A Funny Story

Last night we had a pretty hilarious “China” moment. We just welcomed a new
family (David and Jenny and four children), two weeks ago, from the states.
Last night was David’s birthday, so they invited us, along with another family
(of 6), to dinner for Peking Duck. We got recommendations from some team mates
here of a great duck place near our apartments. Although the restaurant is
probably only a 10 – 15 minute walk, there is a large highway interchange that
you must walk through. So, since the sun had set, and we had six adults and 13
children, we decided to taxi over. The first interesting adventure, we had to
split up into 4 taxis for this large group. The fact that we all arrived at the
same location was the first hurdle we overcame. Next was getting everyone
seated. We decided to split the kids and adults. Michael, Rachel and Jessie
graciously (and a little reluctantly) offered to sit with the younger kids (it
helped that the David and Jenny have two teenagers). So we all get seated.
Next comes the time to order. Sharon and I try to ask the waitress to bring
bottled water and rice for the kids to start with. We went round and round
trying to get our point across. We soon realized that Sharon’s husband,
Patterson, was missing. We were hoping to get his help with the order. We
talked, and motioned some more, and pointed to pictures on the menu, etc.
Finally Patterson returned…he had gone down to a street vendor and brought
back soda and water for the kids…whew…now the kids could be happy to have
drinks. It is not uncommon to bring your own drinks in to restaurants. Now, to
get the food ordered. We had asked for rice and that did come for the kids,
along with a broccoli dish. But, we finally had to call a fellow team member to
help us order over the phone with the waitress to make sure we were in fact
getting Peking Duck. All-in-all, we got some food, the duck was tasty and we
celebrated David’s birthday!