Nolls in Their Front Room

A Funny Clash of Cultures

We go Bike Riding

One day when we were working in Chengdu, Bernice and I went riding our bicycles just to relax. We took a Chinese teacher with us, Mr. Chen. It was a very hot and humid day and we rode far out of the town just to see the countryside. We were gone for perhaps three hours. As we returned to town we all went to our apartment to cool off and relax. We had an air-conditioning unit in the apartment and it was nice and cool. If you look in the right-hand corner of the apartment front room you will see our refrigerator. The air-conditioner unit is just shown in the upper left of the room. We have one in this room and one in our bedroom.

We Return Hot and Tired

Bernice in Our Apartment

Because we were so hot and tired I went to the refrigerator and got a bottle of ice water to drink. The Chinese generally drink hot water and think it is unhealthy to drink ice water. I poured one for Bernice and one for myself and asked Mr. Chen if he wanted one. He said no. So Bernice and I slowly drank the ice water and it tasted so good. After a little bit, Mr. Chen very cautiously said, "You are supposed to ask me three times." Then I remembered. I had reverted to my American culture. If I ask you if you want a cup of coffee and you say, "No." I assume you don't want one. In China you are supposed to ask them three times and on the third time they can say' "Yes." We laughed and Mr. Chen got his glass of ice water.