Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chivalry is not dead

Picture a crowded medical clinic waiting room, everyone clutching their precious number in their hands. Seats are at a premium - being juggled, as one by one, numbers are called and new people enter. There is rarely a free chair.

In the door walks an elderly Chinese man and woman, clearly husband and wife. True to their time, the wife defers to her husband and he sits in the only available seat. Immediately an older gentleman jumps up and offers his place. She motions, "No, no, no", and goes into the corner to lean against the wall. He says, "Sit, sit." No, she will continue in her corner. The polite gentleman settles on his part of the wall, opens his book and begins to read. Someone else enters the clinic and takes the open seat. A number is called. A chair becomes free. The reader motions to the woman to take it. No, she'll stay where she is. This interchange goes on a few more times. Finally, the woman overcomes her natural instincts and upon a final motioning from Mr. Chivalrous, she laughingly sits down.

It turns out she is the one that needs the medical attention.

But I'm sure there was never any bitter feelings on her part. Cultures can be so different.

Which brings me to an interesting but a little weird, book I read this summer.
The Hundred Secret Senses was written by the well-known author Amy Tan. Dealing with the occult, I several times almost set the book aside. It was just strange sometimes. But the story-line did pull me in and was written well enough that I kept going. All ghost-like stuff aside, the culture and customs of China were what drew me to keep reading. The characters are well developed and complex. If you have any interest in China, you'll probably like this book.

Socks on the needle: Meilenweit Mega Boot yarn, with contrast heel and toe in Waikiwi. I was going to gift these at Christmas, but just realized today that the contrast is not a machine dryable yarn. Drat! It's back to Opal for gift socks, and these will either have to be for me or someone I know doesn't toss socks in the dryer.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Oooh, I love the sock. The colors are wonderful.

I am currently enjoying knitting men's socks with Opal yarn.

Cultural traditions are sometimes difficult to understand, but common courtesy is always appreciated.