Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cool Nepalis Eat Chinese

The first time I ate at one of Pokhara's three Chinese restaurants, a young, obviously hipper-than-hell Nepali couple plopped themselves at the very next table. It was a big surprise for me, I'd eaten at all the other types of places here and never seen hair nor hide of a local patron. I'd assumed they just didn't eat out.

Well if you are a Nepali with money, or are being courted by a local UN or other aid worker as a local contact, you do eat out. You love to eat out. However, it will always be at a Chinese restaurant - anything else would be completely uncool.

If you are a 20-something Nepali man, another way to demonstrate your coolness is to put your mobile phone on the table in front of you and use it as a kind of boom box throughout the meal. Don't worry if the restaurant already has a sound system with music playing on it. No one will mind if you jack up your mobile sound even more loudly so all can enjoy Nepali hip hop with you.

If you are a female Korean tourist, you may wish instead to show everyone how modern you are by smoking with enormous flair and drama throughout the entire meal. That's right, a bite of egg drop soup, a drag on the cig, another bite of soup, another drag on the cig, and so on.

If you are a waiter at a Chinese restaurant in Nepal, and you want to show your Western guests how well you understand their culture, the minute they enter, yank whatever is playing on the sound system and replace it with a George Michaels Holiday Favorites CD. When the CD is over (sadly it is only about 15 minutes long), push that replay button over and over again to continue their enjoyment. Abruptly cease when they leave the restaurant.

If you are a Serbian man, accompanying your wife to the Chinese place for the fourth time in a week because she cannot live without their rice noodle soup, sigh and order the potatoes. True, they do not look or taste like any potatoes you have ever had before, but for a Serb a winter stomach without a potato in it is an empty place indeed.


Silly Sally said...

Trader Joe has some rice noodle soup in a box (Ready in 2 Minutes!), but it doesn't look like what is in your bowl. I could eat that Nepalese(?) soup every other day and hold the potatoes until there is nothing else in the house to eat.

Rosemary Bailey Brown said...

Ah - well there's a reason the photo does not look like rice noodles. It's because this is the Potato Dish. Yes, Honest. To. God. Now you see how my husband suffers for the love of me. ;-)