Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My afternoon lesson in Cultural Differences

This story is too good - I had to post it:

Today has been a very typical Shanghai taitai kind of day. I met with the designer and contractors who are going to work on the apartment we bought this morning, I went for a foot massage and then met a friend for lunch. Fabulous! I get home and walk in the door - my cat who usually runs to greet me at the front door is acting a bit strangely and kind of cowering around the kitchen door, but I don't think too much of it. She's a cat, cats are odd animals.

I notice that the ayi has been here, laundry has been done, things are cleaner than when I left this morning - great! Then I notice that the kitchen door is closed and the cat won't leave the doorway. Hmmm...usually the ayi leaves the kitchen door open when she leaves to let the floors dry. I open the door and don't notice anything different. Then, I walk over to the fridge to grab a diet coke and hear a scratching sound. ? That's weird - then I realized there's a box on the floor with tape around it, and there's something in the box scratching around...what the hell!? Is it a rat?! I'm not a brave person - I don't like mice, rats, any sort of insect that could come into the house freaks me out. So, my immediate reaction is to get the hell out of the kitchen and keep the door closed. What's the in box? And why would the ayi leave it there? Very mysterious and very strange...

Well, I have to call A, only he can speak to her in Chinese and find out what's going on. Poor guy, I hate bothering him with non-important items during the day but this is just too odd. So I call him, tell him what's going on and ask him to call the ayi. He calls me back a few minutes later....A sparrow (or some other small bird) flew into the house earlier when she had the balcony doors open. She managed to catch it (I have no idea how) and put it in the box. But, she thought we might like to cook it for dinner which is why she left it in the kitchen. Small birds are quite tasty she says. WHAT?! This is my immediate reaction. Wow....talk about cultural differences.

At least it's in a box, so I just took the poor bird downstairs, let it out of the box and it flew away. Poor bird, to think it could have been my dinner.....


Jamie said...


Finally added your blog to my Google Reader so I can get your updates in real time. WOW! Crazy story. Absolutely nuts. Can't wait to hear about the wedding, Congratulations!

I'm hoping to be in Shanghai myself later this year, I'll let you know if I make it! :)


Ruri said...

Hi I was wondering, can you update your site but not view it? Because I am going to Shanghai for 3 months and I want to blog to my friend back at work. How does bloger work in china. THANKs!

brianw said...

best of luck on your new life in shanghai. you should check out this insane city when you have a chance!