After lunch, your hosts break out the scale and the tape measure to take your height and weight. Then, using a handy-dandy swivel card, calculates your BMI. The results becomes an after-lunch conversation subject. (This was mostly for Jacob. They gave me a break due to pregnancy.)
And you know you’ve been in China a long time when this doesn’t seem at all strange or surprising to you.
I should also share with you the details of this lunch. An older (and very sweet, adorable) couple in our apartment complex has really been reaching out to us and wanting to be friends. I think it mostly started because they like our dog. Anyway, they invited us over for Saturday lunch, and when we arrived the table was set with a feast, the key components of which were dumplings stuffed with a green vegetable, shrimp, pork, and egg, beef cartilage, thousand-year-old duck eggs, battered/deep-fried shrimp shells and heads (the meat had been used in the dumplings), tomatoes with sugar, cucumbers/garlic/vinegar, and boiled soybeans.
I was encouraged to especially eat a lot of the shrimp shells. They are supposedly very good for my baby’s bone development.
I personally think I should get extra points for eating meals like this as a pregnant westerner.
Seriously, though, they are dear, dear people. We’re going to have them over soon for Western food. Not many Chinese villagers of their generation are keen to try new foods, but they are super-excited about it. This is the same couple who I taught to bake Western-style bread. We’re thankful for their friendship and willingness to reach out to us and befriend “the crazy foreigners.” They are a blessing to us, and we hope we are to them, too!