November 21, 2018

Food for Thought

I was with 6 Instagrammers at this restaurant and I learned that you are supposed to mix up these pots of rice with the special sauce before eating because the best part is the crispy rice sticking to the pots. Duh!

This is a strange thing to be realizing at age 51, but I suck at group conversations. When I was in my 20s, I figured I just couldn’t speak English fluently enough or didn’t know the culture well enough. Those explanations no longer make sense. I then thought it’s because I’m introverted, but that doesn’t make sense either because I suck at it even when I’m with my closest friends and I’m perfectly fine speaking one-on-one.

Observing everyone last night, I realized that a group conversation is a completely different game, and I simply suck at it. In fact, I suck at all forms of group sports like basketball and soccer. I was only good at solitary ones like swimming and marathon.

Here is my biggest problem: how to interrupt others. In a one-on-one conversation, this is not a concern; the other person will stop talking sooner or later. I can then respond. In a group conversation, this may never happen. Interrupting others is a form of art that I’ve never practiced. Some people are exceedingly good at it and they are not even aware.

There are people who do interrupt but have not mastered the art; they come across annoying because of the way they do it. Either the timing is off or the topic is not relevant enough. The masters interrupt constantly but others don’t realize they’ve been interrupted because the interruption feels appropriate and fluid. It becomes harder and harder as the number of people increases, like plate spinning. 6 is far beyond my ability. I need to start practicing from 3.

#chineserestaurant #claypotrice #bakedrice #nycfood #nycfoodie #chinatown