Fish Cheeks
文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2009-09-30 03:06 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
(单词翻译:双击或拖选)

I fell in love with the minister's son the winter I turned fourteen. He was not Chinese, but as white as Mary in the manger. For Christmas I prayed for this blond-haired boy, Robert, and a slim new American nose. When I found out that my parents had invited the minister's family over for Christmas Eve dinner, I cried. What would Robert think of our shabby Chinese Christmas? What would he think of our noisy Chinese relatives who lacked proper American manners? What terrible disappointment would he feel upon seeing not a roasted turkey and sweet potatoes but Chinese food?

On Christmas Eve I saw that my mother had outdone herself in creating a strange menu. She was pulling black veins1 out of the backs of fleshy prawns2. The kitchen was littered with appalling3 mounds4 of raw food: A slimy rock cod5 with bulging6 eyes that pleaded not to be thrown into a pan of hot oil. Tofu, which looked like stacked wedges of rubbery white sponges. A bowl soaking dried fungus7 back to life. A plate of squid, their back crisscrossed with knife markings so they resembled bicycle tires.

And then they arrived --- the minister's family and all my relatives in a clamor of doorbells and rumpled8 Christmas packages. Robert grunted9 hello, and I pretended he was not worthy10 of existence.

Dinner threw me deeper into despair. My relatives licked the ends of their chopsticks and reached across the table, dipping them into the dozen or so plates of food. Robert and his family waited patiently for platters to be passed to them. My relatives murmured with pleasure when my mother brought out the whole steam fish. Robert grimaced11.

Then my father poked12 his chopsticks just below the fish eye and plucked out the soft meat. "Amy, your favorite," he said, offering me the tender fish cheek. I wanted to disappear. At the end of the meal my father leaned back to and belched13 loudly, thanking my mother for her fine cooking. "It's a polite Chinese custom to show you are satisfied," explained my father to our astonished guests. Robert was looking down at his plate with a reddened face. The minister managed to muster14 up a quiet burp. I was stunned15 into silence for the rest of the night.

After everyone had gone, my mother told me, "You want to be the same as American girls on the outside." She handed me an early gift. It was a miniskirt in beige tweed. "But inside you must always be Chinese. You must be proud you are different. Your only shame is to have shame."

And even though I didn't agree with her then, I knew that she understood how much I had suffered during the evening's dinner. It wasn't until many years later --- long after I had gotten over my crush on Robert --- that I was able to fully16 appreciate her lesson and the true purpose behind out particular menu. For Christmas Eve that year, she had chosen all my favorite foods.



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1 veins 65827206226d9e2d78ea2bfe697c6329     
n.纹理;矿脉( vein的名词复数 );静脉;叶脉;纹理
参考例句:
  • The blood flows from the capillaries back into the veins. 血从毛细血管流回静脉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I felt a pleasant glow in all my veins from the wine. 喝过酒后我浑身的血都热烘烘的,感到很舒服。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 prawns d7f00321a6a1efe17e10d298c2afd4b0     
n.对虾,明虾( prawn的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Mine was a picture of four translucent prawns, with two small fish swimming above them. 给我画的是四只虾,半透明的,上画有两条小鱼。 来自汉英文学 - 现代散文
  • Shall we get some shrimp and prawns? 我们要不要买些小虾和对虾? 来自无师自通 校园英语会话
3 appalling iNwz9     
adj.骇人听闻的,令人震惊的,可怕的
参考例句:
  • The search was hampered by appalling weather conditions.恶劣的天气妨碍了搜寻工作。
  • Nothing can extenuate such appalling behaviour.这种骇人听闻的行径罪无可恕。
4 mounds dd943890a7780b264a2a6c1fa8d084a3     
土堆,土丘( mound的名词复数 ); 一大堆
参考例句:
  • We had mounds of tasteless rice. 我们有成堆成堆的淡而无味的米饭。
  • Ah! and there's the cemetery' - cemetery, he must have meant. 'You see the mounds? 啊,这就是同墓,”——我想他要说的一定是公墓,“看到那些土墩了吗?
5 cod nwizOF     
n.鳕鱼;v.愚弄;哄骗
参考例句:
  • They salt down cod for winter use.他们腌鳕鱼留着冬天吃。
  • Cod are found in the North Atlantic and the North Sea.北大西洋和北海有鳕鱼。
6 bulging daa6dc27701a595ab18024cbb7b30c25     
膨胀; 凸出(部); 打气; 折皱
参考例句:
  • Her pockets were bulging with presents. 她的口袋里装满了礼物。
  • Conscious of the bulging red folder, Nim told her,"Ask if it's important." 尼姆想到那个鼓鼓囊囊的红色文件夹便告诉她:“问问是不是重要的事?!?
7 fungus gzRyI     
n.真菌,真菌类植物
参考例句:
  • Mushrooms are a type of fungus.蘑菇是一种真菌。
  • This fungus can just be detected by the unaided eye.这种真菌只用肉眼就能检查出。
8 rumpled 86d497fd85370afd8a55db59ea16ef4a     
v.弄皱,使凌乱( rumple的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • She rumpled his hair playfully. 她顽皮地弄乱他的头发。
  • The bed was rumpled and strewn with phonograph records. 那张床上凌乱不堪,散放着一些唱片。 来自辞典例句
9 grunted f18a3a8ced1d857427f2252db2abbeaf     
(猪等)作呼噜声( grunt的过去式和过去分词 ); (指人)发出类似的哼声; 咕哝着说
参考例句:
  • She just grunted, not deigning to look up from the page. 她只咕哝了一声,继续看书,不屑抬起头来看一眼。
  • She grunted some incomprehensible reply. 她咕噜着回答了些令人费解的话。
10 worthy vftwB     
adj.(of)值得的,配得上的;有价值的
参考例句:
  • I did not esteem him to be worthy of trust.我认为他不值得信赖。
  • There occurred nothing that was worthy to be mentioned.没有值得一提的事发生。
11 grimaced 5f3f78dc835e71266975d0c281dceae8     
v.扮鬼相,做鬼脸( grimace的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He grimaced at the bitter taste. 他一尝那苦味,做了个怪相。
  • She grimaced at the sight of all the work. 她一看到这么多的工作就皱起了眉头。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 poked 87f534f05a838d18eb50660766da4122     
v.伸出( poke的过去式和过去分词 );戳出;拨弄;与(某人)性交
参考例句:
  • She poked him in the ribs with her elbow. 她用胳膊肘顶他的肋部。
  • His elbow poked out through his torn shirt sleeve. 他的胳膊从衬衫的破袖子中露了出来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 belched f3bb4f3f4ba9452da3d7ed670165d9fd     
v.打嗝( belch的过去式和过去分词 );喷出,吐出;打(嗝);嗳(气)
参考例句:
  • He wiped his hand across his mouth, then belched loudly. 他用手抹了抹嘴,然后打了个响亮的饱嗝。
  • Artillery growled and belched on the horizon. 大炮轰鸣在地平面上猛烈地爆炸。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
14 muster i6czT     
v.集合,收集,鼓起,激起;n.集合,检阅,集合人员,点名册
参考例句:
  • Go and muster all the men you can find.去集合所有你能找到的人。
  • I had to muster my courage up to ask him that question.我必须鼓起勇气向他问那个问题。
15 stunned 735ec6d53723be15b1737edd89183ec2     
adj. 震惊的,惊讶的 动词stun的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • The fall stunned me for a moment. 那一下摔得我昏迷了片刻。
  • The leaders of the Kopper Company were then stunned speechless. 科伯公司的领导们当时被惊得目瞪口呆。
16 fully Gfuzd     
adv.完全地,全部地,彻底地;充分地
参考例句:
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
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