November 29, 2004
Europeans and Americans traveling South East Asia treat local cuisine with respect but carefully...
Europeans and Americans traveling South East Asia treat local cuisine with respect but carefully. Strange things happen here. When the menu of a diner is discussed with locals and the locals themselves order dinner, the served dishes are strikingly delicious. When a traveler tries to order dinner by himself, that is quite another matter. Even pronouncing correctly the names of the dishes written on a sheet of paper will not guarantee success.
Can locals help their friends, who do not speak a local language well enough, to choose dishes at a restaurant?
This problem was successfully solved by the well-known physicist Lee Tsundau, Chinese by birth who worked in the United States. As a Nobelist of 1957 he was highly esteemed among Chinese people. One day his colleague from Columbia University asked his advice concerning the choice of dishes at Chinese restaurants. Lee answered, “You will hardly pronounce correctly, I'll better write it down for you.”
As soon as the American colleague showed the short note given to him by Lee Tsundau, he was served a very delicious dish at all Chinese restaurants. But the dish was always different! The American was consumed with curiosity and decided to find out what was that short-named dish that took a different shape each time he ordered it. He found a man who spoke Chinese and asked him to translate the name of that wonderful dish. Here is the literal translation of the note. “This is my friend, please serve him the best dishes. Dr. Lee.”
The “Generator” editors also have respect for the Chinese cuisine.
1. The “Generator” editor is mediating upon what else is worth ordering.
2. The “Generator” editor is explaining to the waiter what he would like to eat.
3. The contented “Generator” editor is thanking for the delicious dinner.