Europeans: Make the most of everything and never waste it

  I had the opportunity to follow the leaders of the unit into the center of the modern building complex near the New Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the most economically developed Haute-Seine province in France, and enjoyed a French feast in the “provincial government” building.
  Dozens of men and women in formal attire sitting at the giant long table sat well, chatting and laughing with great interest. After the leaders of the two sides stood up to exchange gifts and toast, the waiters with sturdy bodies, professional expressions and standard procedures came into action, and the “French Dinner” finally began.
  The first course, shallot salmon, tastes not far from Chinese food, but the weight is not enough to withstand a few knives and forks. Fortunately, there is wine, red grapes, white grapes, champagne and drinks. With gestures and expressions, the atmosphere on the field is not bad. The second course is still fish, but the species is changed and the size is larger. I was hesitating whether to leave some room for my stomach, but the foreigner opposite had torn bread and ate all the soup with water, so I had to follow suit. The third course was the cheese. A few cake-like things were placed on the plate. What kind of thing was needed, the shiny little table knife was only willing to cut a small piece. Later, I heard that some of my colleagues thought it was too small, and when I swallowed it in one bite, the taste was so strange that it was too late to vomit. It is said that Chinese people are to Western cheeses like foreigners are to Chinese stinky tofu. They are curious in their hearts, but they are like guards standing between their tongues, guarding against them tightly. “It tastes like chewing wax”, I know that this “dish” can be almost ignored in the stomach of my colleagues and me. But at this moment, except for the bread and drinks on the table, there seems to be nothing to eat anymore. With the debut of dessert ice cream, the feast comes to a sweet end.
  Our witty head of delegation made an incisive summary of the feast with “The French dare to treat guests with two pieces of fish”. Everyone listened to it, and they all laughed. For two pieces of fish, we can’t even ask ordinary relatives and friends, but they have to be so calm and confident that they don’t disgrace their standards. Apart from washing a lot of dishes and spending a little water, I really don’t see any waste.
  Making the best use of everything and never wasting it is the biggest impression of our trip to Europe. In the cultural center of the Belgian province of Namur, there is not a single waiter in the five-story youth hostel. When we were eating, the two fat chefs guided us: take the utensils and clean the table by ourselves; when we were resting, the administrator signaled: make the bed and clean it by yourself. That night, when I picked up a pad and two sheets, I didn’t expect two things: First, the word 1974 was woven on the sheet, that is to say, this sheet was 30 years old; second, this sheet had holes. The sheets were still starched and ironed, white and crisp. Strange to say, being a foreign guest in Belgium, being forced to do such a natural household thing, has a novel and exciting feeling.
  Some people say that the speed of development in Europe is slowing down now, and people’s lives are less ostentatious. I feel that it is this kind of unpretentiousness that makes people feel the light of civilization, rationality, restraint, and restraint everywhere; shopping in France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, no matter how expensive the goods are, they are simply packaged in paper. , if you want gift wrapping, sorry, you have to pay extra; when you go to the toilet there, the toilets almost have two buttons, one big and one small, the big tube is big, the small tube is small, the foot switch for hand washing, water saving The measures are meticulous to the point.
  When I came out of these “stingy” places and sat in the car, the gurgling clear stream and lush green hills flashed in front of my eyes. The ostentation of the natural environment is undoubtedly the biggest ostentation of people. In this environment, being “stingy” is a bit like a rich family drinking porridge. The delicacies of mountains and seas must not be allowed or not. Compared with the extravagance of the nouveau riche, there is a difference. A true composure and humility.

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