Smoke, smoke, everywhere.China has a severe problem with air pollution, but for me the very worst problem is cigarettes – particularly the rampant smoking inside restaurants. Weijun told me his father give him his first cigarette when he was about 11 years old. If you watch the film closely, every once a while you will see a puff of smoke in front of the lens.  It’s not the steam from hot food, no; it is from the cameraman’s cigarette.  Occasionally, to disguise it, I would cut to the steam from a hot dish.   The worst moment for me was when the grandfather dangled a cigarette with a baby in his arms. I think China should ban smoking in restaurants!

Gan Bai, bottom up
Toasting and drinking are art forms during a Chinese banquet.  Who makes the toast, how much you drink, the face you show to guests, all must show a certain level of respect.  West Lake restaurant has its own brewery, and according to Weijun it is of the highest quality.  

On his first day at West Lake, Lawrence, our producer, was toasted by the many dancers – not en masse, but one dancer one toast at a time.  Lawrence had no choice but to bottom up each time, to show respect to his hosts.  At the end of the night, he had to be taken to a hospital!

Ms. Qin, the owner of West Lake has an amazing tolerance for alcohol.  Once, however, she couldn’t finish her drink, so she discreetly pour the leftover wine into a bowl of leftover rice and bones.  The guest saw it and was angry to lose face, so Ms. Qin took the dirty bowl and drank the contents to show her sincere apology.