mischief' you are suspected of covering for.. haha..

san

Jessie C said...

San, I couldn't have said it better. So funny the way you put it... EAT MORE EAT MORE! lol

SJ: I did the same thing to my mom when I was little. She gave me a hug but it felt awkward. I never ask for another hug after that except that when we all are at the airport. lol

KY said...

oOo having ice cream in winter = best! :D

Anonymous said...

You write well Jessie.... May even use some of your "authentic" entries in class, if given the permission :)

Anonymous said...

Oopsie me! It's MaMaJan

Anonymous said...

gila klakar.. but kinda true... its a malaysian thingy la kot.. its feels weird to be superduper nice to your femili members kuikuikui.... mcm mmg ada agenda... its our culture hoh?

azleena

Jessie C said...

Wow, glad I can people laugh through my very limited experience on writing, not to mention limited vocab too.

JanLyn: You're far too kind. Thanks for your compliment and it's even more flattering especially coming out from an English teacher.

Azleena: You're right, I don't think it's just with Chinese culture. It's a Malaysian thing. Glad you find it funny too. :)