Wednesday - February 27, 2008
February marks the start of an auspicious year since it is the start of the Chinese New Year. The Year of the Rat restarts the entire cycle and marks it as a particularly special new year. Personally, I look for nearly any reason to celebrate and to have hopes of a better year.
Besides attending many celebrations, I was set to have lunch with a friend of mine where we would eat at a nice Chinese restaurant and partake in dishes of that culture in order to symbolically welcome the Year of the Rat. That and because we both love to eat Chinese food.
At the restaurant we took turns ordering dishes which also included a fine selection of dim sum. I know this sounds like ordering teriyaki at a Ruth’s Chris steak house, but I wanted an order of fried rice. When it arrives, I tend to “juice” it up a bit by adding hot mustard soy sauce and lots of black pepper.
That’s just what I did and our Chinese New Year’s feast was really shaping up. Besides stuffing our faces, we were engaged in some interesting conversation, talking about our wives and families. I filled my mouth with fried rice and proceeded to pour my friend some tea.
I grabbed the teapot of hot tea in one hand and his teacup in the other. Just as I filled the teacup to the brim, I felt a sneeze coming on probably due to all the black pepper. I could-n’t swallow what I had in my mouth because I was concentrating on trying to stop the sneeze.
Like an explosion, I let out the biggest sneeze in the history of China, sending all the contents of my mouth spewing out like a blizzard. I couldn’t cover my mouth because both my hands were full trying to pour the hot tea.
I looked at my friend’s shirt, and let’s just say that it looked like a wayward satellite that just got hit by a fried rice missile. Not knowing what to do, I just looked at him and said, “Gung Hee Fat Choy!”
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