I recently read an article in the NYT that said that 80 percent of the food sold domestically in
My Chinese conversation partner, Wensha, or Wendy, and I have gone out to dinner together a couple times, and I have since decided that arguing over the bill is my favorite Chinese cultural practice. Of course, this practice depends on sharing dishes, which is not often done in the
The wonderful thing about one person treating the other(s,) is that it feels nice whoever “wins.” If I get to pay, I feel so generous and magnanimous (not to mention I, will admit, rather proud of myself for having the cultural knowledge to understand that this is an important gesture) and of course, if I am being treated, well, it always feels nice to be treated to dinner, doesn’t it? Of course, the other advantage of paying this way is that you never have to figure out splitting the check, and paying for a friend ensures you will go out with them again, as they “owe” you a meal.