Friday, August 29, 2008


Yesterday, I gave a little presentation for the students here about some data mining and image segmentation software. Afterwards, Chen Xiao and Li DanDan took the Gong group out to lunch. It was buffet style and a tasty mix of Chinese and Western food. The trouble started when we realized that part of the buffet included serve yourself draft beer. Of course, this being a celebration of sorts, we started drinking. At some point, Chen ShaoQing told me of a Chinese tradition, drink one beer to everyone, then drink another beer for every person in attendance, making a toast to that person, then drink a final beer to everyone. There were twenty people there. Not wanting to break with tradition, I eventually acquiesced, though I found a small glass to use, so I wouldn't throw up in the restaurant. Long story short, I drank twenty two times, plus a couple full mugs before, plus one full mug, chug-a-lugged, when I toasted Lao Guo, who insisted that I drink the entire thing. After the Lao Guo mug, I almost went down. They had to help me back to my seat and everyone told me to rest for a minute. I made a big show of being super sketchy and about to pass out, then sprang out of my seat, James Brown style, grabbed another mug, and kept toasting. It made quite a sensation. Before long, we were all roaring with laughter and the waiter had to come over and tell us to be quiet and everything. It was a big success.

Chen ShaoQing taught me this proverb, in keeping with the spirit of things:


"When you come across a very good friend, 1000 glasses of liquor are too few."

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