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Douglas Sanger (Tripe Club Member no.54)
March 2002
tells this Tripe Tale:

In January, I arrived for the first time at Shenyang airport, in North-east China. I was met by two blokes, neither of whom speak any English - no real problem.

When we went outside it was a jolly -20 degrees, black ice everywhere and by the time we reached the motorway it was dark and we were in a "pea-souper" -- so that one could only see about one car's length beyond our windscreen. The journey to Anshan normally takes ¾ of an hour - it took us 3½ hours !!!

Although we spoke little the circumstances created a level of "bonding".

I was very aware that these two blokes had done the journey twice in order to collect me. It was about 8.00pm when we reached the hotel, so I was certain that they were very hungry. I insisted that we dump my bags at reception and go straight to the restaurant.

Douglas Sanger (right) and Mr Sung

Mr Sung (the person responsible for me) was very concerned when I asked him to order the meal. He was visually shaking and blushing because he had no idea what I would eat and could not ask me… I tried to indicate "anything & everything" and "don't worry", but he was not comfortable. Eventually I was able to ask the bell-boy (who had tried his English on me at reception) to come up and explain to Sung.

A large bottle of cold local beer had the right effect - of recovery and relaxation - which also assisted some limited discussion.

The setting

When about the third dish was delivered to the table I exclaimed "Hun Hau" ("very good") and appropriately pointed to my stomache, followed by extracting from my pocket the magic article - namely my keyring membership tag to the TRIPE CLUB !!
That took a bit of explaining, but the effect was electric. Almost immediately the chef appeared with a complimentary bowl of tripe (without the accountrements from the dish) .

That really opened up the evening. Sung and the driver then established that I drink Mau Tai - so 2 bottles of 60% proof were consumed between Sung and myself - the driver had to stick with the beer since RBT's have reached that part of the World !!

The feast

Naturally the "anaesthetic" aided the flow of conversation and the animation of the gathering, as well as being a great "lubricant" to the following couple of days when being introduced (by Sung) to others.

The moral of this story is simple. If you find that you have a language or communication problem --- TALK TRIPE !!



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