L: the last thing to be ignored at a Chinese dinner table is to keep modest.
J: does that suggest diners avoid speaking much? The same is true in the West.
L: no, alsolutely not! On the contrary, you’ll be considered a well-connected, sociable man, if you keep involved in the conversation all the time. But always pay attention to what you say. If the table has a senior guest, say something as upbeat and cheerful as possible. Or maybe, you may give the floor to him and keep listening as if very interested.
J: you mean, keeping a low profile in the presence of the old? That goes in like with Confucius’ preachings, right?
L: correct. Show respect for the older people. Conventionally, before the meal starts, the younger members are supposed to address each one of the elderly members of the table one by one. Others are kept in waiting until the most venerable guest peoclaim the beginning of the meal and takes the first bite. Toasts also go to these men first before people can toast to each other.
J: any other rules to observe in order to keep modest?
L: yes, plenty of them. Don’t eat fast! People usually keep their dining pace accorded with others. And all the dishes should not be eaten up completely.
J: is it because that would give the host the impression that the food was insufficient?
L: haha, I’m afraid it’s simply because no one wishes to be too noticeable by finishing off the plate.
UIy: Now I know wby I split up with Mike. We found we were simply not good for cach other.
Janny: In what ways?
L: Well, bc is a typical Sagittarius guy,while I am a Cancer. We aren’t rcally compatible
J: Ha-ha, so you bc“wc in astrology?
L: What’s stranse about tbat! As a person bomund盯 the sign of Cancer, I am home-loving and wish for a peaceful family life. But according to astrology, Sagittarius guys are too adventurous and risk-taking.Thcy scldom think of Icadi a settled and peacefullifc.
J: Is that so? I’m afraid it is too oarrow-minded to judge people usins astrology. It’s all stereotypes!
L: But in my case, the factmtchcs the theory. Mike is humorous cnerBctic, always as fresh as a daisy, but probably too ambitious. It frightens me!
J: But as far as I remember, you two caugbt on like a housc on fire when you first met.
L: Exactly. But latcr on, he cares l∞托 about his carccr thanlovc. Work sccms to be the be- all, end-ajI for bim-so much that he doesn’t cven grudge sparing a day out with me.
UIy: Do youbclieve in horoscopic fortune-telling?
JlmnV: I used to be an atheist. But in reccnt months, I couldn’t but form a more favorable opinion of horoscope.
L: That sounds intcrcsting. Have you bcen involved in any mystery?
J: Not cxactIy’exccpt that I find horoscopc predictions incrcasingly accurate. I came upon a website which sends me an up-datcd mcssagc by e-mail each day forecasting my
expenCes in detail. It is amazing to find these forecasts largely in line with my daily life.
L: What did it say about you then?
J: For CXampIC, the message for the day before yesterday notiricd me that I, as a Leo guy, was to have some “unusual expenence in food and drink . And as it tumed out, the reality matched this prediction well. Lasi night. I was treated to a dinner party by Mr. Lee.
L: But it must have been only a coincidence. That’s the only way superstition winsovcriCncC.
J: Oh, no. You can nevcr tdl such-and-such is science or sheer fraudIf horosoopc is rcally decepovr:, how come quite Voportion of young pcoplc think highly of is
L: For funl It serves as a shared topic to them.WhiIC thcy claim to consult the predictions constantly and marvel at mCir “accuracy ‘. they do not neces姐rily take them seriously.When it that these predictions are matched by their rcal-life cxpcriences. tbey delight in spenading the thrill with friends. But if there isn’t any corrclation between rcality and predictions, they just grin, forget about ttIem, and go on living as usual.