Archive for the Family Category

Eight Eating Etiquettes with Asians.

Posted in Culture, Family, Food, Humor, Issues, Life on February 26, 2007 by geniusadvice

I’m still in the CNY mode, so here goes. (By Asian, I mean Chinese. Sorry, South Asians!) Hopefully the advice belows makes you on good terms with Asians relating to their culture through dining. Especially if you’re meeting your hot Asian girlfriend’s parents for the first time and they’re not white-washed. For all the points below, assume you are eating at a Chinese restaurant, and you are the minority there. That means NOT Asian, buddy.

Arrive on time. Needless to say, Asians are vey judgemental while not on the outside. Being late will only label you as a slob. And that’s minus 2 brownie points.

If it’s a special occasion (ie. birthdays, Chinese New Years), bring a gift. Like oranges, because…that’s how Asians are (for lack of a better explanation). For Chinese New Years, I think the unspoken rule is that married folks need to give children money in red pockets.

When you are excepting gifts, it is custom to refuse it first, preferably 3 times. If the giver doesn’t not seem to want to insist 3 times, once is fine. As long as you look reluctant to receive it.

Pour the tea for everybody. This is only polite, and you should do this especially for elderly people or people generally older than you. Do not order or water Coke, as that will make it seem like you are not trying to get to know your guests. Love the tea, and pretend you’re drinking coffee instead.

Learn how to use chopsticks in advanced.
This will impress Asians a lot. Forks are a no-no.

Answer the interrogation questions during mealtime. This is like an interview and if they don’t like you, you’re pretty much screwed. Make you job sound glorious, even if you’re a programmer. (No offence). Don’t say how you enjoy making out with the parents’ daughter or anything stupid like that. You might get…um…injured very badly.

Research some Asian dishes you can order in advanced. You won’t be getting any French fries. Don’t order Western food in a Chinese restaurant. There’s a reason for that.

Dress decent. Don’t overdress, but dress ‘decent’.

Paying for the bill. I don’t know if only Asians can do this, but you must seem that you really want to pay for the meal to the extent of fighting for your right to pay. Yes, this seems ridiculous, but I assure you that this is not some Asian conspiracy to scam you for a free meal. Seriously.

And that’s it.
Don’t hold me responsible if anything back fires.
Because I’ll delete this site faster than you can say “Nee ho maa??”


Chinese New Year.

Posted in Culture, Family, Life on February 23, 2007 by geniusadvice

Yes, I am inexplicity Chinese.

And like most Asians that celebrate Chinese New Year, I also enjoy the get-togethers which proclaim the tradition of our forefathers before us. Where we can revel with those tiny mandarin oranges and rice wine. (I don’t really drink that stuff though.)

Being the third-generation of an immigrant family in Canada, all this multiculturalism takes away from the festivities just a little. I no longer go to the heritage Chinatown with my parents like I did when I was younger. (This is mainly due to hygienic reasons.) I no longer marvel at the old herbal shops and the family-oriented lifestyle. (“Orient”, haha.) And so this Chinese New Year, the year of the Golden Boar, has become mundane. The ritual of family dinners has been replaced with the risk of giving more money in red pockets (“lai see”) than in receiving them.

No wonder the youths of today, the generation Y, Z, ampersand, etc… feel so lost; they are a mash up of identities and cultural clashings. We have nothing to call our own, constantly warring with Western ideologies and Asian superstitions that lead to nowhere. The sheltered life where parents apply pressure for them to become doctors because that’s the only ‘respectable’ occupation. The result is the relaxed, complacent, and vegetative state of youths, rotting away on the internet, hanging out in malls and movie theatres. This social ambiguity is only fought with depression, distraction, and the formation of gangs. This is evident within new immigrant communities, where they first learn “Chinglish”, and mixture of Chinese dialect with various and random English nouns and verbs, a cacophony strung together.

I don’t know what to think anymore, but I know I’ll never see the color red the same way again.

A Picture.

Posted in Family, Life, Photos on February 21, 2007 by geniusadvice

Just thought it would match the theme.


Posted in Family, Illness, Life, Writing on February 19, 2007 by geniusadvice

There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number —
living things both large and small.

There the ships go to and fro,
and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
                                                  – Psalm 104:25-26

    Ironically, they met with a long, romantic walk on the beach, where the air, water and earth met. This sounds cliché, but real life is cliché sometimes. They got married three months later; an outdoor wedding and a honeymoon to Hawaii. She was confirmed pregnant two weeks later. Thirty-six days after, the couple went on a cruise to Alaska, safe above the churning waters and the unknown, because their future was in a sac of water inside her.

    Catastrophy. It’s a boy. A hydrocephalic boy. A boy with water, cerebral fluid, in his brain where white matter should be. He will never walk, the doctors tell them. Communication will be difficult and slurred speech should be expected. Hydrocephalics often only live until they are twenty. Twenty hard years. He will be living behind windows, never running or swimming, for that matter, because he has already has his share of water.

    He leaves; a man defeated by mere water.
In the note, he writes –

My love for you is deeper than the deepest oceans
And higher than the highest mountains
And my love proves it is greater than anything I will be
For I am a weak man

    When she reads the note, a tear rolls down her cheek and splashes onto the white page; from her eyes flow all the bottomless oceans of the world.


Posted in Family, Life, Writing on February 19, 2007 by geniusadvice

The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.

– Ecclesiastes 1:6

    This morning, while I was sitting on the bus, we passed by the humongous field that we usually pass by. However, this morning was different; a layer of fog stood one foot above the still-wet grass, a blanket covering the vast field from end to end. As the sun rose, light filtered in through the multicolored leaves and the world, through my eyes, was seen as a kaleidoscope. And somehow, I was kept alive by this air, this thing connected to everything else, fog, nature, purity, the helplessness of our race.

    There is a story of a Chinese man, from the GuanDong province of China who was being persecuted by the communist authorities. He had heard they were going to take him away the next morning. When his wife and two young children were asleep, he got on his knees and began to pray. That night he lamented and poured out his soul to whoever would listen. His neighbour, back from a wedding, heard his voice as he opened the door to his house. The neighbour casually walked over to the side of his house and said loudly, “Shuang houng chee sho wha?”, which translates to, “Why are you talking to air?” You’re crazy. The neighbour stood there for an answer, and the man kept on praying for another five minutes. Then he stood up, looked at the neighbour, and said, ‘The crazy know it’s more than just air they talk to.’

    I know there’s a moral somewhere. I just can’t put my finger on it. You figure it out.