|[a] 筷子 RF|
Part of an occasional “Round and Square” series that follows the blog’s main theme (east meets west, round meets square, and past meets present), these snippets from my early fieldnotes are reproduced as they were written by hand—and then revised on an ancient desktop computer—during my first fieldwork stay in Taiwan (1985-1987). All entries are the way that I left them when I returned to the United States in 1987 (some nicely-stated and some embarrassing). I will allow myself an occasional comment when something makes me wince after a quarter century.
|[b] Chopsticks RF|
Twenty-five years has taught me that American and Chinese ways with "finger-food" are separated in profound ways. On a recent domestic airline flight in China, I watched a young Western woman as she slowly peeled bread chunks from her sandwich, held them between her fingers, and methodically ate them in so many strips of gluten. Later, she peeled the meat and vegetables and ate them in hand-cut pieces, licking her fingers during pauses. Then I looked around. My fellow travelers were transfixed—absolutely aghast at the fingery-awfulness of it all. The finger-food issue has not gone away, and I will have more to say about it on Round and Square at a future date. Many people have talked with me about it over the years (and can't believe that Westerners can feel comfortable touching food).