I Can’t Use Chopsticks

Came across this t-shirt at Threadless a couple of days ago and it made me laugh because, well, I can’t use chopsticks!

Every time we go to an Asian restaurant, we always have to ask for a fork and a spoon. Most of the time, they think the fork and spoon are for Troy since I’m the Asian among us and he’s the white guy. Silly generalisation, if you ask me. Not all Asians can use chopsticks. Or at least I don’t think so.

I could say that I can’t use chopsticks because in Indonesia, we eat with a spoons, or spoon and fork in more formal settings. But Troy grew up eating with fork and knife and yet he can use chopsticks like a pro, so my argument wouldn’t be valid.

I think I’ll just say that I can’t use chopsticks because I’m clumsy, and that it will be better for my sanity, faster, and less food wasted if I just use forks and spoons to eat my meals. And yes, I’ve tried using chopsticks before. It just didn’t work. Just ask Troy. :)

However, if you have any simple tips and tricks on using chopsticks that you think I could use, feel free to share! I’d love to hear it.

5 thoughts on “I Can’t Use Chopsticks

  1. I’m Eurasian but can use chopsticks – have been doing so for about 60 years. A suggestion, ask for Japanese chopsticks- the ones with points- and stab your food. As for rice, it’s in a bowl and you can lift the bowl to your mouth and shovel it in; it is permitted for men anyway. With noodles , once you get them too your mouth you suck and merly use the chopsticks to guide.

  2. The title of this post caught my attention – I have a friend with Vietnamese parents, who got so fed up with always being offered chopsticks at Chinese restaurants, that she started a zine to detail exactly how ‘Asian’ she wasn’t. She called her zine… ‘I Can’t Use Chopsticks’.
    I, on the other hand can. Mudah s’kali, deh!

  3. Hi Firda–
    Caucasian here–one who grew up in Japan. :) And I’ve successfully taught my DH to use chopsticks (O-hashi!) and am teaching our 4 y/o son to do so. Seriously–the best way to do it that I’ve found is to hold the top chopstick like a pencil (as if you’d be writing–wherever it’s comfortable on your fingers) and brace the bottom one similarly, but underneath the top one. The top one will then move up & down under the control of your index finger. It truly sounds harder than it is, but if you think of the bottom one as immoveable, it might help. I’ve also purchased some ‘chopstick trainers’ for our son (they properly position the o-hashi and make them easy to hold and pinch for grabbing food) at Asian Food Grocer . com . Very helpful stuff (and I don’t own or work for the company) and inexpensive, to boot. :)
    The other tips about shoveling and guiding are true–also acceptable in Japanese culture. :)
    Hope this helps you out! :D

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