Sean Thornton, a Wuxi Expat from Ireland, has joined, in a hearty but violent manner, the local game of "Who’s going to pay the bill?" In this game, Wuxi locals eating together at a restaurant can often be seen playfully wrestling over who will pay the bill.
Thornton’s first attempt to join the game was meet with major resistance. "When I first came to Wuxi and saw this practice for the very first time, I asked the participants if they were having a private fight or if anyone could join in." said Thorton to the WCE blog. "Not detecting a answer in the negative. I joined in. I punched one of the guys, whose wife then rained a fury of haymakers upon me person! Being a gentlemen and all, I let the lady have her way till the other men joined in on the attack against my person. So my first brawl in China was seemingly me against all of China!"
It was only after Thornton found a Chinese female companion that Thornton’s participation in "Who’s going to pay the bill?" was accepted by the locals. "My darling Cherry Soda, who is as open-minded a Chinese female as you will find anywhere in the Expatdom, was after a series of my donnybrooks at restaurants, able to convince the locals that my pugilism over the bill was really being very respectful of their culture. The locals soon began to enjoy my joining in their local game. They seemed to learn to love a good scrap as much as I do. I soon became a local celebrity and now anytime I go to a restaurant, I will have five or six other tables asking me to join in traditional arguing about the bill. Now, you will see many Wuxi locals coming to restaurants with boxing gloves, truncheons, whips, chains and cat-o-nine-tails! Restaurants with boxing rings are becoming all the rage in Wuxi. And it is all because of me! So what you’re seeing is a real melding of Irish and Wuxi culture in a way that everyone wins! And it is something for which I will always be proud!"
His Majesty, the King of the Wuxi China Expatdom, Gorzo the Mighty has made Thornton, a teacher of English, an eternal member of the Royal Masonic Order of the Wuxi China Expatdom, and created an award in Thornton’s honour, the Sean Thornton Double Diamond Platinum Medal of Honor which will be awarded to Wuxi Expats who enhance Wuxi local culture by melding their home country nation practices with those of Wuxi local culture.