Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Spoon

This post was inspired, in part, by a post I read in Dom's blog village idiot savant: Philippine Defense Squad dot Com.

Growing up on the southern part of the United States, I assumed that when it came to the way one uses a fork,spoon or knife while eating, was pretty much standard throughout the world.I knew that people in other parts of the world used sticks to eat with, but it never occurred to me that there could be more than one way to use a fork and spoon.

When I first came to Philippines in 2000, I was introduced to a different method.I was staying with a friend who, as it turned out, was a bit of a snob and refused to eat the same way other Filipinos ate so it wasn't until some members of her family arrived that I learned the way Filipinos use the spoon.At one particular lunch, her brother had set the table....giving us all the proper culinary ware.I had no idea that the spoon set beside my plate was to be used for eating.....I thought it was some sort of serving spoon; after all, there wasn't any soup on the table so why else would I need a spoon.Her brother was completely scandalized to see that someone kept leaving his spoon in one of the bowls of food.

That was when I learned the proper way to eat.Spoon in right hand;the fork in the left.... using the fork as a "backstop" in much the same way we Southerners might use a biscuit.
As it turned out, after that first visit, I developed the habit of eating Filipino style and I continue to do so to this day; much to the amazement of some of my American co-workers.

Here in Georgia, my wife and I have several friends who are, like us, Filipina wife/American husband.I can't help but notice the way these other families have adapted to the difference in eating styles.The husbands that I had already judged as being more open minded were apt to be more tolerant of the way the wife used a spoon and fork.A few, like me, had picked up the habit themselves, as well. The others, which I would call the "tight asses", not only refused to change the way they ate, but forced the wife to eat the "American" way.

Why would anyone care one way in the least, how someone else choose to use an eating utensil ?


Dominique said...

Hi, Robert: this had me laughing out loud. I think it was the "backstop" that did it. So true, so true.

Eating with a spoon is just so convenient I do it instinctively. Of course, when I'm with company elsewhere, I tend to, er, do as the Romans do.

Olga said...

Hi Robert, you continue to amaze me with your open mindedness. all other foreigners i hear about insist on their own ways they all end up being miserable here in the pHilippines, doing nothing but complain and bitch against the Filipinos and their ways!

does Dom already know that you dig bulad?

the time when you'll try your scrumptuous dinuguan will be the time when i will really bow down to you:) promise!!! hugs to Cathy and JP

Kingtut said...

Ha ha ha. Nice one.
Aside from the "backstop" that Dom liked too, I laughed harder when you described how one family member was scandalized that someone was leaving their spoon in the food! That was hilarious. Specially, when many pinoys are really OC about table manners and personal hygiene.
Keep em coming!