Tuesday, November 22, 2011
My friend had a job in China teaching English and while there he hosted a local cable-access TV show. It probably wasn't really cable-access, but that's how he told me about it so that I could understand what he was talking about. His show was called Me and Mr. Snacks. He said it was about a little statue he named Mr. Snacks that he would take all over town and interview. I asked why "Mr. Snacks" and he told me, "Because in China snacks are considered lucky." I don't know that I could come up with a more succinct way to express a cultural difference. I can't even begin to understand how snacks are lucky. I guess it could be good luck to eat snacks, but that seems like a recipe for a culture with a lot of diabetics. I tried to get more out of him, but he couldn't or wouldn't explain it further. Much later I met another guy who'd worked in China for a long time, and he confirmed that snacks are indeed considered lucky. I hope they weren't messing with me because if I ever get to go to China, I'm definitely packing my luggage with a ton of fun-sized bags of chips.