So today, B, C, E, and I took a cab down to the downtown shopping district. When it became clear that we weren't going to buy anything there, we decided to get something to eat. There was some committee paralysis (what do you want to eat? I don't care, I'll eat what everyone else wants to eat) and somehow we managed to make our way into a restaurant.
As soon as we sat down, I started to feel my blood sugar crashing. My friends looked at the menu and said, eeh, maybe we don't like it here, so I said, ok, let's go! I knew I needed to eat right away, so I wanted to speed the process along. But then they pointed out that they had to pay for the tea, so I said, ok, and they kept looking at the menu, not finding anything they wanted.
So I said, look, I have to eat now, and they said, well, we can all wait. I tried to suggest to them to just let me order for everyone (see: food dictator) but they said, we're not stupid. Whoops, that went over wrong. Americans don't care about illegal wiretapping or lying about going to war, but don't ask them to give up democracy at a Chinese restaurant; everybody gets to choose one dish, and that's just how it is. Finally, the truth came out: we don't want to eat this food.
Ok, fine, I said, and I ordered three dishes for myself and ate them in front of them. Singapore fried noodles, bbq chicken, and chinese broccoli. Later, when I paid the bill, C and E both had a bite of broccoli.
Yes, it was weird that I ate and they watched me, ... but diabetes. I'm an old man, and I'm not going to be paralyzed by the committee.
Then we got in a cab and went down to the silk market and tried in vein to buy gifts for teachers and male friends. Four dudes on a mission to buy gifts is a mission doomed to failure. We managed to buy nothing for the teachers, and nothing for male friends. Luckily, I'm not in any gift-giving relationships with other dudes. Haggling was fun, and we had ice cream at Dairy Queen.
Cabbed back to the dorm, sat along the river to chat; got cleaned up and went to dinner. This time I was the dictator; I just got the waitress to stand next to me and ordered, while the committee entertained each other. When the committee caught on to what I was doing, they threw in their suggestions, which is totally ok. The waitresses were extremely hesitant about giving us three plates of beef, and I had to assure them that it wasn't a language question, we ACTUALLY wanted that much beef.
The committee wandered a bit on the street, and we watched a dude have a tantrum and kick his bike as his girlfriend stood there, eyes to the ground.
They're still out wandering. It's E's birthday, so we're going out tonight, but I told E and C before hand that I might be bugging out early because a) I'm old and crotchety and b) because I want to make sure to spend some time with X before we all leave.
I expect the committee will not knock on my door with a plan for another hour.