What can YOU say in six sentences?
I eagerly await the start of dinner at the home of my American host. We are in a Boston townhouse the likes of which are seen only on MTV, with wood paneling and deer horn hunting trophies and extensive libraries of books that I am pretending to never have read-Plato, Thoreau, Mann, Salinger. Before dinner I swish the conversation around just like I do to the golden Macallan scotch (pronounced Meckalan-ah spooch) with a practised ease and hope that the inflexibility of an obviously rehearsed speech eludes me. Like a New York Cabbie, I launch into faux-familiarity of topics like
Sake, Nun chucks, Ninjas, kimonos and kimchi, crackdowns on democracy activists
-and even break out the odd martial art move. I speak of Confucius and Mao and when the food comes I waggle my chopsticks into the serving dishes and insist on eating out of a bowl, remember to bow, while refusing the foie gras, est-ce que c'est possible? After dinner I bow and take off my shoes and explain in halting english ( I learn many grammar in last 3 year, thank-ah-you) how grateful I am for being allowed into a paradise without Comrade! ringing in my ears, the illusion completely covering the fact that I too, have an iPod and drive a Porsche and eat sauteed mushrooms and listen to Springstein and Lady Gaga and have poker Saturdays and believe in the liturgy of the Dollar, thank you Sir. But at least the sweet girl believes that I believe, now, in the supremacy of the "Land of many Foreign devil" whilst my masquerade confirms, to her, the existence of a fictional, steamy oriental paradise-
-even if it exists only in my mind. But there's always space for another.