Most of you probably already know that Husband travels to China two or three times a year. Along with racking up some impressive frequent flier miles, he’s also gotten to know some of the people he deals with over there pretty well. They always go out of their way to treat him as “VIP American.” For the last few weeks, we’ve been able to repay the hospitality that his Chinese colleague has always shown him.
Kevin came to Franklin.
This wasn’t just Kevin’s first trip to the U.S.–it was his first trip out of China. Travel for the Chinese isn’t as easy as it for us Americans and he had to apply for his visa in person at the American consulate near his home. But he and Husband have traveled a lot in China and have spent lots of time together. Husband really wanted him to have fun while he was here, as well as see the company they work for.
Many people have asked what he liked best, or what was the biggest difference. I think it was probably just the space. Most Chinese live in crowded conditions–high rise apartments, jam-packed buses and trains and sidewalks that are teeming with people. He laughed when we were riding the escalator at the mall and I commented on how crowed it was. He said that in China the escalators accommodate four across and every step is full.
Food was tricky at first.
- chicken casserole was an epic fail
- a homemade chocolate chip cookie was spat out (something I didn’t know until after he left)
- a sausage biscuit with one bite out of it was discreetly put in the trash
Other items were big hits:
- single barrel, 9-year-old reserve bourbon
- guacamole and barbecue were popular
- he even tried a few different kinds of cheese, but he absolutely drew the line at Roquefort
I ordered in “Chinese” one night–that’s when Kevin had his first egg roll and his first fortune cookie. He had never seen either of them before and he took a fortune cookie home to show everyone there what Americans call Chinese food.
But if there’s one food he’ll remember from his time in the U.S., it’s beef. We don’t eat a lot of beef, but Husband said he really wanted to treat Kevin because beef isn’t something they have a lot of–and when they do have it, it’s in small pieces. We had grilled steak, hamburgers (of course) and pot roast.
On his last night, we took him a local steakhouse in downtown Nashville.
Kevin had the bone-in ribeye. It tasted as good as it looks and he ate every bite. After dinner, we headed to Nashville’s famous Honky Tonk district.
And here he is in front of Nashville’s most famous bar.
He was here for 17 days. We discussed politics for about 15 minutes. I know that he adapted to Franklin (at least on the surface) much more gracefully than I would adapt to China.