Knock knock knock.
For fifteen minutes I had been listening to the gathering rally of Chinese voices in the kitchen. I had hoped I had been forgotten so that I might immerse myself in my professor's latest essay, or that book about Central Texas, or maybe a browsing of some must-read book on my list (how am I going to move them all in six months?!). Alas, I was not forgotten. Met by Miss Nigh's slender form clad entirely in green, I excused myself noting that I had much studying to do and might join them later. I was surprised as she said forcefully that the food would not be good if I waited and that, as she grabbed my wrist, I should come join them. It's hard to say no to someone who's got a grip you, so I joined the celebration.
And wouldn't you know, I shared in debates about which is bigger-- America or China (I dissented from the women in that gendered debate and came out on top, China, of course), and whether or not the Utes are actually better than TCU (debatable). If anything, the Chinese love me because I can, without flinching, suck down two room temperature Heinekens (strangely complimentary taste to the regional fair of Schzwan, Dombe and Hainan) (most of them share them between styrofoam cups). I ate tofu, chicken and napa cabbage, brocolli and sausage, 'old air' fungus and get this- I found out what that mystery meat was-- pig's ear! It tastes good, classic pork flavor with a bit of crunch, served parched, with a sauce-- but a little too intimate for me, nibbling on Wilbur's ear (it makes me want to whisper sweet nothings, really).
I served them family recipe molasses cookies to mixed reviews. I think the full bodied molasses was a bit strong for the more mild Schzwan people. Miss Ling, my other roommate, seemed to like them. I like to throw them for a loop after they've served me fungus and pig's ear, it makes me feel like I'm part of the joke.
Anyways, there is nothing like a potluck dinner with the Chinese. Surrounded by jovial conversation I couldn't understand, I just had to sit back and smile. I have really great roomates, and I forget that sometimes.