Moment #557. Chinese (Hong Kong) at restaurant. Wed, Apr 19, 2006.
04/19/2006. I dropped off a book for someone at the chapel and on the way home stopped for supper at a Chinese restaurant on West XX street that I hadn't been to before. It had the standard backlit pictures and the menus that look like they were printed at the same printer as most other Chinese restaurants. The place was clean, but somehow things just weren't organized or laid out like other restaurants. I later found a clue as to why that may have been.
The female-half of the couple running the place took my order at the counter. I ordered my standard Moo Goo Gai Pan and a soft drink.
Within a reasonable amount of time, the male-half of the couple brought my tray out to my table, but was very quick and efficient, and I couldn't tell if he noticed the bilingual New Testament or the two kinds of Chinese Books of Mormon on the table.
My meal was also slightly non-standard, not bad, just different. The major ingredients were there, but the flavoring was different. The fried rice was brown instead of the normal yellow. The vegetables, including the mushrooms, in the Moo Goo Gai Pan were fresh, which is good. But the sauce wasn't the standard taste that I usually find at these cookie-cutter type restaurants.
After I finished eating, I approached the counter, with my four books (Chinese/English bilingual paperback New Testament in Traditional Script, Simplified Script Chinese Book of Mormon, Traditional Script Chinese Book of Mormon, and English Book of Mormon) and asked the man if they were from China or Hong Kong. He said Hong Kong. I presented the bilingual New Testament first. People from Hong Kong usually speak Cantonese (as opposed to Mandarin), so I asked and he confirmed. Hong Kong also uses the Traditional Script, like Taiwan. Mainland China uses the Simplified Script. I also presented the Traditional Script Book of Mormon. By this time his wife came up front, and then I presented the English Book of Mormon. I also gave them a copy of the DVD Together Forever because it has a Cantonese audio track on it.
Three books and a DVD may be overload, but at least something might stick. I've decided to offer the bilingual Chinese/English New Testament because of the reasons expressed in previous blog posts. And the DVD is there in case they are just too busy to read.
Them being from Hong Kong instead of China might explain the different flavoring of the food. And if they weren't trained in Chinese-American restaurant operation by their family as opposed to just going it on their own, that might explain why the feel of the restaurant is different from the many restaurants owned by people from Mainland China.