By far, traveling is the best thing humans discovered. I believe traveling cures our ego, develops our minds and nurtures our souls. I will always be indebted to the people I met in my travels.
The more people we meet from different cultures the better we become. Meeting someone from a different culture is always an opportunity to widen our horizon and learn something new.
Because humans are prejudice, we look down on some cultures simply because they are different. Some cultures eat with their bare hands others eat with silverware. Some men grow beards others do not. Some women cover their heads others do not. These differences mean nothing. In no way one culture should feel superior over others because they do things differently.
Here is a story that shows how wrong and ignorant one can sometimes be:
I used to work in a lab were all my colleagues were Chinese. We once decided to go to a park in the weekend. I suggested we go for a BBQ. Because I wanted them to try the Middle Eastern shish kabob, I was in charge for buying the stuff. I bought chicken for the shish kabob and hamburgers.
I prepared the chicken at home and luckily, they loved the shish kabob. For the hamburger, a strange thing happened. After I finished grilling the first patch of burgers, I handed my Chinese friend a burger and a bun on a plate. He looked at me and asked how do you eat this?
I lived three years in Malaysia and I know that Sandwiches and bread are foreign to the Asian kitchen. Nevertheless, out of sheer stupidity and ignorance I felt I know better than my Chinese friend because I know how to make a hamburger sandwich and he does not.
We both smiled, maybe for a different reason. He may have noticed my bewildering. I opened the bun and showed him how to make a hamburger sandwich.
Two days ago, I was having dinner with my cousin who happen to go to China regularly on business trips. After I told him this hamburger story, he told me a similar funny story.
In one of his trips to China, he went with his Jordanian business partner to a small town for a business opportunity. He told me because the town has no foreign visitors, it does not have non-Chinese restaurants. Because they both do not speak Chinese, it was not easy for them to find a restaurant they can eat at without speaking the language.
They found a restaurant where they can serve themselves. Like a cafeteria, they choose their food and pay for what is on their plates. Their selection was shrimp and some green vegetables.
When they sat down, they noticed the stares but it was normal since they look different. However, after a while they noticed also some laughs and giggles. They figured it was because how they eat their shrimp compared to the locals. Most of us use two hands to peel the shell then eat the shrimp. Nevertheless, locals in this restaurant use one hand and their teeth to peel the shell of the shrimp. My cousin described the technique like eating a sunflower seed. Impressive ha?
Maybe for the Chinese customers, the two 40-something Jordanians were eating shrimp like two kids. It was funny to them that one need to use his two hands to peel the shell of one shrimp.
Can you imagine how boring this world would be if we all eat the same food the same way, speak the same language and like same things.
It is funny how people debate how you eat certain food. Whether you eat pizza with your hands or with silverware, it does not matter. What matters is how you feel more comfortable doing.
Traveling makes us less ignorant and I love it for this reason.
Travel while you can it is the best nurture for our souls!