Moment #507. Chinese at buffet, Sat, Dec 31, 2005.
12/31/2005. We met at a chapel to carpool to a Single Adults New Year's Eve dance in a city about 2 hours away. The other car stopped in Greenwood for supper, but my rider agreed to eat later with me in the destination city.
After getting off the interstate, it wasn't long before we spotted a Chinese buffet restaurant. It was on the upscale side, had lots of good seafood, and everything looked fresh and appetizing.
The place was very crowded with all tables in the front dining room occupied, and all the employees were very busy. Our waitress was prompt in taking our drink orders, removing our empty plates, and asking if we were ready for refills.
I had placed both kinds of Chinese Books of Mormon (traditional for Taiwan/Hong Kong, and simplified script for China) on the table. I could tell she saw them, but she gave no reaction.
She, the hostess and the other waitresses were so busy, I didn't want to interfere with them doing their job by engaging in small talk. But eventually the crowd died down, and the dining area was only half filled.
After things slowed down the waitress came by again to ask if I wanted a refill, I declined and asked if she liked to read Chinese. She said yes. I asked if she was from China or Taiwan, and she replied China.
I offered the Simplified Chinese Book of Mormon to her, but it took a while to convey that it was intended as a gift, as her English seemed to be limited to restaurant talk. To illustrate that they were two translations of the same book, I opened the English and Chinese to 1st Nephi 1:1, and pointed to the same verse in both books while I read the English.
She gratefully accepted them, and took them back to the waitress station on the other side of the short wall next to our booth. I could see her flipping through them.
A little later, she was showing the books to three other waitresses, and it looked like the others were excited about it, and wanted books too. I asked our waitress if they wanted more, and she indicated yes. I only had two more of the Simplified Chinese with me, but I handed them to her over the little wall.
I went back out to my car and brought in more two more Simplified Chinese and two more English. But then the other waitresses were no longer at their station on the other side of the wall from our booth.
While paying on the way out, I offered the cashier a pair of books, and she accepted. She wasn't as enthusiastic as the waitress, and maybe accepted just to be polite. If she wasn't genuinely interested, maybe she'll give her books to the fourth waitress who didn't get one.