Excuse me, waiter...

 Seven years and ten months ago, I arrived in the Republic of China, better known as Taiwan.  At the time I left South Africa, I knew very little about where I was going or what it looked like.  I didn't even know where I was going to work.  My agent (now my friend) Maggie just said, "Don't worry about anything.  I'll have a job for you when you arrive."

Now, in my mind's eye, I had an image of a mixture between a tropical island and the images one gets of China in the old movies:  red lanterns, very obedient students and the smell of incense... Oh, and somehow everyone can speak English.

Well, how rude my awakening was is a story for another day.  In fact very few people speak English outside of Taipei.  In my early years in Taiwan, I was always very excited to find a restaurant that had a menu in English.

So, for your reading pleasure, I present the English menu of a coffee shop in Yinge, a town very famous for its ceramics (and not so famous for its English!)

"Excuse me waiter, could I please have the 'Chicken of the oyster bad-mannered'?  Mind you, item G looks delicious too!  Oh, what should I order!"

"My friend here will have the Nine-storyed Baconian's pasta." (...which was bacon pasta with basil, in case you were wondering...)

Welcome to my world!


  1. LOL! I'm staying in Taipei but I've not come across such menu yet. I'd like to have a cup of hot comprehensive coffee, please! :-)

  2. Hey Piggy! Thanks for the visit!

    I prefer the "chicken of the oyster bad mannered" myself - a BIG portion, if you please. :))

    You will find that Taiwan outside of Taipei is almost a totally different country...if not a different planet!


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