Fish Cheeks
文章來源:未知 文章作者:meng 發布時間:2009-09-30 03:06 字體: [ ]  進入論壇

I fell in love with the minister's son the winter I turned fourteen. He was not Chinese, but as white as Mary in the manger. For Christmas I prayed for this blond-haired boy, Robert, and a slim new American nose. When I found out that my parents had invited the minister's family over for Christmas Eve dinner, I cried. What would Robert think of our shabby Chinese Christmas? What would he think of our noisy Chinese relatives who lacked proper American manners? What terrible disappointment would he feel upon seeing not a roasted turkey and sweet potatoes but Chinese food?

On Christmas Eve I saw that my mother had outdone herself in creating a strange menu. She was pulling black veins1 out of the backs of fleshy prawns2. The kitchen was littered with appalling3 mounds4 of raw food: A slimy rock cod5 with bulging6 eyes that pleaded not to be thrown into a pan of hot oil. Tofu, which looked like stacked wedges of rubbery white sponges. A bowl soaking dried fungus7 back to life. A plate of squid, their back crisscrossed with knife markings so they resembled bicycle tires.

And then they arrived --- the minister's family and all my relatives in a clamor of doorbells and rumpled8 Christmas packages. Robert grunted9 hello, and I pretended he was not worthy10 of existence.

Dinner threw me deeper into despair. My relatives licked the ends of their chopsticks and reached across the table, dipping them into the dozen or so plates of food. Robert and his family waited patiently for platters to be passed to them. My relatives murmured with pleasure when my mother brought out the whole steam fish. Robert grimaced11.

Then my father poked12 his chopsticks just below the fish eye and plucked out the soft meat. "Amy, your favorite," he said, offering me the tender fish cheek. I wanted to disappear. At the end of the meal my father leaned back to and belched13 loudly, thanking my mother for her fine cooking. "It's a polite Chinese custom to show you are satisfied," explained my father to our astonished guests. Robert was looking down at his plate with a reddened face. The minister managed to muster14 up a quiet burp. I was stunned15 into silence for the rest of the night.

After everyone had gone, my mother told me, "You want to be the same as American girls on the outside." She handed me an early gift. It was a miniskirt in beige tweed. "But inside you must always be Chinese. You must be proud you are different. Your only shame is to have shame."

And even though I didn't agree with her then, I knew that she understood how much I had suffered during the evening's dinner. It wasn't until many years later --- long after I had gotten over my crush on Robert --- that I was able to fully16 appreciate her lesson and the true purpose behind out particular menu. For Christmas Eve that year, she had chosen all my favorite foods.


1 veins 65827206226d9e2d78ea2bfe697c6329     
n.紋理;礦脈( vein的名詞復數 );靜脈;葉脈;紋理
  • The blood flows from the capillaries back into the veins. 血從毛細血管流回靜脈。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • I felt a pleasant glow in all my veins from the wine. 喝過酒后我渾身的血都熱烘烘的,感到很舒服。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
2 prawns d7f00321a6a1efe17e10d298c2afd4b0     
n.對蝦,明蝦( prawn的名詞復數 )
  • Mine was a picture of four translucent prawns, with two small fish swimming above them. 給我畫的是四只蝦,半透明的,上畫有兩條小魚。 來自漢英文學 - 現代散文
  • Shall we get some shrimp and prawns? 我們要不要買些小蝦和對蝦? 來自無師自通 校園英語會話
3 appalling iNwz9     
  • The search was hampered by appalling weather conditions.惡劣的天氣妨礙了搜尋工作。
  • Nothing can extenuate such appalling behaviour.這種駭人聽聞的行徑罪無可恕。
4 mounds dd943890a7780b264a2a6c1fa8d084a3     
土堆,土丘( mound的名詞復數 ); 一大堆
  • We had mounds of tasteless rice. 我們有成堆成堆的淡而無味的米飯。
  • Ah! and there's the cemetery' - cemetery, he must have meant. 'You see the mounds? 啊,這就是同墓,”——我想他要說的一定是公墓,“看到那些土墩了嗎?
5 cod nwizOF     
  • They salt down cod for winter use.他們腌鱈魚留著冬天吃。
  • Cod are found in the North Atlantic and the North Sea.北大西洋和北海有鱈魚。
6 bulging daa6dc27701a595ab18024cbb7b30c25     
膨脹; 凸出(部); 打氣; 折皺
  • Her pockets were bulging with presents. 她的口袋里裝滿了禮物。
  • Conscious of the bulging red folder, Nim told her,"Ask if it's important." 尼姆想到那個鼓鼓囊囊的紅色文件夾便告訴她:“問問是不是重要的事!
7 fungus gzRyI     
  • Mushrooms are a type of fungus.蘑菇是一種真菌。
  • This fungus can just be detected by the unaided eye.這種真菌只用肉眼就能檢查出。
8 rumpled 86d497fd85370afd8a55db59ea16ef4a     
v.弄皺,使凌亂( rumple的過去式和過去分詞 )
  • She rumpled his hair playfully. 她頑皮地弄亂他的頭發。
  • The bed was rumpled and strewn with phonograph records. 那張床上凌亂不堪,散放著一些唱片。 來自辭典例句
9 grunted f18a3a8ced1d857427f2252db2abbeaf     
(豬等)作呼嚕聲( grunt的過去式和過去分詞 ); (指人)發出類似的哼聲; 咕噥著說
  • She just grunted, not deigning to look up from the page. 她只咕噥了一聲,繼續看書,不屑抬起頭來看一眼。
  • She grunted some incomprehensible reply. 她咕嚕著回答了些令人費解的話。
10 worthy vftwB     
  • I did not esteem him to be worthy of trust.我認為他不值得信賴。
  • There occurred nothing that was worthy to be mentioned.沒有值得一提的事發生。
11 grimaced 5f3f78dc835e71266975d0c281dceae8     
v.扮鬼相,做鬼臉( grimace的過去式和過去分詞 )
  • He grimaced at the bitter taste. 他一嘗那苦味,做了個怪相。
  • She grimaced at the sight of all the work. 她一看到這么多的工作就皺起了眉頭。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
12 poked 87f534f05a838d18eb50660766da4122     
v.伸出( poke的過去式和過去分詞 );戳出;撥弄;與(某人)性交
  • She poked him in the ribs with her elbow. 她用胳膊肘頂他的肋部。
  • His elbow poked out through his torn shirt sleeve. 他的胳膊從襯衫的破袖子中露了出來。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
13 belched f3bb4f3f4ba9452da3d7ed670165d9fd     
v.打嗝( belch的過去式和過去分詞 );噴出,吐出;打(嗝);噯(氣)
  • He wiped his hand across his mouth, then belched loudly. 他用手抹了抹嘴,然后打了個響亮的飽嗝。
  • Artillery growled and belched on the horizon. 大炮轟鳴在地平面上猛烈地爆炸。 來自《現代英漢綜合大詞典》
14 muster i6czT     
  • Go and muster all the men you can find.去集合所有你能找到的人。
  • I had to muster my courage up to ask him that question.我必須鼓起勇氣向他問那個問題。
15 stunned 735ec6d53723be15b1737edd89183ec2     
adj. 震驚的,驚訝的 動詞stun的過去式和過去分詞
  • The fall stunned me for a moment. 那一下摔得我昏迷了片刻。
  • The leaders of the Kopper Company were then stunned speechless. 科伯公司的領導們當時被驚得目瞪口呆。
16 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.醫生讓我先吸氣,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他們很快就完全融入了當地人的圈子。
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