When eating from a common dish, you do not double dip, meaning, you do not say, take a piece of bun, dip it into the gravy, bite a bit of it, then dip the part that was just in your mouth into the gravy again. When you do this, the rest of the people would have to eat your saliva.
What you should do is this: break a little piece off the bun, dip it into the gravy, then pop the entire little piece into your mouth. Then, break another little piece, etc.
No one wants to swallow your saliva – this is why since I was a kid, my mum had insisted that our family stop the disgusting Chinese habit of the entire family eating from one common dish.
This is as much about dining etiquette as it is about hygiene. Yet today I continue to eat with people with horrendous table manners. And these are people who supposedly have “international exposure” and have done or are doing “regional jobs” and people who have to be examples to the kids they have to bring up.
In the past I have been invited by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth & Sports to conduct dining etiquette classes for young working adults.
But I think many mature adults need them too.
Just look around you at the way people eat – spitting at the table (“what the hell do I do with the bones?”), splattering food, eating xiaolong bao the wrong way, not using serving spoons, throwing bones, etc ON the table, picking the best parts (all the crab claws, all the drumsticks, for example or taking away half the fish – excuse me you may be on the frigging Atkins’ high protein diet but the rest of us most definitely are NOT so please don’t eat ALL the food meant to be shared!), eating pasta the wrong way, messing up a steamboat, over-doing the chili, licking fingers like giving blowjobs, belching and burping, throwing tissues INTO their bowls when done with eating, dipping spoons that were in their mouths moments ago into a dish shared by everyone, no wonder people get hepatitis!
They say driving brings out the worst in people, I think eating too.