One day in November 2013, I’m at the supermarket buying fruit. I go to a square counter that is filled with apples. It’s accessible from all four sides. On the opposite side of the counter, a supermarket employee who’s busy unpacking boxes is surrounded by people.
A couple standing right next to me point their finger to him. They point there without saying a word, supposedly thinking that I don’t understand Mandarin Chinese. When I ask them what exactly it is they are trying to tell me, they explain:
“You can take apples right out of these boxes.”
I: “But I can also take the apples from here, can’t I?”
Couple: “Of course you can, but the ones in the boxes are fresh.”
Finally I understand. I wait until the guy has unloaded the apples and go over to take some of the fresh apples, just like anyone else.
Have you ever had a similar experience? I’d love to read your stories.