To celebrate Rosh Hashanah last night, I cooked dinner for my roommate and my Chinese coworker.


It didn’t matter that they had never heard of this holiday before, and were very confused as to why the New Year would begin in September.

It didn’t matter that I almost never cook, and had to WhatsApp my mom in desperation asking how to make her signature feta pasta.

It didn’t matter that the candles were jasmine-scented, and melted all over the table because we didn’t have candleholders.

It didn’t matter that none of us could open the wine bottle, and that after nearly an hour of struggling we were left with a pulverized cork that shed little bits into the wine.

It didn’t matter that the bread, which I’d picked because it was round and vaguely challah-looking, had a surprise coconut-paste center.

It didn’t matter that we ate dinner with chopsticks, because I never got around to buying forks.

It didn’t even matter that my roommate never told me she was lactose intolerant, and she couldn’t try the feta.

What mattered was that we dipped apples into local Nanjing honey, chatted about cultures and religions, and appreciated a quiet evening together.

What mattered was that we had Ben & Jerry’s for dessert, and even my roommate tried a bite.


Imagine Whirled Peace. Yeah, that sounds about right.