Monday, July 9, 2007


There was a group of American law students in Xiamen last month, and many of my Chinese students spent time with them as a way to improve their spoken English. They took them shopping and to the bank to exchange money, etc. They also played lots of basketball with them.

One of my students was telling me about the basketball, and said the Chinese students were so amazed at how well the Americans played. It wasn't that they were tall, he said, it was that they were so much stronger than the Chinese students. He was literally shaking his head in awe of these super-strong Americans. He said that he and his friends concluded it must be because Americans eat so much beef!

I pointed out to him that it might not be the beef, that many young American men worked out with weights. Ohhhhhh! Well, that explains it, then.

So I probably destroyed one myth, of the red-meat-eating American strongman, and replaced it with another -- a country of Arnold Schwartzenegger wanna-be's. I'm not sure I did a good thing . . . . But even as a Texan, I didn't think you could blame it on the beef!

1 comment:

Dee said...

If you ever get asked a similar question, here's what you can say - "Americans eats lots of FRIED CHICKENS! Yep, that's our secret." I doubt you can get really good fried chicken in China. LOL