No problem, it's just surgery
I realized a major similarity between New Yorkers and the Chinese: they like to mind their own business. In either place you can start a fight with someone, stab them, eat their heart out of their chest, and cackle while blood drips down your chin and no one will bat an eye. Actually, they might give you a nasty look because they have to step over the corpse to get to their destination.
A little graphic? Perhaps. But try and it and see if I'm right. Although maybe you want to try it with a doll instead of a real person so there's no jail time involved.
I'm really off topic.
Anyway, what proved this point to me was an incident in a restaurant in the south of China. Chinese cuisine is, as I have previously mentioned, rather interesting. As part of a meal you can find anything from shark fin to pig snout. The Chinese also feel strongly about showing you what you're eating. This entails including the head and the bones.
My friend Jenny was eating a piece of fish when she began to have a problem. Not choke, per se, she just felt like it was kind of stuck in her throat. Options to cure this malady were offered: eat a lot of rice, drink water, stand on your head. After a while it became clear from the look on Jenny's face that the situation was not improving.
Luckily, Jenny's dad is a doctor. So he had her stand up in the middle of the restaurant and tilt her head back so he could get a better look. Then Jenny's brother, Ben, gets up to assist by shining a flashlight in her mouth. But the poor man had no tools, because, well, he was on vacation. He was, however, very handy with chopsticks; I mean, once you learn to pick up individual grains of rice, a little fish bone is no problem. With the crisis averted we proceeded to hoot, holler, and take pictures.
Through the whole process no one in the restaurant looked up, least of all the waiters rushing around the restaurant. In fact, at one point it looked like they might knock the attending doctor and his patient over.
Then again, it was nice to feel like I had a little piece of home right there with me. A girl can only go so long without hearing disgusted sighs before she starts to get a little homesick.
I heart New York (and China) indeed.