Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Big Dinner

Centerpiece at the head table.

It was different. Big Daddy said it was toned down from typical Chinese dinners. This was for the economic development of the area and indeed put on by local government. There were some important people and interesting information. Enough said about that. Speeches were not too long. First in Chinese and then in English.

We sat at the head table, our table had 16 seats and the other 3 tables 10 seats. Our supplier picked us up and escorted us to the party. He was not invited. There was assigned seating and we were next to a very important white guy who was next to the head dude. That and one other lower than us German guy made up the westerners.

The table settings were a compromise with western flatware and chopsticks and nuts and sauces across the top. There was a small wine glass with a dribble of red wine, an empty goblet and a glass of crazy wine.

My crazy wine.

The empty goblet was for your drink. Big Daddy got his Coke and I asked for red wine as the white important dude was drinking it. They bring it in a small carafe. The reason for the dribble in the glass soon became apparent. They toast with it and then drain the glass. Therefore only a sip. No one drank the crazy wine and the staff took them away while serving dinner. After the speech the movers and shakers went to each guest and said hello and gave each of us his business card. Then during dinner you take your wine glass and carafe and toast each person and make small talk. And then when you get happier you go around and chat some more and by this time you use whatever carafe is handy. No one got more than happy. Very happy maybe.

The Lazy Susan was around 7 feet across and glass.

Smokes on the Whirley Bird.

The food was very good, mostly sea food and duck. BD was careful about he put on my plate. Did not know what most of it was. Ate some soup that was good and it turns out it was shark's fin, who knew. They did bring some items on individual plates and individual plates of fruit at the end.

The end was the best, just when you wonder when it will end, everyone stands up and toasts and the head dude says the party is over. Woohoo, no guessing when you can sneak out.

Funny of the day: BD pokes me on the train and tells me the Chinese girl is taking pictures of herself with phony glasses on. I try not to stare as it is rude, but really, this chick had red and black plastic frames with no lenses. And she is admiring herself with the camera and snapping pictures. WTF.


  1. In the final picture, is that a glass of cigarettes?

  2. I hated these banquets. And I never asked what I was eating when they said 'you must try this' I just did and said 'yum' and tried not to bring it up when they told me what I had just eaten.

  3. Yes, Esby those are cigarettes, there was also a lighter in the glass and matches situated next to the ashtrays in an oh so cute configuration. As I have said I am a smoker and I thought this was over the top. When it got too hot in the room I went outside for a smoke-the atrium is not heated. Smoking is still huge in China but slowly becoming a low class addiction, just like in the states. When we move back we will have to quit for good, it is very cheap here. The better restaurants in Shanghai do not allow smoking.

  4. Badger, Big Daddy is the only person I know who can gain weight on Asia. Gained weight in Japan and here in China. He once ate something that he said was like snot and his hosts he was the first white person to eat it and not complain.

    Don't know why I let him fill my plate.