Do you take your Taiwanese relatives out to dinner back home

Not a rant - but embarrassing. :smiley: I took my mother in law out to a two star restaurant in France and, well, how should I put it delicately, cultural awareness is not her strong point. So she behaved like any Taiwanese feeling really at ease in a restaurant. I guess you can picture the scene.

Red-faced :blush: , I developed a sudden hysterical cough while trying to position my chair in such a way as to shield her from prying eyes. A good number of the poor, sensitive French souls were looking over in disgust: just remember how any self-respecting Taiwanese gets rid of fish bones! :noway: Even I was a bit surprised about all the different sounds that can be generated out of pure joy and delight over a steamed salmon - and to pay your respect to the chef of course.

Towards the end I was wondering how much longer this bloody tooth pick was to be tortured. Bottom line: It was hard for me to remember the last time I was as delighted to be allowed to pay and leave a restaurant.

Now do not get me wrong: mother in law is a lovely woman and I am grateful for my good fortune of having her to visit us.

BUT did you have similar experiences and how did you cope?

I coped fully in line with Taiwan custom and I got them to any restaurant around 6 pm to have dinner while no other clients were around. Nobody found it surprising though that we never went to the same restaurant twice. Am I the only one with a relatives-to-dinner-issue???
:help:

[quote=“YI-DE”]BUT did you have similar experiences and how did you cope?

I coped fully in line with Taiwan custom and I got them to any restaurant around 6 pm to have dinner while no other clients were around. Nobody found it surprising though that we never went to the same restaurant twice. Am I the only one with a relatives-to-dinner-issue???
:help:[/quote]

I had a mainland Chinese girlfriend whose mother once came to England for a particularly memorable xmas dinner. Another friend from LA was staying at the time along with my aunt and her son, who are both tactless but funny with it. My girlfriend’s parents were good ol’ fashioned country folk who didn’t hold with such nonsense as knives or forks and proceeded to eat turkey, veg and roast spuds with chopsticks while my aunt and cousin sniggered uncontrollably in the corner. None of the fuhrners had ever seen Christmas crackers before but the Chinese collective thought they were the funniest things they’d ever seen. ‘Look!! A really crappy plastic comb inside, hahaha!’ In the meantime my LA friend was looking on in a combination of disgust and/or amazement at how much joy we found in the cheap and tacky. My mother seemed nonplussed and just fussed over whether everyone had enough gravy.

The Chinese parents were apparently delighted and had a lot of fun. My aunt and cousin had a great laugh. My mother still talks to everyone about the Roast Potato Chopstick Incident. The LA friend left pretty sharpish but you can’t please everyone.

The moral of the story is: if dinner is likely to be weird, do it at home.

I once went with my husbands parents to Smokey Joe’s and my father-in-law does that very famous Taiwanese clearing of the nose pipes and spit in a tissue thing. And my mother in law kept digging her fork in my pasta. So grosse. I don’t even share a drink with my own siblings!!! (Sorry, I’m a hygene freak.)

If this is what hell would be like, I never want to go there! :noway:

[quote=“llary”][quote=“YI-DE”]BUT did you have similar experiences and how did you cope?

I coped fully in line with Taiwan custom and I got them to any restaurant around 6 pm to have dinner while no other clients were around. Nobody found it surprising though that we never went to the same restaurant twice. Am I the only one with a relatives-to-dinner-issue???
:help:[/quote]

I had a mainland Chinese girlfriend whose mother once came to England for a particularly memorable xmas dinner. Another friend from LA was staying at the time along with my aunt and her son, who are both tactless but funny with it. My girlfriend’s parents were good ol’ fashioned country folk who didn’t hold with such nonsense as knives or forks and proceeded to eat turkey, veg and roast spuds with chopsticks while my aunt and cousin sniggered uncontrollably in the corner. None of the fuhrners had ever seen Christmas crackers before but the Chinese collective thought they were the funniest things they’d ever seen. ‘Look!! A really crappy plastic comb inside, hahaha!’ In the meantime my LA friend was looking on in a combination of disgust and/or amazement at how much joy we found in the cheap and tacky. My mother seemed nonplussed and just fussed over whether everyone had enough gravy.

The Chinese parents were apparently delighted and had a lot of fun. My aunt and cousin had a great laugh. My mother still talks to everyone about the Roast Potato Chopstick Incident. The LA friend left pretty sharpish but you can’t please everyone.

The moral of the story is: if dinner is likely to be weird, do it at home.[/quote]

chopstick with roast potatoe, that’s hilarious :laughing:

Oh.
Mi.
Gawd.

I don’t know you, but I’m embarrassed for you. I’d be mortified if I went out for dinner with anyone, anyone at all, and they did what you guys mentioned. It’s pretty funny, though, of course, when you’re with a different party witnessing this whole thing. Haha.

I feel compelled to apologize for my people. Hahahah…

I have my wife prepare some of those origami type paper boxes for each person to spit the bones into. Much more civilized!

Mortifying…now you know how your mother-in-law feels when she takes you out in Taipei.

Haha! I love it when I go out to a restaurant and the person sitting behind me does that.
Never had the pleasure of it happening at my table.
Always makes me a little less hungry.

Everyday I would either witness somebody do it, or hear somebody do it. It’s so grosse. F*** I hate that!

The worse is seeing someone spitting in the street in front of you where you are supposed to walk. Does the people in Taipei also do that, or is it just in the south that the people behave like mainland Chinese?

Sherryx, do you have anything nice to say about Taiwan or Chinese people? I think every post I’ve ever read of yours has been a rant or a criticism of Taiwan or China. I have bad days too, but geez! If it got that bad for me, I think I’d go on vacation or sumn.

Uhm… any of you been to London?
It’s not as if people don’t spit on the streets here and most people don’t pick up their dog shit which really bugs me if anything. Spitting on the street big deal. And how do you get fish bones out of your mouth without spitting them out anyhow?
Maybe I’m just too much of a country boy…

[quote=“TheLostSwede”] And how do you get fish bones out of your mouth without spitting them out anyhow?
[/quote]

Don’t put them there on purpose in the first place. :laughing:

I have relatives who have what Americans would consider bad table manners. I don’t think it has ever really embarrassed me. A waitress once said something to me. I told her manners aren’t the same world over. She was like “But we are IN Texas”". I didn’t bother with it. I’m too lazy to argue with people like her. I think maybe i just love and respect them too much to be embarrassed by them.
Well, that can’t be it. Cuz my mom’s stinky feet embarrassed me in school and I love her and respect her most.

Mmm… smelly feet…
I remember when I did my national service, was a guy one floor down from me, his feet stunk so bad they had to burn inscense in his room to try to get rid of some of it. Just walking past the door made you want to be sick…

She isn’t that bad. But they do stink.
You know your homesick when you miss your mom chasing you around the house with her stinkfoot.

How is that civilized? :noway: Watching people disgorge the contents of their mouths is disgusting no matter what the receptacle, although my inlaws do the same, making folded boxes out of whatever junkmail was stuffed in their mailbox that day… They also serve the most important family meals of the year (CNY, birthdays, etc.) with no glassware, but box drinks with straws and disposable plates, disposable bowls, disposable napkins, and disposable chopsticks. There’s an irony in china coming from China, isn’t there? Nobody here uses it, that’s for sure.

I took my inlaws to Flavor a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad they liked it, but I know how the OP feels. It can be embarrassing.

Maybe slightly OT.

I did a visa run to Thailand a couple of years ago. Now, I’d already been to Thailand many times before, I have Thai friends near Bangkok who I can stay with, but I needed to be close to the Taiwan embassy (or whatever it’s called). So I was staying in Banglamphu, and went out to get dinner. Found a nice place and ordered some BBQ fish. They gave me a knife and fork.

Sounds normal right? Having spent about 6 years off and on in SE Asia and India, and then (at the time) a year in Taiwan, I was used to either fork and spoon (India, SE Asia - minus Singapore and the various Chinatowns,) or chopsticks (Taiwan, Singapore, parts of Malaysia and Indonesia). A knife and fork felt plain weird. It just didn’t feel right. I hadn’t regularly used knife and fork since the mid 90s - this was the early 2000s.

So I asked for some chopsticks.

My fish was a whole lot easier to eat.

And I started a trend. Almost everyone who was eating fish at the tables around me was using chopsticks by the time I’d finished eating.

But baked potatoes with chopsticks - no way.

No, I don’t hate Taiwan every day. I just guess I need to go back home for a vacation or something. Haven’t been home for a long time. And being on an island with so many people can get to me, if it can’t get to you, Erhu. :slight_smile:

I quickly got over the embarrassment of watching my father in law tear beef apart with his fork and sharp pokey thing.

Just laugh. You don’t work there. And you’ll never see the other people again…probably.