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On Culture Clash…

On Culture Clash…

For an eighth grade project, I had to build a miniature bridge out of glue and toothpicks with a boy in my science class.  Of course we waited until the day before the project was due to complete most of the work, so as you can imagine, I was in the boy’s large garage for quite a long time after school that day getting the project finished.

I wasn’t prepared for the long haul, so when his mother came home around 8pm with a whole bag full of sandwiches, I salivated at the thought of eating one.

As she walked by us, his mother said something to the boy in another language with a nod in my direction.

“Oh good!” I though, “She’s asking him to offer me one.”

I was right!  A few seconds later he asked, “Do you want a sandwich?”

“Yes,” I excitedly replied, “please!”   There was silence for a second while he gave me a quizzical look before replying back to his mother in their native language.

After his mother’s response, he told me, “Sorry, but in our culture it is impolite to accept food at someone’s house even if they offer it to you.”  His mother then handed him one sandwich.

While he took a break to eat his sandwich, I continued to work on the toothpick bridge as I planned my strategy to get home just in case they didn’t let me use their phone to call for my ride.