An unforgettable memory

Back when I was still in elementary school, my brother and I would fly to Thailand during our summer vacation to visit our relatives there. Jia-Jia, my older cousin who was very close to me, would hang out with me whenever she had time in Thailand. I remember one day we went to school to pick up her younger sister, who is my younger cousin, and while waiting for her, we stood between the street market. Many of the stands are selling special cultural Thai food. Jia-Jia was trying to introduce them to me in Mandarin; because we often visit each other, she was pretty fluent in Mandarin, and I was able to speak some Thai too. Then we walked past a stand that’s selling some kind of roast insects, and to my suprise, she went up to buy some. She asked me if I want to have some with her, but to me, a foreigner, I thought that was really gross. I asked her what those insects are, and Jia-Jia told me they are cockroach eggs. I was so disgusted by the fact that Thai people eat not only insects but cockroach eggs, and I didn’t want to share any food with my cousin for the rest of the vacation…. In fact, I didn’t share any food with my cousin in the next few years. However, years after that, I asked my parents if they know Thais have this weird eating hobby, and they told me my cousin probably didn’t understand what cockroach was; perhaps she mistook cockroach to be some other insects. Now that I think of it, the denotation of cockroach gives her a different connotation than mine: she was probably thinking about locust while I thought it was the black, disgusting, garbage-grown insects. This difference in understanding is probably why the miscommunication took place between us.