Monday, 11 March 2013

The Works

I’m trying to branch out with my language skills and order more food on my own as of late. What happens is I end up eating a lot of dishes I don’t want.

The first time I tried this tactic was at a little Chinese restaurant down the block. I had been there before with a group of friends and the food was really good. I decided to play it safe and order rice with some sort of meat dish to put on top. What I ended up eating was rice with 20 dumplings that were stuffed with cabbage. The dumplings on their own were good, and the rice on it’s on, of course, was good but together it made for a dry combo. Also 20 dumplings is a lot and I didn’t sign up for that. Of course I pretended it was exactly what I meant to order and thanked the waitress profusely, I ended up taking half of it home, and surprised my roommate with free food; we do these types of exchanges a lot.

The second time I decided to order was at a trusted place within our cafeteria. The lady their knows me well, and hopefully knows by now the type of food I prefer seeing as I always order the same 4 dishes (I have them memorized and switch between them to keep her guessing).

This time I went for something completely new that I could read off of the menu, I decided on韩国鸡肉盖饭. The first two characters (
Hánguó) mean South Korea, the middle two (jīròu) mean chicken, and the last two (gàifàn) mean with rice added.I was pretty sure this time I was going to get chicken, with rice, which you can’t really go wrong with. What I ended up getting was huge portion of rice with three itty pieces of chicken and a lot of green peppers. I don’t know where the green peppers came from or the extra spices for that matter. I basically drank water that entire meal.

Today though is a new day, I went to the café inside of the library to get food for lunch. I didn’t intend on speaking Chinese but as soon as I entered I realized it was full of people and worse, they were all going to be eavesdropping on my conversation. If you go to a language school there’s a certain amount of ego in who can speak the best. You can tell from someone’s speech where they’re from, how long they’ve studied, if they’re in a relationship, and what their middle name is. It’s very comprehensive.

Being aware of this, my pride does get in the way sometimes. I ordered a sub sandwich and sprite to drink which is pretty easy for starters. I was feeling sort of smug until I realized I had to tell her what to put on the sandwich. I haven’t taken the time to memorize vegetables or fruits so I was at a lost. The one thing I could say is 除了(
chúle)which means with the exception of, and I didn’t want to be one of those people, the ones who order a cheeseburger then ask for no onions, pickles, cheese or a bun. So instead I said asked for the works and contemplated how long my hunger strike will last.

The sub was quite big and being stuffed with everything imaginable it was a big portion to eat. I think my Mom would be pleased to know that I ate all of it, olives, and onions, pickles etc. Everything that I would usually pick off my pizza I ate in one bite. It was probably because I was hungry from class, but the sandwich tasted delicious, I completely finished it off without having to mentally urge myself to chew and swallow. I wouldn’t say I’m in love with onions now, they tend to make me cry, but I was able to expand my taste pallet and that’s always a good thing, especially when you’re living in a foreign country.

1 comment:

  1. that sounds like an adventure. :)
    enjoy the random food experiences! keep trying!