The Joys Of Thai Restaurants
By British John
I too have complaints about Thai restaurants – see if any of these are familiar….
When you enter there is always a teenage waiter approach you giggling because he is nervous about speaking English.
When you speak Thai he doesn't understand because he is trying to listen in English.
When you repeat it and he realises it's Thai, he turns to look at his mates and laughs some more.
When you finally get a table he brings over a FIFTY PAGE menu and stands WAITING for you to order!!
No matter how many times you tell him – one minute please, come back in a while, just clear off – He will stay grinning inanely while you try to read the menu.
The food is nearly always the same Thai dishes – just the names are different. Tom Yum kung can be translated into 120 different English phrases (all spelled incorrectly).
There are always some hideous sounding dishes – (pig offal, chicken tendons).
When you order – he will write it down, repeat it back to you – AND STILL FUCK IT UP!!!
There will ALWAYS be a mistake with your order!!!
If you make a fuss – your date gets embarrassed and YOU look like a jerk because some no brain teenager can't walk from your table to the kitchen without losing the piece of paper and then trying to remember what you JUST ordered two minutes ago. God knows – he isn't going to come back and say sorry – can you tell me again?!!
I remember one time at a restaurant I ordered chicken curry with coconut milk – Gaeng Masaman Gai. I told the girl I like coconut because it makes the dish less spicy. I EVEN read the Thai to her – so I was making sure I got the right dish. (and showing off to her I could read Thai – well she WAS cute – and my girlfriend wasn't paying attention)
Anyway – when the food arrived it looked wrong from the start. I took one mouthful and stopped!! So damned spicy!!! Gaeng som – orange curry – very hot – no coconut! And for me – totally inedible!
I called the waitress and told her – "This is not Gaeng Masaman Gai – this is Gaeng Som – pet maak maak."
"Yes." she answered, looking at me like I was an idiot, "Coconut milk finish already!"
So we had a discussion whereby both of us couldn't believe the other was so stupid!! I pointed out that I didn't order this, and she pointed out, "Mai ben rai – aroi."
When the bill finally came – there was the curry!! I again had a long talk with her (and by now 10 other waiting staff) I told her I wasn't paying for the curry – unordered and uneaten. The 10 observing waiters took turns to poke a fork in to the curry and stir it and smell it and all declared it was "Aroi."
My date was hideously embarrassed and kept offering to pay. I eventually asked her to wait outside while I spoke to the boss. By now this had been going on for 10 minutes. He finally came and asked for both sides of the story. Both versions were identical!!! "This guy came in, ordered coconut curry, we had no coconut – so we gave him gaeng som instead. Now he doesn't want to pay for it." Change the subject to "I" and that was my version too!!
Finally a guy with common sense! He asked one question, "Did he eat it?" When they answered "No." he looked at them like they were idiots and said "Cancel, cancel."
Unable to face another Thai waiter, I ended up eating a foot long hot dog from 7-11.
Even if you are eating alone, and you order the largest, most expensive dish on the menu, the waiter still has to raise one finger and say "One?"………"No!! Today I think I will eat 4 steaks AND make that THREE bottles of whisky!!" Of course ONE!! Count the number of people, divide by dishes and drinks – should be an easy calculation!
Yep, some familiar situations in there!