NOPE this is not a political article, I leave that to the political writers. This is about two people we met in our short vacation to Hongkong. Let me start with
Before anything else let me say this. As my family knows, I have this thing with food and hygiene. I am a stickler for clean food. If I see something in my food that is not supposed to be there, I send it back. Things like hair, God forbid. Having said that let me go on with the story.
On our first night we all were eager for Chinese food and what could be more authentic Chinese food than the restaurants you see along Temple Road. We wanted to savor local cuisine. We were lucky because our hotel which was so close to Nathan Road was also very close to Temple. We actually just had to cross the street. And so hungry and eager we went around looking for a decent looking eating place. When I mean decent I mean at least meron aircon and some semblance of cleanliness. There were a few but we decided to walk and survey the place. All over people were goading us to try their restaurants. Some Chinese guy even said, masarap, masarap. I smiled. Finally we found a place. The place was full but we were “persuaded” to try the nearby place, apparently one owner of both places. To my dismay, the place was not exactly what I expected of a restaurant. For one thing, it was really noisy. Two the place looked like it needed cleaning. All eyes were on me. I smiled and sat. Frankly I was too tired and too hungry. Here is where the Dragon Lady comes in. She is this fairly huge woman with a booming shrieking voice. She asks us for our orders rather briskly and we all had to point to the pictures because there was no way we could understand each other. As far as I can remember, we had fried rice, beef with something, noodles of some sort, some fish, sweet and sour pork (of course) and prawns. We wanted to have crabs but honestly we were too tired to eat. After she read our order, Dragon Lady looked at us with a strange expression as if to say, anim kayo tapos yan lang order ninyo? I was thinking, they need a seminar on customer service. I was ready to give my business card. We waited and talked. I just focused my eyes on the table because I would not dare look around, especially that the kitchen was just behind me. All eyes were on me.
When the food arrived there was a hesitation on my part but as I said I was too hungry. I hesitated because for the first time in my life I saw a piece of paper protruding under the fried rice. I guess it was the order slip. But it was the best fried rice I ever tasted in my life and you have to believe me because I like Chinese fried rice. I guess it tasted so good because of the paper. It was so good that we ordered another plate.
I had the misfortune at glancing at the Dragon Lady who served us the sweet and sour pork. This time the order slip was not under the pork, it was on top. When she served it, she just flicked the paper away and served the food. Again, the sweet and sour pork was absolutely delicious. Again, it must have been the paper that made it taste so good. The food was so good that I had two cans of Coke. While we were eating I could not help but notice the baldes on the floor. There were several each with live crabs, fish and prawns swimming and all waiting for their doom.
Dragon Lady comes back and asks us something like, meron pa baka yong gusto or you want moh? Actually we did not want any more because we were all so stuffed. Especially me because I just love Chinese food especially (again) if there are pieces of paper included in the food. My stickler for food was thrown into the wind that night thanks to Dragon Lady. We asked for the bill and Dragon Lady quick as a flying dragon shows us the bill. While we were waiting for the change, Dragon Lady suddenly whips out a rag and starts cleaning the table. She takes the dishes away and she did it in one second or even less. Nice way of saying, o ayan tapos na kayo, umalis na kayo. We got the message, we stood up. Dragon Lady did not even say thank you. No she was too busy cajoling other poor tourists like us to eat the best fried rice I have ever tasted.
Next up, Pogi.