Have you eaten yet? uhm, yes…You Did?! What did you have for dinner?…uhm…(brief hesitation and then the plunge) I ate a cold mashed sweet potato out of a Ziploc bag…with a spoon…..eeeek.
A common greeting here in Taiwan (and probably most of Asia) is “Have you eaten yet?” or “Are you hungry?” I feel like it is the equivalent of “Hey, what’s up”. We then reply with our precious little “nuthin” and sometimes we (amidst obvious social cues and/or ambiguity), take the time to dump on someone with our big bad proverbial selves.
I’m not sure if people actually respond in detail with what they ate for a meal here…but all I’m thinkin’ is WOW, thank you Lord that I decided to kick back tonight because who wants to tell someone that for dinner, they ate a mashed up cold sweet potato out of a Ziploc bag…I can imagine my Taiwanese friends just staring at me for a minute and then insisting upon buying me a hot meal or a chicken foot or two (in which case it would be “feet”, clearly).
(okay honestly people, it was actually good. I’m okay financially, I can afford rice and sweet and sour goodness, but I just wanted this sweet potato bag leftover cold thing for reasons undetermined)
Imagine if we actually told people exactly EXACTLY what they were asking. That kind of honesty and transparency brings a sort of freedom that I want to live in daily. If it were the case, I imagine many of us would be pulling out something similar to a cold sweet potato in a Ziploc bag, unreservedly, unashamed and without an ounce of regret.