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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Three Months With Charlie Chan Chapter 1

Today begins a new Continued Story.


I could lay out a ton of facts about my life so far but for the last six years I have been in an intelligence prison.

You see I have been in college and law school.  During my three years getting my BA degree, I had a little time for socialization, but while in Law school it was almost zero.

Living in New Jersey I was able to come home on occasion and get re-indoctrinated concerning my future.  
My problem was that I am from a long line of Lawyers and my father and uncles and aunts were all insisting that I excel above the rest of the people in my class.

During what some call summer vacation I worked in the law offices of my family and took some extra classes.  As for dating I was assured by my dad that it wasn’t something necessary for lawyers.  

After I had put in my time in law school studying and challenging my professors on much of what they were teaching.  I passed my final exam.  Before getting a chance to take the bar exam I had promised myself to take a little time off and to meld back into society or what some call “the real world.”

I fully realized I was so one sided that I must reenter the world gradually where normal routines were variable and changing.  During the two weeks of waiting before graduation I had sought to make friends of people who were also graduating along with me.  

There was a young man who was graduating in my class who was named Chan.  Try as I would I couldn’t pronounce his first name.  So many others had the same problem so he called himself Charlie.

This didn’t go unnoticed by the public at large but he didn’t mind if they called him names like detective and sleuth.  In fact he liked it.  He was such an avid fan of Charlie Chan.  We all took the bar exam and decided to forget about the law for a while.

During one of our discussions about the future Charlie mentioned that right after graduation he was off to every Chinese community in the U.S. looking for two Ming vases that had great significance to his family.

He said I could come along if I choose to.  

When I agreed to journey with him he said, “Come and meet my family, but first I must prepare you as to proper etiquette.”  He met me and took me to his house where I tried to follow the instructions given to me by Charlie with the bowing and other cultural acts one must follow.  

While there at his home, I met a lot of people who stared at me making me extremely uncomfortable.  I didn’t know if I had done something wrong or if they were just curious, and then I realized I still had my shoes on.

I remembered that I should remove them while in the house.  After all of the protocol had been followed we were invited to come and eat.  

Charlie introduced me to the family as Logan Connors to which they took no notice.  
They just went on as if I wasn’t there.  Charlie saw that I was taken aback by that treatment, so he said, “It’s alright - - it’s as if you are one of the family and didn’t need some special treatment.

After viewing the food, the rice was the only thing I felt comfortable with eating.  The squid, fish heads, and chicken feet weren’t what my palate was used to.  Charlie dived right in and it reminded me of slopping the hogs on my uncle’s farm.  

After it was over and we were leaving Charlie said the family took a liking to me for they said it wouldn’t cost much to feed me.  I said that’s true it wouldn’t if I stayed with them.  

Trying to follow the proper etiquette just about wore me out and the chop sticks were a little hard to get used to.  It became easier when I saw one of the elders take his rice bowl and rake his rice into his mouth from a bowl with his sticks.  

After our food we went through the process of saying goodbye several times and offered good tidings to them and their ancestors.  
When we were out of sight Chan said that their acknowledgment was important for it was their permission for us to act as their envoy as we went on our quest to find the Ming vases. 

To be Continued  

Sharing with Rosilind in Croatia, at Wednesday R and R  


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