Written in Ink
Written in Ink
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So, tonight my aunt told me I was an alcoholic.

I'm not.

My aunt is very religious. She works three days a week for a non-profit helping find resources and equipment for disabled people at work. Two days a week she works for a Christian organisation that poses as a cultural group for foreign students at a local university. They run discussion groups and cultural excursions, but they also try and get the students to do an introductory course to evangelical Christianity.

She was at a conference on Sunday, so she sent some students to my house for lunch, I was more than happy to receive them because they are, as a rule, intelligent, interesting and interested. Good fun. My friend is the photographer for a big theatre company which are runs a series of lunch time plays, A Pie, A Pint and A Play. My friend told me they're doing a trio of plays adapted from Chinese, which I and the students thought would be interesting. We arranged to go.

I called today to see if my aunt and her boyfriend (a Chinese speaker and all round good guy) wanted to come too. She took the opportunity to lambast me about my lack of cultural sensitivity, manifested through my taking them to a play to be enjoyed with a drink. Apparently her Chinese students have expressed dismay at the drinking culture in the West.

I suggested that she might be reading dismay into conversations based on her own values, and that, anyway, "A Pint" does not a bacchanalian afternoon make.

The crux of her angst, it seems, was concern that I might offer a counter-point to her expertly curated examples of Western people, all of whom seem to be teetotal Christians.

"You might have an alcohol problem, but I don't want that around my students."

I said that she was being not only horrible to me, but condescending to the students, whose interests she professes to represent. I said any sort of religious journey that can be derailed by the contents of a pint glass is worthless. I told her to fuck off.

Thatz Okay?

It's funny because the biggest cultural gulfs seem to exist between members of the same family, not people from different countries.


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