Intercultural Incident By D.I. Jolly
Shannon lifted the lid off the plate and stood triumphantly, grinning from ear to ear while John stared at his food in slight, but very genuine, shock
“Oh, oh my god, it’s…”
“Yip, from the moment you announced you were going to come visit I started researching. I even contacted your mom to find out what your favourite food was as a child. Took me a few tried to get it right but I really think I’ve got it down.”
For a few moments he simply stared at it while she stared at him. Then, as the moments increased, her smile started to fade.
“What’s the matter?”
“Nothing! Nothing, it looks great I’m just a little surprised is all.”
“But then why are you making that face?”
“What face, I’m not making a face, this is just… my face.”
He smiled up at her trying to look reassuring and, seeing her eyebrows furrow, realised he was failing.
“It looks great, smells great, I’m not… Nothing’s the matter, thank you this couldn’t have been easy to put together. Just sit down and let’s eat, please.”
“You know, I worked really hard on this. Getting the ingredients, practised it so that I could make it just right and you’re looking at me like I’m an arsehole!”
“I’m not, I’m sorry, it’s just… I really wasn’t expecting this kind of food when I got here.”
“Oh, so what were you expecting burgers? Chips? Pizza?”
John tipped his head a little and grimaced.
“Honestly, yes. I mean. This does look and smell great but, it’s really easy to get where I’m from, and I flew halfway around the world to be here and see you and I thought we’d be eating food from your country, not mine.”
Shannon’s nostrils flared and she stamped her foot in frustration.
“Well, you should have said something before. I was just trying to make you feel welcome!”
“And I came all this way to see you and experience your culture. I appreciate the effort, I really do, but I can get this at any corner store in my city and …”
A tipped over plate suddenly landed in his lap and he looked up just in time to see the bedroom door slam and wondered if he should have booked that hotel instead.