Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chinese Takeaway

Having lived here for 8 months now, I decided it was time to try the local Chinese take-away. I’d had a few unsuccessful attempts earlier in the year before learning that the owners were on holidays, but I was ready for take 2. So I called.

Hello?” a lady’s voice answered
Hello” I replied, a little disconcerted
How are you?” she asked conversationally
“I’m well thank you, how are you?”
Yeah good
... awkward pause ...
Um, I’d like to order the honey pepper prawns, thanks” I ventured
Honey pepper prawns?
Yes. Um wait ... where have I called?” I asked, suddenly scared that I’d called a home number
Chinese, yeah” she assured me
Honey pepper prawns please” I repeated
Is that all?
Yes

When I arrived, I had the exact change ready, and handed it over ready to go.
She stared at the change in her hand. It wasn’t too complicated. A $10 note, four $2 coins, one 50c coin and two 20c coins. You’ve probably added it up already - $18.90. Exact change.
“You’re missing one” she said, shaking her head and staring at the money in her hand.
“No I’m pretty sure that’s exact change, $18.90” I assured her – I was starving and just wanted to go home and eat.
She held out her handful of money and I placed it all on the counter to help her count it out, and yes, it still came to $18.90. Finally she accepted that the $18.90 that I gave her was the right payment for the $18.90 meal.

And then I got home to discover I’d just bought the most expensive container of cabbage, sprinkled with 8 or 10 prawns, ever. That’ll teach me.

1 comment:

puddle said...

Ahh the tyranny of remoteness, I recently paid $18 for a laksa that was almost entirely not what a laksa should be. In its defence it contained noodles, tofyey, vegetrably and chickeny bits. So the basic bits were there. But that was about where the similarity ended. It was like a jar of red curry paste had been upended into it. Bleeech :(
i miss the laksa house in the central markets. $7 a trough.