Experience is a Doorway, Not a Final Destination- Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, January 27

Flashback China

A few years ago my husband, sister and I traveled to China. On one leg of the trip we visited a small village which was known for the watermelons it produced. I promised myself that I would not leave the country without purchasing a melon.

One particular day my sister was taking a nap and my husband was at the compound. I determined to go in search of that watermelon. Grabbing a small backpack, my bandanna and a wad of yuan, I journeyed into the quaint village.

As I neared the center of town I walked by vendors who lined the streets with their carts full of bread and shoes, fly covered meat and vegetables.

I bought the watermelon I had been looking for from one such stall and shoved it in my small bag. The shape of the watermelon made the backpack awkward to carry, but the fit was just right.

As I walked a little farther, which happened to be smack dab in the center of the main road, I heard a zzzziiiiipppppp and a PLOP! I quickly turned around only to find that the zipper of my backpack had come undone and the watermelon was lying on the street in pieces. I looked up just as I heard raucous laughter from the 25 or so street vendors I was surrounded by. Each one pointed and laughed. I could not have found a better location for a street show.

Do I leave it there? It wouldn’t be out of place. I saw ten rotting watermelons on the road not far from here. But…I can’t do it. It’s rude.

I argued with myself.

Just as I was preparing to walk away, a kind, laughing stranger came to my rescue with a plastic bag. I am not one to embarrass easily but since I had always prided myself with being wise in the ways of cultural interactions, I didn’t have enough courage to buy another watermelon.

I left China without putting one sliver of watermelon to my lips.


Karla said...

This is a sad story..... Watermelon sounds yummy.

Anonymous said...

good times. napping in china while you make a public spectacle of yourself :) seems like a lifetime ago.


Jana Alexis said...

I've been having some China flashbacks lately. I miss the fried peanuts, oranges, rice, tea, the many different dishes we tried...okay, maybe I just miss the food. :) And the wonderful students we taught... It is an amazing country.