Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The starch girls
As I’m getting ready for a holiday in Europe, I obviously try to get the very most out of China before I leave, including:
• Pampering such as massages, manicure, pedicure
• Speaking as much Chinese as possible with my Chinese friends
• Indulging in a lot of spicy food
However, the whole pampering thing has become a down prio, as I’ve realised that I enjoy my other two priorities much more.
Some days ago, my best girlfriend and I went to one of our favourite Sichuan joints.
-Looks full, she said, as we stepped in and were greeted by a noisy, smoky but happy environment.
-Yup, I confirmed, trying to locate a free table.
-你们好！(Nimen hao!) Came the manager, who I’ve seen many times before, and, who must have recognized us, as he smiled a little bit too wide.
-No tables today? I asked.
-Always a table for you girls!
Yes, he definitely recognized us.
And, magically, he showed us to a free table.
Five seconds later a female waitress appeared with a menu.
While we started flicking through it, she stood by our side all the time, until she finally said, with some obvious impatience in her tone of voice:
-The mushroom dish that you are looking for is here.
She grabbed the menu and flicked the pages until… ta, da, out favourite mushroom dish appeared.
-One of these, she said to herself and wrote on her notepad.
-Eh… yes. We agreed.
-What else? Tofu?
-Do you want your spicy noodles today or rice?
-Eh… spicy noodles. Yes. And rice.
-You want BOTH rice AND spicy noodles. That’s way too much.
-Eh, but we want both.
-Ah, you two. You always order the same and you always order too much!
We just stared at her, chins dropping to the floor.
-But we won’t waste it… I started, we will…
-You will get the leftovers in a doggy bag and take it as take away, oh yes, I know. Like you always do!
-Still, I think you girls eat too much starch.
-Eh, er… well.
-Yeah don’t worry, you’ll get your noodles still.
-Eh… great! Thanks! Don't forget the rice!
Right. Time for us to change restaurant maybe? Or, maybe we should change up our order a bit? Then again, it’s so good?! And why change something that is good?
But damn. I thought all laowais looked the same to Chinese people? That’s what my friends often tell me. But apparently Chinese people too, learn to remember you by your habits. We are obviously the two doggy bag starch girls at this joint.