[thechat] american table manners -- fork in right or left..?

Ashok Hariharan unganisha at hazard0us.org
Wed Aug 25 04:08:30 CDT 2004

A query on american table manners ....

I have this american friend, he is like 60ish, retired from some 
top-dollar insurance 
job in the US mid-west, now lives in the bush in solitude with his old 
wife and a young 
local house girl. He comes down to nairobi sometimes, takes the house girl 
to the dentist 
(she has nice teeth), hair dresser, shopping malls, parking lots ....god 
knows where else. 
They dont have places like that in the bush.

Often when he is in nairobi, I have dinner with him.  He has a habit of 
educating the girl 
on his american ways (among other things...).  We were eating steak, 
yesterday -- so the
girl started cutting  a piece of the t-bone steak (it was kinda skinny, 
there's been a 
drought in kenya, so the cattle dont get to eat much...).  WIth the fork 
in her left hand, she 
was about to raise it to her mouth -- when he slapped her hand.  "Not like 
transfer the fork to your right hand...!" 

I realized then, that he eats steak like that --  cutting the meat with 
the knife in the right 
-- transferring the fork to the right, then picking up the meat with it, 
and eating it. 

Seemed kinda complicated to me (..sure would, i eat steak with my bare 
...why transfer the fork at all? 
"I dont know....In the States we always eat it like this...," was his 
if its true ...then why? I always assumed it was natural to leave the fork 
in the left....

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