PARKER:We have been taken out to a banquet at Hongbinlou.where Li Wei greets us at the door and then introduces us to Mrs.Su Vice-President of China National Textiles Import and Export Corporation.
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Emily Goodwin is particularly interested in Mr.Su because she has come to buy goods for her employer in Canada.
We are introduced as well to another gentleman.a Mr. Wang, from CCPIT or China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
We exchange greetings all around and then sit at a table for cigrattes and tea, it comes as a surprise to our Chinese host. that none of us smoke.But then we explain that in Canada there is a strong feeling running against the use of tobaco, because of its harmful effects.
After a few friendly exchanges, we move across the room to the dinning table. which has a large lazy susan in its centre.
Li Wei very carefully seats us next to people with whom we have much in common.
Li.Well. We have one rule about banquets, and that is what you must enjoy yourselves.
GOODWIN:I should say. looking around the table, that the rule will not cause us any particular difficulty.
LI.I hope the offerings of Hongbinlong, Which is an old and honoured establishment, will measure up to your cuisine,Mrs. Goodwin.
EMILY:I’m an awful cook. Madam Li My husband is the gourment cook in our household.
Li. That comes as a surprise. What is your speciality. Mr. Goodwin?
GOODWIN:I grew up in Quebec and Learned French cooking from my mother.
PARKER: Mrs. Goodwin is actually an excellent cook,too. Here pasta is the best this side of Florence, Italy.
SU:What is your initial impression of Beijing, Mr. Goodwin? I believe you’ve been away for a while . A lot has happned in the meantime.
GOODWIN:China reminds me a lot of Canada during 1950s. which was, as you know, the time of great expansion,
I hope to share in your growth, Just as a neighbour enjoys helping his friends.
WANG: That is very kind of you, Mr. Goodwin. This is a good time of the year to come to Beijing.not too hot yet, and the winds are dying down a little.What’s the weather like back in your province?
GOODWIN:The best time of the year. Flowers everwhere,warm days,of course,
as you know, we live in a rainy climate, Some parts of North Vancouver, up against the mountain,get 800 millimeter of rain a year.
WANG:Well! We could use some of that here in Beijing.
GOODWIN:Maybe we can make a deal, You sell us some of your brilliant shunshine and we’ll sell you some rain.
LI:Here comes our first dish.
GOODWIN:It looks pretty good to me! And it tastes wonderful.
EMILY. Yes. I’m afraid good cook as my husband is, he’s quite incapable of this!
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