Friday, December 18, 2009

So fresh and so clean, clean

Reason #5,927,253 why I am sometimes completely baffled by my Chinese colleagues and roommates: They brush their teeth before breakfast.  And not in the "I am leaving to go to work and am planning to stop and get coffee en route, so I am going to brush my teeth before I leave the house" kind of way.  Rather, the insistence on brushing one's teeth before breakfast is to such an extreme extent that as I sat down to have a bowl of spicy noodle soup with my roommates for breakfast this morning, one of them--right before taking a bite--jumped up, said '"Oh! I have to brush my teeth," then ran off to the bathroom.  Umm, ok, 1)if OJ tastes disgusting after brushing teeth, there is no way that spicy food doesn't taste rank (even Tom's of Maine doesn't make mint-chili pepper flavor), and 2)YOUR TEETH ARE GOING TO BE DIRTY AGAIN AFTER YOU EAT, thus defeating the purpose of brushing them in the first place.

Their reason for doing so was that "Chinese people brush their teeth before eating." Right.  I figured that out already.  Since I default to "foreigners have different habits" on a near-daily basis as a means for explaining my apparently puzzling behavior, however, I just nodded and let it slide.

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