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24 Mar '14

Chopsticks

Posted by Lanchi Vo

I wonder who first invent such an non-intuitive utensil called the chopsticks. A spoon I can understand. A fork I can totally understand, but the chopsticks...If you have ever tried to use a pair, you know what I mean.

On top of that comes even more arcane etiquette and the superstitions: hold the sticks at the upper half, far from the working end (that makes it even more difficult); don't stab your food with it; don't dip it in the common sauce bowl; never use just one chopstick under any circumstance; never use a mismatch pair; never stick the pairs upright in a bowl of rice; don't tap your bowl with the chopsticks; don't lay it across your bowl, unless you are done eating...and watch out for cross traffic. I mean, as if life weren't complicated enough!

I had a hard time as a kid learning to operate the chopsticks. It was a tricky business, but even more so because I am left-handed. I kept clanking chopsticks with my table neighbor, like we were having a duel! After a lot of splosh, splash, clunk, clank, I managed. I had to, because it was a matter of survival. 

Now, I am a chopsticks expert. And when you get up to that level, food would not taste as good with any other utensil, trust me. I suffer chopsticks withdrawal every time we forgot to pack it on camping or backpacking trip.

As mentioned elsewhere, chopsticks are the catalyst for my foray into wood turning. With my stash of timber and my faithful lathe, I can rest assure that I will never run out of chopsticks.

 


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