JIAOZI WAR


JIAOZI WAR

 

We humans fight with all kinds of weapons—guns, sticks, knives, fists and nails, or whatever. Have you ever fought with jiaozi, a traditional Chinese delicacy?

 

Mr Xue Chen waged a war of jiaozi when he was a kid. Well, there is a fun story behind it.

 

Mr Xue is a high schooler. He is gentle, courteous and all smiles. When he is smiling, two pronounced dimples appear in the cheeks. He is so meek that his mates dub him “Miss Xue” just for fun.

 

Xue Chen has a sister two years his senior. She is a student at City High School No. 2. According to Mr Xue, the sister is not very good at her lessons, but she is certainly fashion conscious.

 

In the English journal, Mr Xue recalls a fight with his sis when both were young. One evening the mother prepared jiaozi or dumplings for dinner. When the meal was served on the table, Mr Xue decided to go and make himself a sauce to dip his dumplings in. He says, “As you know, Shengliver, eating jiaozi with vinegar sauce is my relish.” He took the trouble to make his sauce, which was a mixture of vinegar, pestled garlic and ginger, sprinkled with droplets of sesame oil. As soon as Mr Xue started to dip his first dumpling in the sauce, the sister put hers in, too. Mr Xue felt anger and resentment surging inside. “My sister was very lazy. She did not bother to make the sauce, yet every time she cadged off me,” Mr Xue explains. The teen’s face was darkening. However, the sister did not look at his face and continued to dip her jiaozi in the brother’s sauce.

 

Mr Xue, the brother, roaring like a tiger, jumped up. A war broke out between the two siblings. “We fought with jiaozi and vinegar, with all the vehemence,” Xue describes. Jiaozi was exchanged in the air, and the sauce spilled and splashed everywhere.

 

The war ended up with no winner, the walls painted all the colours of jiaozi and vinegar.

 

Mr Xue tells me that skirmishes of this nature were frequent in his childhood. It seemed as if they two were born enemies.

 

Do they still fight now?

 

Definitely not. Mr Xue has realised that he and his sister actually love each other. Though the sister is not academically successful, she is Mr Xue’s teacher and advisor on what to wear and how. “Shengliver, do you have any idea of what non-mainstream is?” he asks me in a journal entry. Non-mainstream is translated from a Chinese phrase “feizhuliu”, whose meaning is very close to avant-garde. It is actually an alternative way of lifestyle, the most conspicuous symbol of which is the practitioner’s experimental unconventional attire. Mr Xue reveals that Chinese girls born in the 1990s are very trendy. Being of the generation, Miss Xue is into the so-called non-mainstream style. “My sister dresses cool,” he proudly states. When they meet on the weekend, the sister gives him a lot of tips on how to wear smart.

 

A fight with a brother or sister probably is part of everyone’s childhood memory, but sibling rivalry cements the family bond all the more. Mr Xue’s fight will never be erased from his mind, and it should put a smile on his face anytime he traces his thoughts back to his younger days.

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