Human Character A Sum of Ones Emotions

It was hot yesterday morning and after a brief stroll I found myself in my oasis, 'Yi Da Pan'. I sat in the airconditioned comfort for some time, wishing neither to eat anything nor even sip a chilled beer.desirous only of cooling off until nature willed me to eat or drink something.The boss of the restaurant came and sat at the table, making offers in his customary warmth to try some fruit or the other.

I kept refusing but he asked his wife to fetch me a peach. She handed me a washed one which I thoroughly enjoyed despite my lack of appetite.We chatted for a while and I sang them a Chinese song 'Ni de Yanshen' (Your Eyes). Later, the boss asked me to try a medicinal wine 'you jiu' which was rather weak but tasted fine.

I asked for yet another yellow wine that I had tried before and had a little more kick to it, sharing the small bottle (about 100 ml) with him.Most of the contents of my glass spilled when I waved my hand at the boss and I asked for another and drank some from it. In the meanwhile, the boss sat down with a small group of people he was familiar with and drank a glassful of baijiu (white rice wine). He took large sips from his glass and before I knew what was going on, he was drunk and could not walk straight. Something else happened, too, during this brief time and the laoban's (boss's) wife left the restaurant, apparently annoyed with something - I guess, the laoban's drinking.Anyway, things got a little out of control and the boss sounded angry as he spoke to his wife on his mobile.

He was pretty drunk so I thought it best to ask him to take a nap and managed to force him to lie on a row of chairs that I lined for him. After some time I left, asking Maria, the waitress, to be there until he came to.In the evening when I returned to the restaurant for my dinner, the boss seemed fine though a trifle puffy-faced. Later, he disappeared and the laoban's wife who is not a great cook gave me a simple dish of cabbage and a bowl of rice.

They shut the restaurant early as the laoban was indisposed and had retired early.This morning, the laoban's wife was at her post, near the door with Maria and welcomed me with a smile. The laoban was seated at my favourite table near the door and we high-fived. I asked him how he felt and what time he woke up. He said he felt fine and woke up at nine.A little later some customers entered the restaurant and headed to the upper floor.

Meanwhile, the boss looked a trifle upset (effects of yesterdays, drinking, I reasoned) and swatted flies. He swatted one near his wife's foot and I smiled at her as the swatter nearly struck her foot. She returned the smile and the boss seemed to notice it and that made him angry. I watched her face closely as he asked why she was smiling and noticed angry red lines like strangle marks around her neck.The boss headed into the kitchen and shouted an order at his wife.

She followed him there and I heard them argue. More shouting and louder voices and later the wife's hysterical response made me want to leave the restaurant. Things seemed more chaotic by the moment and even the television did nothing to mute their angry exchange. Maria looked distraught as doors banged and things clanged inside the kitchen.Finally, as things got worse, I headed into the kitchen to try and pacify the boss.

He looked really mad and shouted angrily at me when I tried to speak to him. The words made little sense but the tone did and I decided it was time to leave. I left.

That such a gentle, kindly man as Chen Tai Chao could all of a sudden turn violent and worse came as a bit of a surprise to me.and now I sit composing this long entry to try and make sense of man's irrationality.Emotions! Sometimes I wonder if life is really all about emotions and emotional responses, perceptions, reactions and so on. They seem to colour and affect our well-being in more ways than we seem to notice.I suppose, at some level, human character is a sum of one's emotions.just a thought!.

What use is a man's generosity to a foreigner if he cannot be generous to his wife! I hope Chen Tai Chao will understand this some day and be the wonderful man that he normally is.

.Rajesh Kanoi (Jack) is a published writer, now living and working in China. Many of his short-stories, poems and articles have been published, including a book of short-stories, 'From China With Love' (Lipstick Publishing). http://www.

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By: Rajesh Kanoi

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