The Chinese man managed to keep a straight face until he reached the kitchens of the restaurant. When he had crossed through the double doors he had to lean on the table for support as he burst out laughing.
“What on earth is the matter?” Ling looked up from his food preparation as Simba was wiping away the tears.
“English people just manage to crack me up.”
“In what way?”
“Oh, they just expect everything that we do to be the wonderful, mystical, China that they have read about. As you know, this is not always the case.” Simba pushed over a photograph on the counter. “Take a look at this, they expected there to be some kind of proverb written on their vase, so they just asked me what it said.”
Ling walked over to look at the picture, and then he started laughing himself. “What did you tell them?”
“I told them their vase said, ‘a bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers’.”
“You must be a great actor,” Ling announced as he looked once more at the photograph.
To anybody who could read Chinese the vase made for dummies clearly said, ‘Put flowers here.’
Written for Sunday photo fiction