Most Friday or Saturday nights after work, I meet Tony, my Chinese friend at his restaurant.
We usually have a couple of beers and some delicious food while trying to put the world to right in less than sixty minutes.
We talk about politics, religion, the growth of China, food, travel, Spanish shoe factories, etc...
We have yet to broach a taboo subject.
Last night, he shouted for his girlfriend to come and join us.
I asked if he had used Chinese terms of endearment.
He replied that he had just called her by her surname followed by her first name. "In China we do not tend to show our feelings overtly."
But then, blaming American-style consumerism, he confessed that today's Chinese youth were catching up with the West when it comes to celebrating Valentine's Day.
"This kind of extravagant behaviour was unheard of, just five to ten years ago!"
He startled me with: "And bloody Mother's Day, too!"
For a second I thought he was about to unleash some vitriolic attack on his poor mother, whom I have never met.
But he calmly came up with a deep Confucius-like pearl of wisdom:
"If you love your mother, then every day is Mother's Day!"
I can't wait for next week's topic...